Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Therapeutic Gospel-P. Horning

This presentation of the gospel focuses on God’s provision and our expectations of our Lord. The preacher emphasizes a positive outlook on our daily lives as Christians due to the promises of Christ through faith. He repeatedly mentions that maintaining a positive attitude throughout our lives allows God to bless us. According to his teaching, our earthly blessings are directly proportional to our attitude and God only blesses those who expect blessing. He also claims that an expectation of a bad day is faith working in the wrong direction and dry seasons in our walk with Christ will not occur with a constant positive attitude. The preacher states that since “we are more than conquerors” in Christ, bad times and struggles have no place in our Christian lives.
            Although Christ promises blessings to his followers and answers to our prayers, this message is a blatant misrepresentation of a proper relationship with God. It shows God and the good news of the gospel as a method for attaining personal well-being and prosperity in our day-to-day lives. This message is a prime example of the “therapeutic” counterfeit gospel mentioned in Trevin Wax’s book. The therapeutic gospel preaches that the Fall is only a stumbling block which prevents humans from reaching their full potential and sin is simply robbing us of our fullness. The preacher’s claim that God only requires our good expectations to bless us is a claim that will offer newcomers to Christianity temporary relief but eventual disappointment.
            Although the pastor claims that fruitful seasons of blessing only end when we begin to lack the great expectations we should have, this is simply not true. Even Jesus was seen to have times of intense suffering and sadness culminating in his death on the cross. God does not spare us from suffering so that we may glorify Him through them. Suffering is a part of life. Also, the great blessings the preacher promises to those with appropriate faith do not come because we do something to deserve them. We did nothing to earn Christ’s forgiveness and it is only by His love that we are forgiven. The gospel and faith in Jesus requires much more than just good expectations. We must constantly lean on Christ in the calm and the storm and find our joy in God alone and our worth in the true message of the gospel.

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