The danger in helping others is that it can create approbation lust. The question becomes, are you helping someone as unto the Lord, or is it to receive the gratitude of others? The secret to good works is a dependency on the Word of God, not on people. Works done with doctrinal motivation, under the filling of the Holy Spirit, glorify God and have eternal value. Works done to please people are simply wood, hay, and straw, and will be destroyed at the Judgment Seat of Christ6. Mischief-makers often become spiritual bullies, as they judge the life and works of others, and bully them into producing more dead works. They emphasize works over doctrine, and accuse others of not doing enough for God. They love to use religious phrases such as:
- “You are hiding in doctrine.”
- “We need less doctrine and more works.”
- “Forget doctrine and get involved.”
- “We need less preaching and more working.”
There are at least five categories of Mischief-making:
1. The interfering, or bullying, mischief-maker becomes compulsive, and obsessive, in his desire to straighten out the lives of others. He begins to tell others how to run their lives, judging their production, and bullying them into producing more dead works.
2. The controlling mischief-maker establishes himself as a role model, and expert, on how others should live, claiming to be an authority in spiritual matters. These believers superimpose their own judgment over Bible doctrine, establishing their own authority over and above that of the pastor-teacher.
3. The motivational Mischief-maker combines self-righteous arrogance with crusader arrogance to promote legalism and dead works.
4. The flawed mischief-maker is the one who bypasses the infrastructure of the local church, and forms a control group that erodes the authority of the pastor-teacher, thus creating a church within a church.
5. The weak conscience mischief-maker is inconsistent in exposure to Bible doctrine, or so out of fellowship that doctrinal norms and standards are ignored.
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