Matters of Faith: The Fight for Your Own Well-Being

By Rev. J. Loren Russell

“10 Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct – as irrational animals do – will destroy them. 11 Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion. 12 These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm – shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted – twice dead. 13 They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved for ever.”

Jude 10-13 NIV

There is an old saying that I understand to be from Native Americans that says, “Two natures beat within my breast, one is foul and the other blessed; One I love and one I hate, and the one I feed will dominate.” This expression accurately captures the good and evil side of man, even those who claim to have been saved and in a relationship with the Lord. Sometimes the things we want to do, we find ourselves not doing and the things we shouldn’t do, we find ourselves doing. We are at war within ourselves to do what’s right and against that which is wrong. That war still goes on within those who are in our congregations today. Some people who are part of the church are losing the war.

Verse four of the book of Jude says that some people crept (he could have called them creeps) into the congregations and have perverted the word of God. The grace that forgives sin was being used as a license for immorality and lewdness. They polluted their bodies, rejected authority and spoke slanderously of their leadership. Today, people are still polluting their bodies by consuming foreign and mind-altering substances. The author is specific when he points out how they corrupt themselves “as irrational animals do” whenever they encounter something they do not understand. Instead of trying to find a way to reach one accord, they cuss and fuss and raise all kind of Cain. In fact, scripture says that they are following in the way of Cain. Their selfishness and greed leads them to murdering their brethren like Cain murdered his brother Abel. If they don’t do it literally, they do it with their tongues.

In their quest to get their way, they are as guilty as the prophet Balaam who wanted so desperately to curse Israel that God used his donkey to get his attention. Sometimes, we are losing the war within us so badly that we need a jackass to get our attention also.

Just like the creeps Jude was talking about in his day, the creeps of today are blemishes at our feasts, our communion services and our baptisms because they’re predominant concerned is to feed their own selfish desires. Jude says they are clouds without rain and autumn trees with no fruit…, having died twice. They are wild waves, wondering stars that shed no light. They have been in the congregation a long time and should provide moisture in a dry land, yielding fruit in abundance to feed the hungry masses, bringing in plenty of fresh fish with every wave and shining light in the darkest of corners throughout the land. Yet all they do is stir up dust, spread moral filth, produce a lot of talk like the foam of a wave, and have no light to shine or share.

But there is hope for the creeps Jude was writing to and the modern-day creeps as well. And it’s not because they deserve it, nor because they have been so good. When the spirit of the Lord governs, the astounding promise from the greatest doxology in the Bible also belongs to them; “To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy – to the only God our savior be glory, majesty, power and authority through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore. Amen” (vv. 24-25 NIV).

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial Strategy & Consulting; an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx; creator/host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Monday’s 8:00 – 10:00 PM (626-226-1448) and author of Matters of Faith: The Book, an eBook available at

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