Sunday, April 8, 2012

A Therapeutic Gospel-A. King

            In the same way that the first presentation of an aspect of the gospel was in part, similar to the therapeutic gospel, this second clip more fully takes on the features of this counterfeit gospel.  What makes this presentation a little more difficult to see through is that it is seemingly based off of Scripture, specifically Romans 12:1-2 about the renewing of one’s mind.  In this short presentation, the pastor describes how one needs to get rid of the things that weigh the mind down and to completely free the mind so that it can be renewed.  The pastor also says that one has to have the “mindset to be blessed” and that one has to “decide to be blessed.”  All of this, he claims, is an “act of your own will.”  Unfortunately, despite all of the benefits and good feelings one might get from thinking about freeing the mind, this teaching is more of a “fill’er up gospel” that is a form of the therapeutic gospel.
            One curious statement that the pastor makes is that to be joyful, one has to put oneself in that mindset.  However, as Trevin Wax states, one really only finds true joy in God alone.  While renewing one’s mind for the better does not sound like a terrible counterfeit gospel, it is the emphasis the pastor places on how one changes their own mindset and can control it that is misplaced.  The pastor treats all the things that are not going well in our lives or the things we struggle with as symptoms of a bogged down mind and that all we need to do is to leave all those things behind and that it is simply an act of the will.  Despite the pastor’s use of Scripture, his presentation, whether he meant it or not, completely took God’s redeeming work out of the equation and his work in our lives into just something that we did as an act of our own will.  Our sin is also not mentioned in depth or the fact that we need forgiveness and redemption from our sinful state and that Jesus is the true catalyst for the renewing of our mind and keeping it on that path.  While we may be able to temporarily change our ways and not conform to the world, it will only be for a short time if it is not firmly placed in the foundation of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Thus, unless we firmly understand the gospel as described pointedly in the book, Counterfeit Gospels, we may be sidetracked by gospels that will only leave us confused and ultimately unsatisfied.

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