BY THE LATE ELDER B. E. ECHOLS
While I hope that none of the readers of this article are in either of these two classes of church folk, I am just wondering if you are concerned enough about the matter to make a little investigation to find out or to make sure you arc not. My what a classification for any Christian–a “Church Grasshopper or Porcupine Christian ” possibly both! I am sure that if anyone could be made to see that he is a “Church Grasshopper” or a “Porcupine Chiistian “he would not want to remain so any longer than it would take for him to repent pray through and get in line with God’s Word, and in harmony with the local church or the organization with which he is affiliated.
Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh despise dominion and speak evil of dignities. Yet Michael the archangel when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses durst not bring
against him a railing accusation but said, The Lord rebuke thee. But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally as brute beasts in those things they corrupt themselves.
Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity when they feast with
you feeding themselves without fear: clouds they a e without water carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth without fruit twice deed plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea foaming out their
own shame; wandering stars to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. And Enoch also the seventh from Adam prophesied of these saying Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints To
execute judgment upon all and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. These arc murmurers complainers walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. But beloved remember ye tile words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; I low that they told you there should be mockers in the last time who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. I These be they who separate themselves, sensual having not the Spirit. (Jude 1:8-19)
That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (Ephesians 4:14)
When we think of a grasshopper our minds vision an orthopterous (four-winged) insect leaping from one blade of grass to another. The grasshopper has no certain place of abode and never spends two nights
at the same place. It is continually hopping sometimes flying from place to place; and if it should pause to cat or rest it will leave anything it is enjoying if disturbed or approached too closely. These “church grasshoppers” act much the same way whether they are preachers or laymen Many of them never can find a church preacher or organization good enough for themselves. They are continually hopping from one local church to another; or from one church organization to another or from one pastorale to another. Grasshopper pastors and roaming (s)aints never find anything good enough to entice then to settle down and abide there as they should. John 15:4-7. If these “Church Grasshoppers” slay in one location long enough to be enjoying the fellowship of God’s people and to be feasting on some of the good spiritual food served by the pastor and Sunday school teachers they will hop away as soon as they are approached about what they believe or how they are living As Jude writes, they are “Wandering stars, to whom is reserved the
blackness of darkness forever filthy dreamers (who) defile the flesh (other carnal church folk) despise dominion and speak evil of dignities ” They go (hop) “in the way of Cain and run greedily after the error of
Balaam for reward and perish in the gainsaying of Core (Korah).” A poor grasshopper seldom senses danger until it is too late for it to escape or save itself. The same thing is true with these poor ignorant “church grasshoppers,” whether (s)aint or preacher. They need to learn to look and make sure where they are jumping before they HOP–for their own good and the good of all concerned.
These “church grasshoppers” are often like the “raging waves of the sea” (Jude 1:13), which rage on and on, never looking back until they have spent all their force and have dwindled into nothing. If you want
a “Church Hobo Diploma” or a record of being “good for nothing,” just let the flesh, the devil, or some wandering (s)aint or preacher make a “church grasshopper” out of you. You will soon be of no benefit to
yourself, to the church, or to God. The devil would not be too much enthused about having you in his gang; for he would always be afraid that you might, at any moment, HOP off somewhere else or to another
church. It is hard for the devil, or a preacher either, to keep up with such folk, and keep a continual vigil over them; for they have no certain abiding place and nothing particular m view.
Another thing, a grasshopper is continually leaving some of the substance which it has been feeding on, or that it has taken into its stomach, along in the path which it travels. In other words, it is continually messing up things wherever it goes or travels. So it is with these “church grasshoppers,” whether (s)aint or preacher. They “are spots in your feasts of charity,” (Jude 1:12), and are continually “foaming out their own shame,” (Jude 1:13) their ideas, false professions, false doctrines, hypocritical claims, disgruntled
Then, one of the most unfortunate and foolish traits of the grasshopper is, it will eat almost anything that is green, if it cannot get what it likes best. So it is with these “church grasshoppers”-(s)aints or preachers who are “feeding themselves WITHOUT FEAR,” (Jude 1:12). They will knowingly fellowship sin and false doctrines (Eph. 5:11) in order not to be too much obligated with the financial burdens of any certain
church or organization, and to be free to act and go where they please. As Jude further states, “They corrupt themselves,” (Jude 1:10) with all these ungodly conditions and teachings of outlaw preachers and
organizations, or by worshipping with certain “free Pentecostal folk.” (Please do not understand me to be making reference to any certain preacher or organization; neither do I include all FREE Pentecostal
preachers and assemblies in the foregoing statement.) But “woe unto them! (these grasshopper church folk and preachers) for they have gone in the WAY of Cain, and ran greedily after the ERROR of Balaam for
reward, and perished in the GAINSAYING of Core (Korah),” one of the men whom the Lord dropped right into Hell alive because he would not respect and obey Moses as God’s chosen leader of Israel. See Num. 16:2634 and Jude 1:11,14-19.
How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. (1 Corinthians
He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth,
supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. (1 Timothy 6:4,5)
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that arc good, Traitors heady, highminded lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort arc they which creep into houses and lead captive silly women laden with sins led away with divers lusts Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men as [heirs also was. But thou hast fully known my doctrine manner of life purpose faith longsuffering charily patience Persecutions afflictions which came unto me al Antioch at Iconium at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse deceiving and being deceived. (2 Timothy 3:1-13)
The porcupine is a RODENT (gnawing) quadruped (four-legged) animal that is covered with long THORN-LIKE spines mixed with BRISTLY hair which the animal can erect at pleasure to defend itself with or prick
whatever may come near it.
