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The Counterfeiter

J.M. Diener

June 2024

As I often present seminars on Christian world view, I try to keep up with world view trends by reading different analyses provided by various authors. One that I read recently is The Sexual Revolution: History, Ideology, Power by Bishop Peter J. Elliott (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2023). In it he tracks the development of the sexual revolution from its inception in the Enlightenment period to the excesses that we live with today. As I was reading this, I came to a deeper understanding of how the Adversary functions. If we look at history, we notice that each time God does something new and amazing, the Adversary comes up with a counterfeit that even the elect fall for. Here three examples:

Once Christ set up his Kingdom not of this world, within 300 years the western Church had allied itself with the emperor, becoming a political entity that it has never been truly freed from, despite major efforts during the Reformation to do so.

As an answer to the eastern Church’s monastic and non-worldly growth, Islam was launched at around A.D. 600, a very clever and effective copy of Judaism and Christianity cloaked in Arab garb. As that religion evolved, its marriage of religion and political power resulted in the corruption and destruction of eastern Christianity. To this day it continues its ideological assault on Christianity, seeking to supplant it.

When the Reformation rolled around, the Adversary quickly incited very intelligent men to create the Enlightenment, which affirms the human dignity, freedom, thought, and the priesthood of all humans1 found in the Reformation, but completely strips these ideas of their Christian foundation while elevating human reason to the place of godhood. We still suffer from this humanism as it evolved over the years, resulting in the western secular societies we now inhabit. This insidious pseudo-Christianity has infiltrated the Church, as many wise authors continue to point out.2

The Gospel of Christ continues to be counterfeited and corrupted by the Adversary in many and sundry ways, from the fatalism of the Hyper-Calvinist to the Mary worship of the Roman Catholic to the search for worldly wealth by the Prosperity Gospel preacher. Each of these looks good, looks helpful, looks positive, looks like it can draw us to God; but each is a counterfeit that makes us look to someone or something other than the Jesus Christ of the plain reading of Scripture. We must be aware and wise as we read the Word, since we are aware of the Adversary’s designs (2Co. 2:11), knowing he comes but to steal and destroy (Jn. 10:10). Let us, therefore, be as cunning as serpents, but innocent as doves (Mt. 10:16), clinging to the plain reading of the biblical text and seeking to model Christ in that amazingly unique way he has made each of us, all the while striving towards the unity of the body, as driven by the Holy Spirit (Jn. 17:20-21; Eph. 4:1-7).

  • 1

    See, for example, Francis Shaeffer, Nancy Pearcy, S.M. Wibberley, and the above-mentioned Bishop Elliott.

  • 2

    See, for example, Francis Shaeffer, Nancy Pearcy, S.M. Wibberley, and the above-mentioned Bishop Elliott.

How to cite this document (MLA):

Diener, J.M. “The Counterfeiter”. J.M. Diener’s Writings: Pondering the Master. June 2024. <>. Accessed: Today’s date.

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