Oct
29

Bad Theology Hurts People or Why Joel Osteen Can Kiss My Ass

Surrender

I hate the theological Pablum and tripe that passes for quasi-inspirational Christian messaging in this meme-ridden Facebook age. I know someone out there is going to be offended by this. But take the example I have posted here.

This is not an outlier opinion, it represents mainstream Christian spirituality here in North America. But it is not only terrible theology, it actually does the exact opposite of everything it sets out to do.

First of all, it is meant to be inspirational. I can’t describe how much #FAIL is crammed into that little contention. What this is saying is that your life is not secure, it is your fault. Right? It’s not going to be God, because, that is too scary to behold, but things are pretty shitty right now, so if I am not secure, it must be that I haven’t sufficiently surrendered to God. Right? It is basically theological victim blaming. Raped? Your fault. Abused? Your fault. Starving? Your fault. Depressed? Your Fault. Facing death? Jesus take the wheel!

This is an application of Law to a people that desperately need the Gospel. As Martin Luther wrote in his 1518 Heidelberg Disputation, “The law says, “Do this,’ and it is never done. Grace says, ‘believe in this,’ and everything is already done.”

This kind of theology not only harms and brings unneeded suffering to the people it is directed at, but it establishes a doctrine wherein your sanctification and justification are made into the fruit of your works, rather than Christ’s.

If your view of the “victorious life” does not begin and end with a battered and humiliated Jew dying the death of a tortured criminal, it is not Christian.

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