Even if the Apostle Paul hadn’t warned us about the dangers of false “Christian” leaders infiltrating the flock, William Bradford, the first governor of Plymouth colony, did in his book Plymouth Plantation:
In Chapter Five, Bradford discusses a minister named John Lyford who arrived a few years after Plymouth was founded. Lyford was the textbook example of an SJW.
He immediately sought to become a church member upon arrival and after that started defending “delinquents” in the colony while holding secret meetings and spreading gossip. His plan of course was to divide the community and start a separate church he would control.
He was caught sending slanderous letters to England about people in the colony, on top of intercepting his own friends’ letters and annotating them before resealing them. Like a true social justice warrior, Lyford lied and denied he wrote the letters until they were produced. He then engaged in theatrical displays of repentance and pleas for forgiveness to the point where he generated sympathy among colony members – only to secretly write letters to England defending his behavior.
It is then that Lyford’s wife reveals to Bradford her husband’s history back home in England and Ireland as a pathological liar and philander to the point where she couldn’t have a female servant in the house because he slept with all the others. This was on top of lying to her about fathering a bastard child prior to their marriage. Then men from England report to Bradford that while “counseling” a young man contemplating marriage, Leyford met the girl in private and raped her, who later married the young man without telling him until afterwards.
Bradford writes that after they expelled him from Plymouth, Lyford proceeded to abandon all his friends that still stuck with him and died shortly afterwards in Virginia.
There’s a reason why St. Paul and other apostles warned about false teachers in their letters.They have been a threat to the church since the beginning, anywhere a group of Christians gather. What we’re experiencing today is not unique. The question is whether a body of believers under attack or being infiltrated are led by strong men with the moral courage to identify, confront, and cast the wolves out, or cowards who have exchanged truth for niceness.
Predators not only go where the prey is, they have a very finely attuned understand of how to go about putting themselves in position to obtain it. Always be very, very dubious of any enthusiastic new member who is extremely helpful and assiduously pursues leadership and other positions of influence.
The Puritans had the sense to expel this predator. Unfortunately, and despite the Biblical admonition, most modern churches won’t expel anyone, not for adultery, not for abortion, and not for axe-murdering.