Friday, May 16, 2008

Spiritual Spin

I have just had a look at the web site of the Mega Personality Ministry that was the subject of my last post. Sure enough this man is a master of Spiritual Spin. However, I am sure he is entirely genuine; the best spin doctors believe their own spin. Here is some of that spin accompanied by my interpretation of it:

Spiritual Spin: All lack is on our end of the equation. The only time someone wasn't healed in the Bible (gospels) is when the disciples prayed for them. If someone isn't healed, realize the problem isn't God, and seek Him for direction as well as personal breakthrough (greater anointing for consistency in healing). It's also not wise to blame the person who is sick.
Interpretation: Failed healings? There is always some one we can blame to explain it away: If it’s not the person who is sick then those who are praying are likely to lack in someway such as not having enough anointing. We can string believers along with the notion that all spiritual impediments are fixed by seeking more and more anointing. They can either seek more or blame themselves for not seeking enough when things don't work out. God is a steam age power paradigm God with whom 'more' always means 'more', plain and simple. God comes in simple undifferentiated chunks of power. Stuff all this information age nonsense about complexity. Come to me to get more big chunks of God.

Spiritual Spin: There's a difference between a miracle and healing. Miracles happen in an instant and healing happens over time.
Interpretation: As a vast number of people recover naturally from illness and sickness anyway there is plenty of opportunity for my ministry to claim the credit for healings.

Spiritual Spin: Pursue the men and women of God who carry an anointing in their lives for the miraculous. Such an anointing can be transferred to others through the laying on of hands. If you want to kill giants, hang around a giant killer. It rubs off.
Interpretation: Work hard at hanging a round with big name preachers like me, and you will get more anointing. The power personality cult is the essence of power Christainity; get connected to a power ministry if you want more of God's power; Just 'God and you' alone doesn't work.

Spiritual Spin: I must look for the sick and tormented in order to pray for them. And if they are healed, I give God the praise. If they aren’t, I still give God the praise, and continue to look for people to pray for. I learned a long time ago that more people are healed when you pray for more people!

Interpretation: The more people we pray for the more we can claim credit for what is in any case natural healing. As for those who aren’t healed we just forget about them because we must only remember what God does, not what He doesn’t do. We only remember when we win, so it feels like we are winning all the time. (Technically, this is called the 'selective perspective'.)

Spiritual Spin: If you don't know people who see miracles, find them. Don't try to learn from those who only have the theory of miracles.

Interpretation: Hang around with people like me, but don’t ask too many subtle theological/theoretical questions about my ‘miracles’, which might expose them as shams. In any case I much prefer to minister to the gullible because the gullible "Don't analyse it!"
Spiritual Spin: Life doesn't come from revelation it comes from the from the encounter brought about by revelation... Bible study without Bible experience is pointless.
Interpretation: We're gnostics. Unless you have had a gnostic experience of God your faith is pointless.
Spiritual Spin: If you’re afraid of reading about those who later fell into sin and deception (some of these people ended in disaster), stay away from Gideon, Samson, Solomon’s Proverbs, and the Song of Solomon. The author of those books also ended in tragedy.
Interpretation: The initial excesses of power preachers is not evidence that their ministries are rotten to the core in the first place with their later sins a manifestation of problems that were there all along.

Spiritual Spin: How can I come to your Church to receive ministry? We suggest coming for a weekend visit.
Interpretation: Come and help build my spiritual empire, the more the better. Forget your own powerless church. Looking forward to receiving a generous contribution from you, the more the better. More Lord more!
Yes, he's bowling googlies all the time. It is instructive to compare some of the above sentiments with the opinion that Charles Taze Russell (founder of the Jehovah's Witnesses) had of his own ministry and writings. Of his 'Studies in Scriptures' he wrote this:
People cannot see the Divine Plan by studying the Bible itself. We find also that if anyone lays the Scripture Studies aside, even after he has become familiar with them, if he lays them aside and ignores them and goes to the Bible alone, our experience shows that within two years he goes into darkness.
Membership, connection, central kingdom rule, and personality veneration are the power concepts of the religious cults. Not for nothing does the Watchtower call it's meeting centres 'Kingdom Halls'.
For a religious group to create a meaninful scene, a strong sense of collective identity, an identity which may revolve round the presence of strong figurehead personalities, is a requirement. Without this group phenonmenon to help pressure the supply of 'right' intrepretations needed to raise otherwise prosiac events into the realm of the sublime it seems that the 'faith' of many would perish.

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