Many essayists believe that if you are going to say something that is likely to create controversy, cause the reader to foam at the mouth, or throw your precious writing up against the nearest wall while, at the same time, calling you everything from an apostate to the brother of Beelzebub, it is best to slowly work up to it. The theory here is that as a writer you need to prepare the reader for your controversial statements in a gradual and sensitive manner, thus increasing the likelihood he or she will remain with you and thereby hear what you have to say with more openness and receptivity, before deciding that you are either a raving lunatic or worse, a dangerous contemplative barely worth the bullet required to dispatch you to the bowels of Hell.
I have found that it is often preferable to get right to the point. That way, if the reader discovers your blasphemy right out of the gate, they have the opportunity to make a decision to read on or not read on. Either way, as a writer you have been respectful of the reader’s time. With that being said, let me get right down to it.
I am not totally opposed to the Word of Faith teachings and believe at least some of what these folks have to say has validity.
I have found that few topics can arouse as much heated debate these days as the Word of Faith movement. It seems folks either support the “name it and claim it” heroes hook line and sinker or, at the other extreme, label them apostate apprentices of Old Scratch himself. As I have stated before on several occasions, I am not a supporter of the Word of Faith movement, but I do agree with some of their more rational teachings. I firmly believe it is best to evaluate the movement on its relative merits and demerits, but never throw out the baby with the bathwater.
One of the consistent criticisms thrown at the Word of Faith people has to do with this whole concept, espoused especially by Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar and others, that we are “little gods.” I guess what sets people off is the notion that we, limited and damaged as we are, somehow equate ourselves with a Holy God.
They surely yelled this at Jesus and they yell it even more loudly at Copeland. Personally, I am not a Kenneth Copeland fan. I find the man offensive on so many fronts I don’t even want to get started about it. However, the “little god” notion is not one of them.
Simply put, if we are created in God’s image and if we in some way share the creative potential and power of God, then we are, at least in this pristine aspect of our being, little gods. This is no way equates us with God nor does it imply that we have in any way, shape, form or fashion the purity, power, or position of the Creator. It is just another way of saying two things, which scripture echoes time and time again:
We are created in God’s image
We share in and are expected to use God’s creative power.
In my mind, the whole little god controversy is, at best, a tempest in a teapot. Instead of spinning our wheels barking up an empty tree, we can better utilize our time and energy asking ourselves the following questions:
Based on the above ideas, the question before each of us, once we come to understand just who and what we are in Christ, is: What type of Christ-follower will I become?
- Will I succumb to the brimstone inspired doctrine of being a miserable little sinful worm that grovels before God begging for forgiveness for being such a miserable invertebrate, belly-crawling failure?
- Or will I choose the better option and assume the status and the authority of a “joint heir” with Christ? Will I, indeed, with God’s blessing take up the power and the privilege won for me by Christ’s mission on earth in general and his victory on the cross and through the Resurrection?
- If I select this path, it means I have a responsibility to go forth as more than a conqueror and use those God-given abilities that are my birthright as a member of the family of the Father of Lights. Above all, I am not to use these blessings for my own purposes, but instead, use them for the express purpose of continuing Christ’s mission of establishing his kingdom here on earth. Prosperity is great if it is God’s will, but my friend, it is only a side effect and certainly not a concern. Poverty is equally welcome in my book. The kingdom is the issue and service to others is the tool to be used.
The greatest miracle in life occurs when a person finally discovers their true identity as an individualized expression of the great “I Am.” The true miracle is not so much parting the waters of the Red Sea, healing a leper, or feeding 5,000 with a fish and a few loaves of bread. No my friend, the real miracles in life begin when a child of God begins to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, understanding and accepting the full ramifications of what Christ accomplished before he ascended back into the spirit world and the legacy he left behind – a legacy of empowerment and glory that enables all who call him Master to live lives of service and glory far beyond anything they imagined possible.
The truth of the matter is that God desires that you walk in your dignity and divinity. There is a part of you that is divine and please, don’t let any theological naysayer tell you otherwise. For centuries there have been people in the church, influential people who are, for the most part, well-meaning. The problem is, they are misinformed and have fallen victim to the largest lie ever perpetrated by the Father of Lies. Scripture tells us repeatedly that we were created as beings that, at our most fundamental level, are divine and created for the most intimate level of relationship with God.
With the “Fall,” our relationship with God was skewed, tarnished, and forever changed. There is no way around that fact. However, there is also no way around the fact of what Christ accomplished in his mission to the planet and what he and the Holy Spirit continue to accomplish to this very day. Our relationship with the Creator has been healed.
Two words that should be foremost in the vocabulary of every Christian are restoration and regeneration. Through the mysteries of Christ’s atoning work on the cross, our position and our relationship with God has been restored. We are now in a position to walk in dignity and divinity alongside the Father because Christ has made that possible through his successful mission. Second, through the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit, we are being regenerated, made whole again – formed into the very image of Christ. Are we there yet? I know I am not and doubt that you are, either. Still, we are well on our way in partnership with a full one-third of the Godhead that now resides within us. It is this, the person of the Holy Spirit, that will make us whole again.
So, friend, when you claim your divinity you are not claiming to be God nor are you in anyway claiming to be equal with God. Instead, you are just appropriating the new identity that Christ won for you in his cosmic victory.
© L.D. Turner 2009/ All Rights Reserved