Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Isn't it amazing what we can learn from the world of animals; or nature in general, for that matter?

As I meandered through the Book of Jude recently, I was struck by these three things:
  • The Error of  Balaam
  • The Way of Cain
  • The Rebellion of Korah
They are representative of much of what ails the church today - - your church and mine ... regardless of denominational underpinnings.   We been told to expect them, as they go hand-in-hand with the insidious stuff (aka apostasy) that worms it's way into the Body.   Given a recognizable identity, they'd be goats, or weeds, or even lions that snarl & snap & rip apart.  Mostly they look like true believers right up UNTIL the matter of God's word - His whole counsel - is concerned. 

Mind you, these are not atheists and agnostics we're advised to be alert to.  They're not your neighbor who's never graced a church, or your Uncle Mortimer who's got legitimate questions about the claims of Christianity.  These are those numbered among us - - true believers (or supposed true believers).

Not only does Jude (verses 3-16) caution us about these, but so does Peter, and even John in the Book of Revelation.  We are told how to spot them; and to beware of the harm (can anyone say chaos & confusion?) they cause.  It would seem prudent, then, to have a better understanding of their character, or lack thereof.    

So I've been on a mission, and I must say, it's been a rather enlightening one!

I wonder ... do we recognize any/all of them?

Balaam's error boils down to obedience to Godbut... It’s saying, “Yes Lord, I’ll obey You, but ______(fill in the blank)".  A true prophet, Balaam was overcome with worldliness.  Thus he got his assignment so very wrong and, in essence, said what God told him to say, but didn't do what God told him to do.  What a shining example of doing our best to satisfy God while simultaneously profiting personally and/or pleasing men.

Even Balaam's jackass knew better than his master!

As for the way of Cain, he consciously chose a way different than the one God had shown him.  Although he knew what was right, he hadn’t done it.  He shows us exactly how to justify just about anything, and why one's own interpretation can trump the word of God.

The jackass probably would have layed down beneath Cain too!

When it comes to Korah's rebellion, I get hiccups.  I mean, who in their right mind would delight in being swallowed up by the earth?!  Here we see witness pride & ambition colliding with God's authority.  It is in stark contrast to the humble heart that would seek to know & obey God's word & ways about man's.  We have no difficulty seeing how these might craft all sorts of aberrant or unsound doctrines in opposition to that which is sound.

Balaam ... Cain ... Korah ... These all ASSumed they knew best.  The jackass appears to be the only thing unscathed, except - that is - for the beating he took for resisting Balaam's perverse diversion from God's expressed plan.  


~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

You can see my response to your post here. You'll see it. It's hard to miss. LOL I just wish Google Reader would provide a direct link to each post. Happy Wednesday, Kathleen!

Sonja said...

jackassology... it's the best word yet!! You nailed it... it will forever be in my brain, and it's a GOOD thing, as it is a vivid portrayal of what NOT to be, a jackassologist. :)

You know without me saying it how I loved this blog. The words are piling up, and this one goes right in the bag with the others.


Technonana said...

I'm with Sonja... love the term... probably gonna use it!!
It's what happens when WE put Blinders on... the ones that say, 'this is what 'I' think. This is the way 'I' believe this should be done!! The Big "I" that Gets in God's way... that's when God has to 'put us in our place'! And most often is NOT A GOOD PLACE!

RCUBEs said...

I was thinking more of work when I first saw the title and before reading the whole post! I thought..."There must be a special school where foolish people are being taught and excel in that way..."

Spiritually, I'm glad our pastor had talked about this (apostasy) from the past Sunday fellowship. It is important as those "wolves" look so close like a sheep...

But I like your terminology "jackassology!" Well said and explained.

BTW, thanks for the push. Praise Him Who had given me those 5 smooth stones to use against the giant (prayer, fasting, confession, Bible, and Eucharist). Geez! To think I only gave some faith as small as a mustard seed. He is unfathomable in all of His ways! God bless you sweet Sassy!

Just a little something from Judy said...

In all my years, and all the times of Bible teaching that I have sat under, I never heard it called "jackassology". Now you, a petite blond dynamo comes up with this term, and quite honestly I know this will stick in my brain. I think it is most gracious of God to include each of these vivid examples of "jackassology" for us, and the results of it. He knew how desperately we would need real life examples. I see the bottom line of this post, as the importance of listening to what He says, however unique that may be for each of us. Is this anywhere near what you had in mind as you so eloquently shared this insight? Anywhere near?(:

Maryann said...

I think this is one of the biggest problems we have in the church today and you are right it crosses all denominations. I believe the root problem is we just don't know the Word of God

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Vintage Sassy... I'll be chewing on this one awhile. I'd write something clever, but alas you've already don the work. Something tells me our friend Madeline is smiling right about now!

LOVED HER BOOK!!! She tucked me in each night. Thank you.

Love you, friend. Your a good one to have in my corner.


Rebecca said...

We definitely need to keep on our toes (AND knees)! What a great summary of these trends to avoid like the plague! You're SO right, Kathleen!

Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

As my friend said on facebook yesterday, "Jacob was a cheater, Peter had a temper, David had an affair, Noah got drunk, Jonah ran from God, Paul was a murderer, Gideon was insecure, Miriam was a gossiper, Martha was a worrier, Thomas was a doubter, Sara was impatient, Elijah was moody, Moses stuttered, Zaccheus was short, Abraham was old, and Lazarus was dead.... God doesn't call the qualified, He qualifies the CALLED"

Nel said...

Enjoyed your post... so true!
Love how Carrie responded, He does qualify the called... but we have to listen!
until next time... nel

Karen Lange said...

Ah, what wise words! Have been pondering what I am called to do, actually doing, and putting off or making excuses. This is very timely. Thanks for the encouragement in the right direction!

Alice Lynn Alfred said...

Sassy Granny, I love, love your blog. Wow! Your spiritual insight and your way of eloquently, authentically sharing this insight is so refreshing and encouraging to me. Thank you for sharing your life ~ I am a new follower to your blog!! Many blessings ~ alice