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Narcissistic Theology

Updated: Jun 25

Today, one can observe the amount of Christians who plaster social media with pictures and videos of themselves, their children, their houses, their cars, their businesses, their vacations, their outfits, their wealth, and go on to tag these as “the blessings/goodness of God”. They aspire to convince their audiences that these blessings are God’s gifts to them and that you too can get these blessings if you follow their footsteps (read: buy their books, courses, and attend their expensive conferences).

They uplift themselves and transfix themselves at the centre of the stage and then have the audacity to drape a layer of Christian-talk on it; with quotes like "I am more than a conqueror" and "I am the head and not the tail" and "The blessings of the Lord addeth no sorrow". In actual fact, these people are narcissists.

Narcissism with a veneer of godliness

Call it what it is. We must check our hearts to see if we have made our success an idol. We must check our hearts to see if we have become idols unto ourselves, having convinced ourselves that we are so indispensable to God and His plans that He must bless us. We tithe, we fast, we pray, we give, God needs us, and so He must bless us. We must be wealthy. We must live long. We hold God by the collar and demand that He give us things. It is absolutely absurd.

An example of this twisted ideology is below:

“More than you desire to prosper. God NEEDS you to prosper so you can use the wealth and prosperity He gives you to propagate His agenda.”

God needs nothing from us. He is self-sufficient.

We must never forget that each day is a gift and the Lord can require our lives and an account of it from us at any moment that He pleases.

I wonder what role narcissism had to play in the lives of the apostles and prophets of old; in the lives of the early Christians who were being persecuted by the Roman empire. These individuals had no room for narcissism. Jesus asks us to pick up our cross daily and follow Him. If we’re so busy following Jesus, we won’t have time to be self-obsessed and self-absorbed.

“Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?” - Matthew 16:24-26

No room for suffering

…“Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?”... - Job 2:10

There is no room for suffering in this narcissistic brand of theology and, effectively, suffering (sickness, financial struggles, relationship challenges etc.) are directly linked to the devil. They decree and declare that the curse must be broken so that you can be set free! Never mind that God sometimes allows suffering in order to develop godly character in his children so that they can grow more and more into the image of his Son.

Everyone is a bible teacher

“Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” - James 3:1

Suddenly everyone is a bible teacher with a "ministry" that they are "stewarding" - more Christian-talk. Never mind that teaching and exegeting scripture is no small task and that studying the bible should be done with great care so as not to mishandle the text. Many of these supposed “teachers” have never been to seminary, have no training or knowledge of the context surrounding the text. But now everyone with an Instagram or Facebook profile is a bible teacher, not fearing that teachers will be judged more strictly. What is so sad is that thousands of people are flocking after these supposed “teachers” not knowing that they are being led astray and away from the true gospel: that Christ died for our sin. It's Jesus and nothing else.

“...and [Christ] died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” - 2 Corinthians 5:15

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