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How to Help People
Who Drain You of Your Time, Energy and Patience


Dr. M. Scott Peck (Road Less Traveled) wrote a book, People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil, which declares that evil people truly exist.  Kingdom Zoology: Dealing with the Wolves, Serpents and Swine in Your Life hitchhikes off this theme.

Jesus taught that some people were wolves, some were foxes, some were goats and some were swine. In fact at one point He said, "Donít throw your pearls before swine." It begs the questions: Who are these people? How will we recognize them? How can we tell who's who without being judgmental? And what do we do with all this information?

Using humor, personal vulnerability and hard-hitting insights from Scripture, Joel Freeman clarifies that nature, purpose, and proper use of discernment. As you read this unique book you'll:

  1. Understand the difference between suspicion and discernment when trying to interpret the actions of others.
  2. Take a guilt-free look at your own tendency to judge and find practical solutions for this universal dilemma.
  3. Understand what causes churches, religious organizations, and partnerships to split and how to be part of the solution, not the problem.
  4. Learn to deal positively with wolf-like inclinations found in all of us.
  5. Discover the five categories of fools in the Hebrew language. It will make the book of Proverbs come alive for you.

If you deal with people (and who doesn't), you'll appreciate Joel Freeman's insights into human nature. In Kingdom Zoology you'll probably even learn a little about yourself. By the way, Joel is president of The Freeman Instituteô and has written four other books. Plus Freeman facilitates a number of seminar programs dealing with interpersonal relationships.

By the way, Dr Freeman's books are currently in 28 foreign translation editions. Check out the open letter inviting you to participate in more of these foreign translation projects.



-- or continue reading --

K I N G D O M     Z O O L O G Y


Foreword by Chuck Smith

INTRODUCTION Ė Scratching Where You Itch

  1. Animated Animalism
  2. The Swine Test
  3. Relative Beings
  4. In Praise of (a Little) Rudeness
  5. Famous Last Words
  6. Malice in Wonderland
  7. Legend in My Own Mind
  8. Sheepish in Wolf Country
  9. Heifers Without a Cause
  10. South End of a North-bound Mule
  11. Laughing Hyenas
  12. Lemmings to the Sea
  13. Run Like a Rat
  14. Harumpf!
  15. Suspicious Minds
  16. Professional Bloodsuckers
  17. Germ Warfare
  18. Punch Drunk
  19. The Desperation Factor


  1. Foolís Gold
  2. How to Guard Against the Defilement of Listening to an Evil Report
  3. Animal House


"Understanding discernment was never so much fun!"

Kingdom Zoology uses humor, personal insight and scripture to clarify the nature, purpose and proper use of discernment. "

Publishers Weekly
"Joel Freeman is unique in his ability to communicate biblical truth in creative ways. In this challenging book, Joel provides every person with the vital information needed to develop their own spiritual discernment as they seek to evaluate and maintain quality in Christian relationships. Understanding spiritual discernment was never so which fun! "
Dr. Tony Evans, Senior Pastor, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship
"In his usual entertaining but provocative style, Dr. Joel Freeman introduces us to the 'animals' that make kingdom living so difficult and dangerous for all of us. Every reader will discover a great deal of practical biblical counsel in these fascinating chapters. I especially like the authorís penetrating study of the 'fool' as found it the book of Proverbs. It's the best I've ever seen."
Warren Wiersbe, Author and Bible Teacher
"It my life I have tried to help everyone who needs help and to be kind to everyone I come in contact with. I have discovered, though, that not everyone who comes to me comes for help. Some come to destroy. It is in these cases we must ask for God's direction and discernment. Little is said in the Christian community about how to identify or what to do with those whose direction is destruction. Prior to Kingdom Zoology, we were guided only by a feeling it our stomach. With his usual quick wit, Joel Freeman presents an entertaining case for spiritual discernment. "
Florence Littauer, Author and Speaker
"All the worldís a zoo,' says Joel Freeman, slightly revising Shakespeare. For Christians, it seems, 'All the church is the zoo,' if I might revise Freeman. God, of course, is the zoo's Grand Curator who will, in time, revise us all. This is Freeman's promise and he keeps that promise in Kingdom Zoology. So find your old cage, let God in, read and be revised; itís for your own good."
Calvin Miller, Author, The Singer Trilogy
"Peter says that some people behave like animals. They 'act by instinct, like wild animals.' All of us are capable of acting like animals, not as men and women made in the image of God. In Kingdom Zoology, Joel Freeman has a sharp eye for brutish behavior, and in this colorful book he warns us to watch out for it. "
Donald Cole, Radio Pastor (Moody Broadcasting Network)


A N I M A T E D    A N I M A L I S M

Chapter One

The church is something like Noahís ark.
If it werenít for the storm outside, you couldnít
stand the smell inside.
- Anonymous

I like cartoons. Mickey Mouse. Donald Duck. Woody Woodpecker. Road Runner. The Coyote. Porky Pig. Bugs Bunny.

"Hey, whatís up, Doc?"

"W-Well, I guess w-what attracts me to cartoons is th-that so many of th-them are about animals th-that behave l-like human beings."

Well said. Thanks for your perspective, Porky. Itís so true. I laugh when Donald Duck gets flustered about something. His reactions are so human-like. Itís funny to watch the Road Runner bait the trap for the Coyote. I get a vicarious thrill every time he falls off a cliff. His fixation with the Road Runner causes him to lose touch with reality. The Coyote is so stupid sometimes - just like us humans.

