I write this blog article from the USA, where I have been preaching. Some good Presbyterian Christian's have introduced me here to a new term that they use to explain many sections of the professing church which offer a diet of 'moralistic, therapeutic deism'. I have abbreviated this MTD for short. When I heard this phrase I thought that is exactly what it is.
Recently, an elder in the USA introduced me to the ministry of an outwardly successful preacher called Joel Osteen. I am from the UK and I was not familiar with this TV preacher who operates from Houston, Texas and his church has in excess of 15,000 people. His latest bestselling book is called 'Every Day a Friday: How to be happier seven days a week'. As I listened to him preach it appeared to me that his message was like a children's bed time story, one of those which always ends up saying '... and they lived happily ever after'. His false smile betrayed his spiritually deceptive message of propsperity, materialism and greed with a sugar-coated appeal to Christianity. He could have been a Hindu or Buddhist but he certainly is not Christian. What I want to bring in to question is this: can such a religion be legimately permitted to be called Christian?
The UK, as well as the USA is filled with so much confusion in the professing church so that people can use the word church, claim to be Christian, quote Bible verses, smile and appear nice, and yet be total enemies of the cross of Christ (Philippians 3:18-19). They offer moralistic therapy in the name of God, but they never mention sin, judgment upon sin, the need for repentance before a God who is holy and the gospel proper. We simply need to compare our New Testament with these MTD preachers, such as Joel Osteen and many others. We will then quickly realize that though they are called a church, they are in fact not a Christian church, though they claim to be a Christian they are in fact not representing true Christianity ( a goat religion), and though they use Bible verses they do not represent the God of the Bible. In the same way, neither is a Mormon or a Jehovah's Witness representing Christ but I think MTD religion is even more deceptive.
What do we do? Firstly, we need to wake up to the very subtle deception of MTD religion that masquerades as Christianity. Secondly, we need to warn people who fall prey to these false gospels. Thirdly, we need to realize that there always will be false prophets. Let us close by listening to the apostle Peter in his Second Epistle.
'But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed . And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep'.2 Peter 2:1-3.
Peter could have written this yesterday in that it is so applicable in out time. MTD religion is not Christian and let us beware and let us pray.