This is one of the biggies and one of the most deceptive, yet subtle. Why is it deceptive? Because scripture is mentioned (although most out of context) and put God in the equation. It is ‘a form of godliness‘.
You can always discern man centered preaching against Christ centered preaching because one of the main emphasis is about who WE are in Christ and not about who Christ is. A classic example of this can be heard when Paul Edwards interviewed Paula White. The interview can be heard here.
With this type of preaching, we are at the center and it is as if we use God to get what we want because of ‘our identity and position in Christ’. So you will commonly hear the focus on how:
- YOU can possess the land
- YOU are the head and not the tail
- YOU can reach your potential
- YOU can live the abundant life
- YOU can get that husband, wife, car house etc
- YOU can receive health and wealth
- YOU can receive blessings
Then there are the big giveaway phrases also like ‘YOUR destiny, YOUR purpose’, ‘YOUR season’, ‘YOUR breakthrough’, ‘YOU’RE going to another level’.
Just for fun, as I was writing this, I thought “let me go on some of these teachers websites and see what books they are promoting” and here is what I found.
Do you notice a re-occurring theme? It’s all about YOU.
Phil 2:13 says “For it is GOD who works in YOU both to will and to do for HIS good pleasure.”
Notice it does NOT say “For it is YOU who works in GOD both to will and to do for YOUR good pleasure.
Watch this video
When ever you listen to a sermon or read a book, a good yardstick is to always see who is at the center of the sermon. True preaching will ALWAYS be Christ centered and all about glorifying him primarily.
Remember to pray for these teachers.