Preaching Jesus is a Bad Strategy?
A few years ago Christian Hip-Hop artist Shai Linne release a track titled “False Teachers.” There he called out a number of prominent TV preachers and evangelists as wolves in sheep’s clothing. It was a bold move, and to many in the Word Faith (WF) camp, it was an attack on highly regarded leaders. The WF movement —along with it’s prosperity gospel— has long been exposed as reintroducing some of the worst heresies in Christian history. There are the infamous quotes of Kenneth Copeland claims that the greatest failure in Scripture is none other than God himself, Creflo Dollar’s remark that all Christians are “little gods,” (the Dollar clip starts at :40) not to mention Benny Hinn’s nine-persons-of-the-Trinity doctrine and his desire to blown away his critics with a “Holy Ghost machine gun.” All manners of problematic teaching has come from this group of teachers, so what I present here is but a sampling.
Here is Myles Munroe, president and founder of the Bahamas Faith Ministries International and Myles Munroe International, claiming —in his own words—that preaching Jesus and the redemptive power of his death is a bad evangelistic strategy.
There’s so much to say here. In a mere 3 minutes I was frustrated, confused, angered, and then brokenhearted. Munroe says, “The good news isn’t Jesus…it’s the kingdom.” But the blazing biblical center of the kingdom message is the king himself. Paul taught, “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). In the first century and in our own day, many want a kingdom that means victory, power, and triumph. And this is what the kingdom of Jesus will ultimately bring in his return. But the means of kingdom victory is suffering, persecution, and just generally be seen as being one of those “weird Christians who believe crazy stuff.” This is because the power and wisdom of God revealed in the cross is foolishness to those whose existence is marked by rebellion against the great God and king of the universe. The following words are grievous:
- “There’s a higher level of life you can be living…”
- “How do I get there?”
- “Then you tell them about ‘born again.'”
Think about this for a minute. This is the very definition of what it means to use Jesus as a means to an end. The goal is “kingdom living” as Munroe (and other prosperity teachers) defines it, and the means to achieve that goal is Jesus. This is tragic. It’s tragic because it effectively pushes Jesus—the Messiah and rightful king of the world— to the side in order magnify the glory of self. My wants, my needs, my health, my finances. But…
The creator of the universe is not a means to an end.
The true Israel and second Adam is not a means to an end.
The serpent-crushing Seed of the Woman is not a means to an end.
The only hope for sinners is not a means to an end.
The head of the church and the first fruits of the resurrection is not a means to an end.
Jesus is savior. Jesus is king. Jesus is ALL.