There is an old Albanian saying which differs slightly in meaning from the English proverb:
“The wolf loves the fog.”
Fog would provide the perfect cover for a hungry wolf as he stealthily mingles with the nescient sheep. Fog also suggests to me a metaphor for the sort of thick cloud of beguiling nonsense (dare we call it heresy?) which passes for Christianity and distorts the thinking of christians caught up in the Word of Faith Movement and so many of the Pentecostal/charismatic churches. Fog distorts our perceptions and augments our fears: what is that strange shape in the mist? A rocky outcrop, a wolf? Because our vision is obscured, we may find ourselves – too late perhaps – huddled for comfort against a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Equally we may be deceived by the fog into thinking we see palaces and landscapes littered with jewels – the fog distorting scripture to the self-serving ends of the very same predator. The word fog appeals to me as a mischievous acronym for Fellowship Of God, a fictional – and satirical – Pentecostal Christian sect I imagine somewhat like AOG (The Assemblies of God) embodying the narrowness, bigotry and stupidity of so much which pretends to represent Christian “truth”.
Once bitten twice shy as the saying goes, and I have certainly been bitten before. Perhaps this is why I tend to obsess a bit about wolves: not the shaggy, howling beasts of the forests or plains, but those who in the very midst of the flock claim to represent the Lamb of God – His word, His way, His life, His teachings, his Spirit.
WORDS OF JESUS, FROM THE GOSPEL OF SAINT MATTHEW
“Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Matthew 7:15
But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! Galatians 1:8
Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!” John 2:13-16
Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. 2 Corinthians 2:17a
Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter Isaiah 56:11
And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. (2nd Peter 2:3)