“Woe to you, O land, whose king is a lad and whose princes feast in the morning.” -Ecclesiastes 10:16
Many have used this verse to point a finger at Obama. Although he may be inexperienced, impetuous, and narcissistic as some claim, this verse speaks more to the electorate that elected him. We have no king in America. The people are the sovereign. But our land is ruled by an impetuous, lazy, entitled people who vote for politicians to give them “their fair share.” We are spoiled children, and we have the power to govern ourselves. That is a bad combination. Those who will not be governed by an internal moral restraint will be ruled by an external one.
We are narcissistic nation because we have a narcissistic Church. We are a narcissistic Church because we have too many narcissistic Christians. I am not blameless in this. I am also somewhat lazy. I too prefer a message of “What Has God Done for Me Lately” to a message of God’s righteousness and my duty to him. Because of lazy, spoiled
Christians, the Church is filled with the false teachings like Joel Osteen’s “Prosperity Gospel” that tickle itching ears. Osteen wrote “If you are believing for your child to find God, go help somebody else’s child to develop a relationship with God. If you’re struggling financially, go out and help somebody who has less than you have….If you want to reap financial blessings, you must sow financial seeds in the lives of others….If you want to see healing and restoration come to your life, go out and help somebody else get well.” From Your Best Life Now, pages 224, 250-51. The key to God’s goodness in your life is to do good for others? Really? If all of Jesus’ disciples suffered persecution, lived in poverty, and died martyrs’ deaths, why should we expect a life of ease merely because we did good?
His false doctrine has also affected his household. Listen to how Victoria Osteen expresses Christian narcissism:
The Church suffers from subtle lies from the likes of T.D. Jakes whose false doctrine of Modalism (the heresy that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not distinct persons, but different modes of a single person) distorts our understanding of God. Often Christians try to explain the Trinity to people by using water as an analogy because water can be a solid, liquid, and a gas. But,
the water analogy leads to understanding the Trinity in a modalistic way because water cannot be a solid, liquid, and a gas at the same time.
The Church is plagued by the teachings of Joyce Meyer. She preaches that Jesus ceased to be the Son of God and became sin. She claims Jesus paid for our sins in Hell. She even turns Christianity into what appears to be a pagan religion by the use of spells and incantations. Some of the things she says sounds right to lazy Christian ears. But, we are not called to be lazy. We are called to study.
II Timothy 2:15 states “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” The Greek word translated in the King James Version as “study” is “spoudazo.” It means to “do (give) diligence, be diligent (forward), endeavor, labor, study.” The Greek word is often used with a sense of urgency or earnestness. Paul urges Timothy and the rest of us to be earnest in our study of the truth so that we can pick out the lies.
Our study must consist of more than Sunday morning sermons. All too often Sunday sermons are evangelistic in nature and geared toward the least common denominator. We need more meat of the Word than hearing “Jesus wants to come into your heart” every Sunday. A pastor should be equipping his congregation for evangelism instead of taking up every Sunday morning service trying to reach the lost.
I do not point out the false teachings of the Osteens, Jakes, or Meyer in order to condemn them. I do not pass judgment on their relationship with God. I am simply dividing the Word of Truth and encouraging you to do the same. If the Christians in the Church did the hard work of an earnest study, we would not have a narcissistic nation. We would not have narcissistic politicians making public policies.
As you look over the past year and ponder what resolutions to make for the new year, make a sincere study of God’s Word a top priority. Only an earnest study will teach us how to rightly divide the truth from lies. Then we will know the Truth and he will set us free.