On the flip side, however, there is a grim reality - humans behave like animals. Sly, like a fox. Proud like a peacock. Stubborn, like a mule. Waiting to strike, like a snake.

One begins to wonder if there is anybody out there who truly has the best interests of others at heart. Are there any candidates? How about someone who behaves like a sheep?

Recently, I performed a wedding ceremony one a large party boat. It was a fancy schmancy, black-tie event that cruised out of Baltimoreís Inner Harbor. During the course of the afternoon, I met a fascinating man. He was in his late fifties. He had sparkling eyes that communicated a mixture of hard living and boyish mischief. I primed the pump and sat back to listen to this self-made man Iíll call Taylor.

He had a no-nonsense, rough edge to him. With spicy language he told stories about gun deals he had made with anti-government, terrorist-type men in Central and South America through the years. As a pilot with a private plane, Taylor had carved out quite a niche for himself in the seedy underworld of on-the-edge-of-your-seat danger and millions of dollars. It didnít take long for me to realize that his life experience was excellent grist for the movie mill. It was almost unbelievable.

" I was in El Salvador doing a deal." He said. "We all had pistols stuffed in our belts. I knew that anyone of those men could blow me away in an instant. Yet I felt safer there than if I was in the main street of my hometown. I turned to those guys and pointed to each one saying, ĎListen, Iím an s.o.b., youíre an s.o.b., youíre an s.o.b., youíre an s.o.b. and youíre an s.o.b. Now that we all know what we are, letís do businessí"

Taylor laughed enthusiastically and then paused. He looked intently into my eyes.  "Joel, itís not the s.o.bís of the world you have to watch out for," he said. "You always know where you stand with them. Itís the do-gooders you have to be careful about. Theyíll smile to your face and then stab you when you turn your back."

What Taylor said that day has made me think. When viewed from an earth-bound perspective, his philosophy holds up to the test of reality in many ways. I donít know about your experience, but most of the raw deals I have encountered in life have been perpetrated by the type of people who are prone to slap "Iím Not Perfect, Just Forgiven" bumper stickers on their cars. It could almost make me a semi-paranoid, constantly-looking-over-my-shoulder type of guy. Cynical. Always searching of the dark, shadowy side of people.

I have looked into the tearful eyes of pastors whose reputations have been smeared by other pastors. Iíve talked with business people who have been stiffed by Christians promising to pay their bills. People involved in street ministry have been burned time and time again by ex-cons that got jailhouse religion.

And something saddens me even more when I consider all this. I have hurt people in the name of Christianity. I have been a perpetrator of heartache. It is almost frightening to realize my own capacity when it comes to evil. Like Taylor said, "Itís the do-gooders you have to be careful about."

Whatís Lurking Under the SheepskinsÖ

Human beings are a puzzle. Just when you think youíve got them figured out, one of them does something completely out of character and youíre left scratching your head.

Since most of our emotional pain involves people it is vital for us to understand whatís behind their actions and words. Thatís why I wrote this book. Kingdom Zoology is about discernment. Itís about you and me. Itís the product of much study and heartache in my interactions with various types of people. My prayer is that this book will provide the tools for you to deepen your understanding about dealing with those who have a destructive, evil proclivity.

To a certain extent, this book evolved from the harsh experiences with really only a hand full of people. People, who, on the surface, had all the appearances of Christian love and character, but later on caused profound damage within the church. With the advantage of hindsight, I can see clearly now that underneath those sheepskins lurked ravenous wolves. Much of what I write has been filtered though tears.

I hope, though, that I never become jaded. The vast majority of church people I have worked with have been wonderful. They love the Word, work hard and patiently put up with my many flagrant displays of immaturity and zeal. Most Christians are terrific people!

My prayer to God through the years has been something like this: "Lord, please protect our church from wolves, pigs, serpents or goats. Just send sheep. Sleepy sheep. Happy sheep. Neurotic sheep. Wounded sheep. Noisy sheep. Boring sheep. Backslidden sheep. White sheep. Black sheep. Well, you get the picture. Thanks for listening."

This book is not written from an ivory tower of perfection. I am hopeful about Godís gracious work in all our lives. We should not fear taking risks with people who seem to be wolf-like. Nor should we be self-conscious in our relationships with others. It is important, however, for us to be aware of the fact that there are distinctive differences between people when it comes to the motivations of the heart.

If at times my words seem to take on a judgmental tone, remember that behind these sentences beats a merciful heart. It has been said that the most ardent evangelists of the good may be those who have had close encounters with evil.

I like sheep, but sometimes, even sheep have sharp teeth.

Points to Ponder

  1. Do you, like Taylor, feel that "nice guys" can be the most dangerous? If so, how has that affected your opinion of people in general?
  2. Have you noticed "wolf-like" tendencies in yourself? Are you tempted to justify any shortcomings with excuses borrowed from "dog-eat-dog" philosophy (e.g., "Youíve gotta look out for #1" or "Nice guys finish last")?


"WAIT! Before ordering this book
I want to check out Dr. Freeman's
other four books."


     By the way, Dr. Freeman's books are currently in 28 foreign translation editions. Check out the open letter inviting you to participate in more of these foreign translation projects.



"Dealing  With  People  Who  Drive  You  Crazy!"ģ
The Freeman Instituteô Box 305, Gambrills, Maryland 21054
TEL 410-729-4011   CELL 410-991-9718   FAX 410-729-0353


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