Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Therapeutic Gospel-D. Keef

            “You will become what you believe.”  This quote almost entirely sums up the whole of the content of this twenty-five minute sermon.  Most of it is comprised with numerous illustrations and examples of how someone is whatever they believe.  Within the same point, the speaker proves his assertion using examples of both sinful behavior and examples of a positive lifestyle.  Any change to someone’s condition will not be seen until they already believe it has already happened, which is how the speaker explains what faith is.
            Faith is necessary because belief can never come without it, and if belief in oneself never comes, the unnamed obstacle can never be overcome.   If that is the case, as the speaker claims, “the obstacle looks like you’ll never accomplish your dreams.”  Restoration through belief is the only way to overcome the obstacle keeping someone from their dreams.  The speaker simplifies the process even more by explaining how all the promises of God already belong to everyone. They just have to take them.  This includes salvation.  He uses 3 John 2, when it says, “I wish above all things that you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers,” to prove his case, interpreting it as in order to be free on the outside, one must be free on the inside.
            If it were only that easy, there would probably many more Christians in the world, because there are an awful lot of people who honestly believe that they have salvation but are as far from it as the worst of sinners.  This counterfeit gospel sounds more like a motivational seminar than a biblical sermon.  The fall is only alluded to as an obstacle in the way of people’s dreams, which destroys the gospel story.  Even worse, the speaker makes it sound like sinners have the power within themselves to overcome their fallen state.  This totally eliminates the gospel announcement.
            Since restoration comes through belief in one’s own worth and potential and not true faith and repentance, this counterfeit is most aligned with the therapeutic gospel.  The fall is lessened; Christ’s sacrifice is diminished; judgment is not even much of a threat.  The only aspect that seems to be magnified is human worth and woefully so. This therapeutic gospel is filled with mostly fluff and motivational rhetoric, making it sound extremely attractive, but the meat of it offers almost nothing.

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