This past week I was asked to read a book and give my honest opinion regarding it. Trust me, that is the last thing this person wants. Do I look like I was born yesterday? And if I had any self-control, whatsoever, I would not be writing a blog about it. That’s for sure. Still, any book that promises “the secret to effortless success, wholeness and victorious living” should have some reflection. I mean, hey, could be true. I could go for a bunch of effortless success, wholeness and victorious living, a whole bunch.
The first thing that is abundantly clear from the book jacket is that the author must be right. I mean I have 100 people in my parish he has 15,000 in his. Very successful, super-duper successful. His approach is to drop all judgment and only preach grace. 100% grace and no judgment. He says that is what Jesus did. Singaporean pastors say the darnedest things. What does he think about Matthew 25:31-46? I am just getting started.
Here are a few more things he said:
- “Good things happen to those who know God loves them.”
Of course, it is true that good things happen to those who know God loves them. But the opposite is also true. Just ask the Haitian woman I heard this morning on the radio singing “Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen” over and over. Not sure the sudden loss of tens of thousands of people could be considered good. Surely some of them knew that God loves them. I will be very surprised to find out that only the non-believers died and the Christians lived. Life is messier in my world.
- “Victory over our sinful thought life simply requires that we visualize our thoughts going through the blood of Jesus.”
I wonder if this has ever once worked, ever, for anyone, at anytime, in any place? Whereas Scripture tells us to confess our sins, this guy wants me play gross imagination games. He teaches that as Christians we should no longer be conscious of sin. He teaches that we don’t need to fast and that he does not fast. Is this guy even reading the same Bible as me? (That is what we in the business call a rhetorical question. It is obvious that we are not reading the same Bible and that his readers/parishioners have not read it either.)
- “Believers can’t blaspheme the Holy Spirit.”
Seriously? Seems to me that believers are the only ones who can. I caught a few minutes of this guy on TV a couple of nights ago. My kids love it when I say that TV preachers and I have the same job. We all laugh. We probably laugh to avoid crying. Safe to say, I did not think Destined to Reign by Joseph Prince (or any prosperity gospel promising earthly wealth from God if we give money to a ministry named for the pastor) is accurate, academic or apostolic.