Monday, April 2, 2012

A Therapeutic Gospel-M. Baker

This sermon on the topic of accepting who you are as a child of God. The pastor starts by pointing out that many people are hurting today because of their low self-esteem and wrong self-image. He makes it clear that people are made in the image of God, and therefore are designed for perfection and success. All that is needed for happiness, according to the pastor, is for people to realize this image and internal perfection. He sums up his message by saying that God does not want people to feel down, but to realize that they are perfect and accepted by Him.
After critical analysis of this sermon, it is very evident to a firmly founded Christian that the truth is being distorted through this counterfeit. Wax would call this presentation of the gospel, the “Therapeutic Gospel.” This counterfeit is defined by Wax as confusing “our spiritual symptoms (a troubled marriage, anxiety, anger, addictions) with our spiritual disease (sin).” It is specifically carried out by means of “The Fill’er Up Gospel,” which makes God out to be like a gas station that will fill people up when we are down on ourselves. The pastor directly links to this counterfeit through his inaccurate portrayal of the human state.
The reasons people are attracted to the “Therapeutic Gospel” is quite simple. It allows people to forget the state that we are in without Christ. The pastor states that all people come from “the best of the best,” and therefore are perfect. Who would not want to hear that? This gospel is sometimes hard to see because of the overarching truth that human beings are valuable. Once a person starts to hear these words of encouragement, they are sucked into believing the stretched truth that this gospel presents which leads one to forget their disease and refuse to acknowledge that God is not just here to fill them up.
 As Wax accurately states, Christians must react to this gospel by placing God in the center for who He is and not what he has or can do for us. This allows people to remember all that we have been given through Christ rather than desperately wanting more. Also, a low self-esteem can and should be replaced by finding worth through the gospel. When we realize who we are in Christ, but only because of Christ and nothing that we have or ever will do, nothing else will ever be needed for satisfaction or fulfillment. When Christians realize the vast flaws behind the “Therapeutic Gospel”, they will share the true fulfillment of Christ’s love with the world instead of looking for their own fulfillment from the world.

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