Beware of false
Fr. ROY CIMAGALA,
June 22, 2021
THAT’S what Christ told
his disciples. “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s
clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves.” (Mt 7,15)
We have to be wary of
these characters because the world is now awash with false prophets
and demagogues. It even looks like we have an infestation. Whether
we look at the fields of politics, business, the sciences, sports
and entertainment, and yes, even in religion, we can readily find
dishonest and corrupt leaders, false prophets and lying teachers.
It actually should be no
surprise. Since time immemorial, and even during the time of Christ,
demagogues proliferated. Our human condition, if not grounded on
God, is vulnerable to it. We can´t help it. Our world can easily
produce the pertinent elements and factors that give rise to them.
And we can never run out of potential materials.
In this, we have received
enough warnings from Sacred Scripture. “Beloved,” St. John, for
example, in his first letter tells us, “do not believe every spirit,
but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; for many false
prophets have gone out into the world.” (4,1)
There are many kinds of
spirits roaming around the world, and we have to learn how to
discern them. There is the spirit of God, the spirit of Christ as
opposed to the antichrist. There is also the evil spirit, and the
spirit of the world that is dominated by the evil one. There is also
the spirit of the flesh.
St. John was explicit as
to which spirit is proper to us. “By this you know the Spirit of
God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the
flesh is of God, and every spirit which does not confess Jesus is
not of God. This is the spirit of antichrist, of which you heard
that it was coming, and now it is in the world already.” (1 Jn
And among the most
dangerous false prophets we can have today are those clerics who get
into partisan politics. They clearly would not be following the
teaching and example of Christ who, even if he knew the shenanigans
in the political world of his time, did not make any definitive
stand on a specific political issue.
That’s because, I suppose,
Christ knew he would be adding unnecessary division among the people
if he would get into partisan politics. Politics is such a
complicated area where things can never be black and white, totally
right or totally wrong. It’s always grey, since the issues involved
are matters of opinion and preferences that can give rise to a
variety of different and even conflicting positions of the people.
The mixture of good and
evil in politics, benefits and dangers are so intertwined that to
separate one from the other would practically be impossible and most
likely be more harmful than helpful.
Perhaps that’s one of the
reasons why Christ talked about the parable of the wheat and the
weeds. (cfr. Mt 13,24-30) It would not be wise and prudent,
according to the lesson of that parable, to uproot the weeds at the
moment since the wheat may also be uprooted. We just have to wait
for the harvest, the final reckoning, when the due separation can be
In the meantime, we just
have to be patient, even as we also should try to purify and clarify
things, but done always in a Christian spirit, that is, with charity
and cordiality, with willingness to suffer the consequences of evil,
without bitterness, anger and the impulse for revenge.