I drafted this post shortly after the brouhaha over shai linne’s Fal$e Teacher$ had come out a processed in a number of posts, including mine. But then, I never got around to posting it. Though the dust over his song has settled, I was reminded yesterday that the teaching he was addressing has not. I’m thankful that the song generated a resurgence of talk about teachers that promote these philosophies. I myself have written a number of articles on related to the perverse nature of this teaching. As a former endorser of such teaching, I would hope that if I can just articulate why this teaching puts a corrupt twist on scripture then people will wise up.
I’m especially concerned because of the enslaving nature of such teaching. One of my FB friends had this to say about the burdening nature;
Prosperity Gospel teachers bind up sheep as slaves imprisoned to fear, guilt, disappointment and disillusionment when God does not respond as the teachers promise he will. The TRUTH is supposed to set people FREE–NOT imprison them in guilt, shame, fear, etc…
You can argue it’s God all you want, but this runs so contradictory to the freedom that Christ came to provide. His truth is based on grace that we undeservedly obtain because of the Father’s love that he lavished on us through the Son. Anyone reading Ephesians 1 and with no agenda, can see that we do not have to earn favor through faith or giving. Favor comes through Christ. Anyone willing to humbly invest in the study of scripture that seeks to understand the whole message of 66 books will come to the conclusion that the reaping, sowing, word proclamation so rampant in these circles is NOT the focus of scripture. Christ is the focus as I wrote about here.
There are those who won’t see it, even worse insist that the teachers like Benny Hinn, T.D. Jakes, Paula White and the like are godly servants and deserving of their loyalty. They have subscribed to whatever philosophies are being espoused and ridicule the concerns being expressed as a product of haters.
I came across this TED video from Leslie Morgan Steiner, a victim of domestic violence. She herself was in a physically abusive marriage for a few years, taking beatings from her husband at least twice a week. And this was not some insipid, talentless woman. She had an MBA and had a lucrative career in Fortune 500 companies. She was the last person you would think would tolerate an abusive situation with offenses so repeated that it became second nature to the marriage.
The main focus of this 15 minute talk was to address the question of why battered spouses stay with the abuser. One thing she said jumped out at me “I didn’t know I was abused”. It didn’t matter that she had a gun held to her head several times from the man she loved and claimed to love her. It didn’t matter that she suffered emotional degradation on a regular basis. She didn’t see it as abuse.
Friends, I can’t help but see the correlation with those who are imprisoned to prosperity and WoF teaching. With all the exposure, why do they stay? They submit to a philosophy that ensnares them into a weave of karma principles that exchanges grace for a persistent diet of self-proof for blessings earning. This, instead of resting in the completed work of Christ. They get beat up in the process of declaring freedom. They don’t know they are being abused.
But I’m reminded in scripture that it does really take the work of the Spirit to open eyes. And I pray that he does.