During my time working with victims of Hurricane Katrina, I talked to many people who had first suffered great loss to their homes during the storm and then even greater financial loss due to swindlers who claimed they could repair their homes but in reality took the money and ran. For many, losing their life’s savings was worse than losing their home.
Every day senior citizens fall for schemes and scams promoted by imposters who capture the trust of unsuspecting and gullible people regarding their money. Using promises of safe returns on their investments and/or putting their money in a safe place for their children; people willingly turn over all they spent a lifetime accumulating to con artists who are experts in deceiving people.
In every realm of life, there are people who make their living claiming to be someone they are not and able to do things they cannot do. The key to their success lies in their ability to mimic the genuine. As such, they are experts at being counterfeits. Without a trained eye and great wisdom, these charlatans will succeed in tricking people every time.
The worst imposters are those who manipulate people’s minds through false promises or use threats to get what they want. Those who are experts at mental manipulation prey upon people who are in a weakened state. They present themselves as a knight in shining armor or the messenger of gloom and doom who can provide deliverance—for a price.
Spiritual charlatans are nothing more than wolves in sheep’s clothing. These counterfeits play upon the hearts of naïve Christians whose only desire is to do the right thing and help others. The key to a charlatan’s success is their ability to present themselves as someone who can be trusted and believed. A charlatan appears to have all the credentials, expertise and recommendations to be genuine, but in reality everything they do and say is a lie.
My heart aches for those who have fallen under the spell of someone who presented themselves as the savior of a situation but in reality draw people’s faith away from THE Savior Jesus Christ. It pains me greatly when I see naïve and gullible Christians give their heart, soul, money and even their families to people or groups that promise them the moon but only deliver wilted flowers.
Just as worldly swindlers take people’s money and run, so spiritual charlatans take people’s spiritual dignity and trample it under their filthy feet. Woe unto those who through spiritual deceit and trickery destroy innocent lives who simply wanted to help others.
I have no tolerance for charlatans of any type, but especially those who parade around in long flowing robes making themselves out to be representatives of God but who in reality only serve themselves. Woe unto those who cast their spell on God’s people for the purpose of self enrichment, fame or gratification.
God help those who through spiritual intimidation scare God’s people into believing their sins are forgiven or their punishment reduced through financial means. Accepting bribes puts these charlatans at the top of the list as far as being most disgusting and dangerous. Jesus Christ paid the price for our sins and anything short of this is a lie.
Beware of those who appear to be too good to be true for they are frauds. Beware of those who through fair speeches and false promises deceive God’s elect. Both 2 Peter and Jude speak of these spiritual frauds arising in the last days and certainly Christianity is rife with them even today.