May 22, 2024

THE Gospel Vs. Positive Thinking

By Okoko Brian

1 Corinthians 3:1-2

But I, brothers, could not address you as a spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now, you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?”

1 Corinthians 4:7

“For who sees anything different in you?  What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?”

1 Corinthians 5:1-2

“It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife.  And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you.”

Do you have a Corinthian mindset? Paul in the above verses described the Corinthians as people of the flesh, infants, jealous, full of strife, boastful, sexually immoral, arrogant… Our problem is that we are Corinthian in our thinking. God cannot speak to us as spiritual people because we aren’t. The church is filled with people who do not have a biblical worldview. They stutter and shrink when they should be standing tall.

We’ve bought into the lie that the power of positive thinking can change lives.

For spiritual growth, we have found books, music, the internet and other extra-biblical stuff more appealing than the Bible.

In Apostle Paul’s letters, you’ll find little in common with the success, health and wealth of the Prosperity Gospel. Paul didn’t live in a mansion and cross the Mediterranean in a luxury liner. He spent most of his time running from town to town, being beaten up, attacked, chased by the Gnostics and Judaizers, and chained by Roman soldiers. He did not know the glamorous life perpetuated by some of those teaching the Gospel nowadays.

Paul would never say “I don’t know” when asked if other religions were misguided or if he was comfortable using the word “sinners,” as some modern preachers have answered.  

You can’t read Romans and miss the fact that we are sinners. Any trivialization of sin reveals a total lack of understanding or a denial of the authority of God’s Word.

A particular pastor said, “The talk of “God’s Judgment” was for a time, but I don’t have it in my heart to condemn people. I’m there to encourage them. I see myself more as a coach, as a motivator to help them experience the life God has for us.”

Many Christians hold that view, too. But it does not represent a biblical worldview or understanding what God says about sin, hell and judgment. Why can’t that preacher have the integrity to stop calling himself a preacher, resign from church, and hit the road as a motivational speaker? At least he wouldn’t lead the sheep astray with his errant view of God and man.

In 2 Timothy 4:2 Paul charged Timothy:  “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage —with great patience and careful instruction.  For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, and discharge all the duties of your ministry.

I don’t say this to pick on one person but to warn the Body of Christ about false teaching that soothes people’s hearts and smooths over their sins, belittling the glories of life with God.

I don’t say this to pick on one person but to warn the Body of Christ about false teaching that soothes people’s hearts and smooths over their sins, belittling the glories of life with God.

We don’t pick the message; we are just messengers. God wrote it; we are to deliver it as written. It’s not up to the preacher to redefine biblical words to appease the crowd or his seared conscience.

If we do not repent, we’ll be dull of hearing, and the warning of Jesus in Matthew 7:15 of being aware of false prophets will go unheeded.

What do we do, then?

  • The church must repent for wanting to have its ears tickled.
  • Preachers must repent for trying to please people rather than God.
  • The laity must repent for wanting a message that makes them comfortable but does not transform them into the image of Christ.

Okoko Brian, famously known as ‘Oks,’ is a devoted Christian, loving husband and father, and a passionate advocate of the High Court of Kenya.

Originally published at

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