If you want to abandon your Christian faith and become mentally unstable, just follow these simple steps:
- "It all starts with a Dream! A God-Sized Dream!" To get started, you must believe that God expects you to dream up some outlandish desire in order to accomplish your Destiny. Because if you attempt to "do the impossible," God will miraculously answer your prayers and thus "get all the glory." You must take risks, step out in faith, and do something impossible. You and your dream must become the focus of your faith.
- You then step out in faith and do something really stupid. (Often, this involves giving money to someone who teaches this stuff.)
- Next, this ridiculous thing you've attempted doesn't work and you've got big problems. (Wow, what a surprise.)
- Instead of admitting your big mistake, you will now focus all of your attention on the future and the great things that you'll accomplish after you get your breakthrough (your "Destiny"). Because the finished work of Christ dying on the cross to pay for our sins happened a long time ago, you will forget about it. Christianity gradually becomes a magic wand you keep waving around in order to get God to do stuff, and the "holy spirit" will demand more and more attention as he continually confuses you, embarrasses you and demands that you become more hungry, desperate and broken. He also wants you to be on fire.
- At this point you'll latch onto all of the sermons about fighting battles, getting a fresh new word from God, and fending off demons, pythons, and sneaky squids. "The devil knows about your Dream/Destiny and he wants to stop you!" You take your last few bucks to buy yet another book/DVD/CD/conference ticket, hoping to learn the "secret" to getting your breakthrough; you know, the breakthrough you wouldn't even need if you hadn't done something stupid...
- Here is where you'll probably find people to "prophetically" declare something over you, in order to give you a "breakthrough." Nothing will really change, but you'll try really hard to pretend otherwise. You might go to see famous "prophets" who claim to be "anointed," because you believe they can help you, but they only help you to lose more money.
- You have a suspicion in the back of your mind that you've entered a cult-like state of mind, but you don't want to admit it to anyone. There's a part of you that would like to go back to being a "normal" person, but you've been told that thinking that way is a direct attack of the devil.
- The Bible is no longer the story of God redeeming sinful mankind (The Gospel); it is more like a book of incantations to ward off evil spirits and make your dreams (finally) come true. You've largely forgotten about the simple Gospel message in your attempt to get secret knowledge from God (this is called "Gnosticism," by the way).
- You're (secretly) willing to skip the whole dream/destiny thing and just have some stability in your life, but the experts you're listening to tell you to "press in to get your miracle!" or something like that, and you still believe them. So, the very people whose bad ideas got you into this mess are the people you continue to listen to. How's that working for you?
- The one thing you don't want to do is have a "have a religious spirit." This meaningless catch-phrase keeps you locked into all of this chaos and confusion. How's that working for you?
- There are a number of bad ideas that you've been taught, and they all work together to prevent you from seeing the very obvious fact that you've become delusional. If you don't want to lose your mind, please read this article to see these bad ideas described and refuted: Defusing Demonic Dirty Bombs
- You refuse to acknowledge that a collection of bad ideas ("doctrine") has replaced the clear teachings of the Bible. In fact, you believe the doctrine that says "doctrine is not important." You like the teachers who teach you that teaching is bad. Here are a whole bunch of Bible verses that you are deliberately ignoring: Shocking Stuff You're Not Supposed to Know!
- But you stick with those bad ideas because you like them.
- You continue to listen to false teachers because you like them.
- You continue attending a church that teaches false doctrine because you like it.
- Congratulations! You have lost your mind.
Here are a few more articles (with links to more articles) that discuss this difficult issue:
Here's a recent episode of Fighting for the Faith where the author of this article (Steve Kozar) talks with Chris Rosebrough and Amy Spreeman about this topic: How Not to Shipwreck Your Faith; here's the YouTube version: How Not to Shipwreck Your Faith
Here's a great little video from Chris Rice on this topic: