Have you ever seen any of the thousands of Facebook posts that include some sort of encouraging word or positive train of thought, but just end there? Usually, this includes pictures with some sort of happy feeling included but have no real substance – it produces a feeling – a fleeting emotion or response – and that is all. Below I have included examples:
(Sources: Google Image Search for “encouragement” and “positive” retrieved on 14 May 2014)
Now, I am not saying that encouraging others is wrong, God calls us to do that… but instead of a vague “feel-good” quote, He calls us to build each other up in Christ using sound doctrine.
(1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 and Ephesians 6:10-18; 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Timothy 4:2-4, Titus 1:9)
But this idea of “feeling good” or “positive thinking” or “happiness is what God wants of you” are all false gospels, also known as lies, and they are pretty widespread. All of these concepts make up the religion of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism (MTD):
Here is a quick overview of MTD from thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2012/03/20/deists-who-love-jesus-and-talk-like-freud/:
Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, according to Smith, is the set of beliefs that includes:
1. A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.
2. God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.
3. The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.
4. God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life, except when God is needed to resolve a problem.
5. Good people go to heaven when they die.
These 5 basic beliefs (whether all-together or just a few of them) also pop up in Prosperity Gospel (aka “Name it & Claim it” or “Health and Wealth”) false teachers such as Joel Olsteen, but also in Atheist or Agnostic belief systems as well.
The truth of the Gospel (the real, authentic truth) is explained through Scripture below:
1. The God of the Bible (and Him alone) exists, created/ordered the world, and watches over human life on earth. (Genesis 1, Isaiah 43:11, 1 Corinthians 8:6, John 1:1:-18, John 14:8-18)
2. God wants people to repent (turn from their sinful ways and come back to Him, like a wayward son to a loving Father). (Ezekiel 33:11, Matthew 18:14, 2 Peter 3:9, Jeremiah 29:11-13, Luke 15:1-32)
3. The central goal of life is to love and serve the Lord, as well as show others the love that God has for us. (Matthew 22:35-40, Mark 12:28-31, John 13:34, John 15:12)
4. God is always involved in our lives, through the ups and the downs. (Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 91:15, Hebrews 4:12, Philippians 1:6, Ephesians 2:10; Matthew 22:32, Mark 12:27, Luke 20:38)
5. No one is Good except God, and our only hope to reconcile us back to Him is through Jesus Christ. (Romans 3:23, Psalm 100:5, Isaiah 64:6, John 3:16-17, Romans 10:9-10, Luke 13:2-5)
If you want to encourage others and build them up in Christ see this simple image below:
(Original Source Unknown – kitmac05152011)
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
– 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV
“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”
– 2 Timothy 4:2 NIV, & v3-4 ESV
“He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” – Titus 1:9 ESV
<Original work by BenBRockN. Feel free to reblog, ONLY if you give credit to the original author (me). Thanks!>