First we notice that the porcupine is a rodent or GNAWING animal. These “porcupine church folk and preachers” are continually gnawing on some unrevealed prophecy or portion of scripture that has no definite bearing on or application to what they would like to apply it. I suppose trial some of them who were gnawing on Mussolini thinking that they were gnawing on the Antichrist have moved over to Stalin of Russia or someone else by this time. They must gnaw on something (Col. 2:18) if it is nothing but some nonessential or traditional doctrine the curriculum of some Bible School the manner in which some pastor conducts his services or the procedures and regulations of some organization.
Very of ten you will find “Porcupine church folk and preachers” gnawing on some official of our various associations or on the bylaws and constitutions which they are to be governed by–gnawing on secretaries
of assemblies and organizations presbyters district eiders editors of the official papers on certain evangelists and Bible teachers deacons Sunday school superintendents some poor struggling weak saint or
preacher etc. Some of them like to gnaw on the bones of (spiritually) dead (s)aints dead preachers dead churches and tie d associations IN and OUT of the Pentecostal ranks. Why anyone will continually gnaw on
the dry bones of some (spiritually) dead (s)aint dead preacher or dead church is more than I can explain–other than he is a “porcupine (s)aint or preacher ” and that it is just simply his nature to gnaw on
Then, we have those who are all the time gnawing on these hairsplitting points and ideas concerning the name some assembly or association should be called or known by the keeping of Sunday for the Sabbath or
the day of worship, the eating of pork whether tithing is to be considered an institution of the law or grace how many names and titles of Jesus Christ to include in the formula for water baptism etc. In reality it does not particularly matter how many titles of Christ arc used in baptism as long as the name of Jesus is included and NOT left out; neither does it mailer too much about the keeping of the
Sabbath and the caring of pork just so we do not cause others to stumble by displaying our liberty concerning these things. See Rom. 14:1-6, 13, 23.
The Second lining we notice about the porcupine is those “thorn- like spines.” These “porcupine Christians” will surely prick you with their thorny assertions and denunciations if your singing, testifying,
preaching, teaching or writings rub their hair the wrong way. You must not even insinuate in any way that they are not what they profess to be or should be as a Christian or church member. You must not speak to
them against the chewing of tobacco, dipping snuff, drinking Cokes, wearing short-sleeve dresses or blouses, the reading of novels, wild-west stories, funny papers, comic and ungodly magazines, short skirts,
low- neck dresses, women wearing socks or going on the streets and to church barelegged (like the savage tribe-women of Africa), women cropping and crimping their hair, using rouge, makeup of all kinds, the
wearing of jewelry, women wearing slacks as being an abomination before God and some men (Deut. 22:5), jellybean men and preachers with their “snooty mustache” and attractive displays of folded silk handkerchiefs, public bathing of both sexes together, the tuning in on World Series ball games and comic radio broadcasts, Christians courting or marrying sinners; the denouncing of this practice of preachers proselytizing for organizations and all this wire-pulling for official positions and to secure churches and parsonages for certain associations to be carnal and devilish in God’s sight; or speaking against debating and arguing over conflicting views and misunderstandings concerning the Scriptures. When “Porcupine (S)aints and Preachers” are present are you will likely get pricked by some or all of them. Their pricking spines can be seen bristling up as soon as one begins to denounce such things.
PORCUPINE CHRISTIANS will not accept nor allow one to show up their backslidings, deceits, shams, carnalities, jealousy toward other saints and preachers and organizations, compromising spirits, disobediences, vanities, and formal programs of attractive singing and showy, Spiritless, damnable music without resenting with much ugly bristling and painful pricking. May God give us more preachers, teachers, writers, elders, deacons, Sunday school teachers, and church folk who will denounce these things regardless of these opposing and resenting “Porcupine Christians,” (See Isa. 58:1; II Cor. 12:9 and Phil. 4:13) Also preachers and deacons who will not allow children to make a “play pen” or “race track” out of the church, neither fellowship sin and worldliness in any degree. Psa. 94:16,17.
THIRD and last, we notice the bristling hair that is mixed with these pricking spines on the porcupine’s back. This bristling hair on its back denotes the “Porcupine Christian’s” disapproval of the preacher
and teacher who shows up his shortcomings and failures–the dealing with making mention of those things which he is NOT doing. His bristles begin to stick up when one goes to preaching or teaching on tithing
one’s income, being a liberal and cheerful giver, attending church and Sunday school regularly, spending much time in prayer and the systematic conduction of family worship, the doing of more personal
work, the need of helping to keep the church clean and repaired, not enough of visiting the sick, acts of charity lacking, sacrificing for God’s cause profitable and needed, that one should forsake all to
follow or obey the Lord, denying and humbling one’s self to be the best policy for any Christian, reading the Scriptures daily and available Christian literature, etc. The raising or the “Porcupine Christian’s”
bristling hair is to inform you that what he does or does not do is none of your business, nor God’s either–just a matter of his own choosing and good pleasure. The Lord must have had these “Porcupine
(S)aints and Preachers” in mind when He created the poor little porcupine.
A Final Exhortation
There is no doubt but what these “Church Grasshoppers and Porcupine Christians” become quite a problem at times and prove to be quite an annoyance too; but we, who are filled with God’s Spirit and love,
should be longsuffering and deal gently with them. II Tim. 2:24. The
Good Lord quite often causes some of them to see or discover their unscriptural ideas and their stubborn, unbecoming anti ungodly dispositions-and they repent and become GOOD saints, preachers, teachers, officials, secretaries, etc., by the grace of God.
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