As the Supreme Court considers the merits of adopting or banning same-sex marriage, many politicians are voicing their support for changing the law.
But just as smart shoppers know to look beyond an advertisement to read the fine print, Americans should look beyond the surface issues to the surprising details no one is discussing.
We Reformed folks have…issues…with prosperity preachers. We see them up on stage, stalking back and forth, wiping their sweat-sheened foreheads with silk handkerchiefs, saying, “No weapon formed against me shall prosper-uh,” and we think, deadly. By the way, all good Southern Pentecostal preachers end their sentences with a forceful, “Uh!” We hear them say, “Your best days are right around the corner-uh,” and we think, Not necessarily true. Our blood gets to boiling when they say, “God has good things in store for you, and he wants you to name it and claim it today-uh!”
When we hear these things, we feel compelled to remind everyone that God allows us to suffer for his glory and our good. We feel it is our doctrinal, biblical, dad-gum duty to tell the world that God does NOT necessarily want them to be rich, healthy, and always sleeping on a Tempur-Pedic mattress. “Do you think Job was sleeping on a Tempur-Pedic?” we proclaim, thrusting our finger into the air.
BUT…in our zeal to remind everyone that God allows and ordains suffering, let’s not let the prosperity preachers steal God’s incredible promises from us.
“Men love not to be judged and censured.”
Richard Sibbes said that and I have yet to meet anyone who enjoys criticism. It could be criticism about your work, life, or your faith. It could be criticism from an unknown critic online or a loving family member. All of it is hard to swallow. We bristle when someone criticizes us because our hearts are still laced with the residue of sin.
As I survey biblical counseling literature, the ratio seems to be at least 17-1, negative-to-positive (and I’ve contributed to that imbalance.) If you asked most people what words comes to mind when they think of a biblical counselor, I don’t think “smile,” “laugh,” and “enthusiasm for life” would trip off the tongue (although there are some wonderfully cheery exceptions).
Isn’t it beyond time for biblical counseling to become a more positive movement?