Dealing with Spirits of False Doctrine and Bitterness
The Carpenter Ant has a diabolical enemy – the parasitic fungi of the genus Cordyceps, which manipulates the behavior of their host, the ant, in order to increase their own chances of reproducing. The spores of the fungus attach themselves to the external surface of the ant, where they germinate. They then enter the ant’s body through the tracheae (the tubes through which insects breathe), via holes in the exoskeleton called spiracles. Fine fungal filaments called mycelia then start to grow inside the ant’s body cavity, absorbing the host’s soft tissues but avoiding its vital organs.
When the fungus is ready to sporulate, the mycelia grow into the ant’s brain. The fungus then produces chemicals, which act on the host’s brain and alter its perception of pheromones. This causes the ant to climb a plant and, upon reaching the top, to clamp its mandibles around a leaf or leaf stem, thus securing it firmly to what will be its final resting place. The fungus then devours the ant’s brain, killing the host. Once an ant has died, the fungus sprouts from its head and produces a pod of spores, which are fired at night on to the forest floor, where they can infect other ants. The fruiting bodies of the fungus sprout from the ant’s head, through gaps in the joints of the exoskeleton. Once mature, the fruiting bodies burst, releasing clusters of capsules into the air. These in turn explode on their descent, spreading airborne spores over the surrounding area. These spores then infect other ants, completing the life cycle of the fungus. Depending on the type of fungus and the number of infecting spores, death of an infected insect takes between 4-10 days.
The macabre part of this fungi invasion into the ant’s body is the ability the fungi has to take over the brain of its host and instructs the ant to climb to the heights and to anchor itself to a stem so that once death comes and the fungi sprout from the body of the ant the fungi’s spores will be high in the air for the proliferation of their airborne spores over as widely an area as possible. James Groce once wrote, “I see in this ant/Cordycep situation a kinship to the proliferation of false doctrine and also the power of the root of bitterness.
False doctrines and bitterness have a power behind the vessel; a power of not only destruction to the host but also to any others contaminated. Few people realize that while the stone idol is nothing that it nevertheless has a power behind the image. Satan’s seed planting is an operation that is designed to steal, kill or destroy the seed sower and the fertile ground into which it is sown. No wonder there are such powerful warnings in the Bible concerning these two destructive forces of false doctrine and bitterness.”
If you are a leader there will be many “seeds” hurled at you that will harm you if they are allowed to germinate in your mind. Bitterness, anger, malice, wrath, hatred, variance, envy, lust, strife, retribution, and many other things can arise within your heart as a result of things that can be hurled at you. One great way to resist these harmful seeds is accountability. Another is to be proactive about pursuing your future goals and aspirations so as not to become distracted along the journey. Another of course is to stay on top of your close relationship with God. Believe it or not a mentor can greatly help you in each of these and other areas.
This article “Dealing with Spirits of False Doctrine and Bitterness” by Fred Childs was excerpted from: www.churchmentor.net website, March 2012. It may be used for study & research purposes only.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”