When Our Blessed Lord warns us to “Beware of false prophets,” He is not warning us about immoral or perverted priests, or lazy or corrupt bishops. These men are wicked, and their wickedness should be exposed and dealt with. But there is a difference between a cleric who does not live the truth he teaches, and one who does not teach the true Faith. Better to have a thousand pastors who teach holiness but do not live it, than to have one morally upright man who tells us devilish lies and who tries to convince us that we should believe and live and worship as the Lord never commanded. These are the real false prophets because they teach not the truth of God but the fancy of their own mind.
So when Our Lord Jesus says “Beware of false prophets,” He is urging us to watch out for those pastors and preachers, bishops and priests in our own midst; those who are part of our communion fellowship. They urge unity at the expense of integrity, and let false teaching and false worship live alongside the truth. They are more impressed with the world’s standard of success than with the kingdom of God. They quickly assign tradition to the trash heap and favor newer, better, more modern ways. And they not only allow but encourage and even insist on innovations which sweep away what we have received, what our ancestors knew and believed, and what we must rely on in time of need.
“Beware of them,” our Jesus says, “because they partake of your communion, yet with their words they destroy it. They urge you not to get so riled, yet they rile you up. They speak of peace, but they persecute the true bringers of My peace. So beware of them. For these are the ones who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”
An excerpt from a sermon preached in 2004 on Mt 7.15-21.