(From: HERESY HUNTERS INSTITUTE, INC.)
Thank you for sending us the questionable document. We are always glad to examine any teaching materials that may adversely affect the Church. We do think that this material is dangerous and certainly want to warn the Body of Christ concerning its subtle false doctrines. Our analysis is as follows:
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my
life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
We weren’t given the name of the author of this document, but it is quite clear that is part of the contemporary, humanistic “gospel” of self.
The first thing we would point out is that this is a “positive confession.” Our research shows that this idea was never heard of in the Church before the metaphysical cults introduced it in the late 19th century. This author has obviously been influenced by these cults.
Secondly, note the “affirmation” that he will not want. This is clearly that “gospel of greed” – the prosperity gospel. Whoever wrote this probably is a follower of these dreadful prosperity preachers. Sorry you couldn’t come up with the author so we could do a background check on him or her. Even without the author’s name, it’s still pretty clear who influenced this individual.
Then the author affirms himself to be perfectly led by the Lord. This is the dangerous delusion of elitism. Many of these groups feel they are the only true Christians. They are the only ones who really represent the name of the Lord. You can see the tremendous spiritual pride lurking behind this, I’m sure.
Our author tells us that he walks through the shadow of death. Obvious Christian Science influence here. Denying the reality of matter and evil. This is indeed a pernicious error. This is also practiced by denying the reality of sickness. Sickness, evil and death are mere illusions. Very dangerous!
Notice the references to “green pastures” and “still waters.” The cults always resort to metaphoric symbols and encourage their victims to visualize. This, of course, opens their minds up to demonic influence. Note also that a life of ease and blessing is pictured, very appealing to the flesh. Seldom do these people ever talk about taking up our cross and following Jesus.
The author now mentions restoring the soul. We see two possible references to dangerous teachings here. Firstly, the teaching of restoration. This is false teaching that suggests that the Church isn’t all God wants it to be. Of course, that is unacceptable. We have the Bible; we need nothing beyond the Scriptures. And then secondly, there could be a suggestion of the teaching of inner healing. We have a paper on this error available if you should so desire.
I WILL FEAR NO EVIL FOR YOU ARE WITH ME: Notice the big “I.” Bold, arrogant, egotistical statements like this are common
among these groups. Totally devoid of humility. I think you can see the obvious, humanistic bent.
YOUR ROD AND YOUR STAFF, THEY COMFORT ME: Clearly the error of the authority of the believer is being implied here. Taking the place of God and assuming that mere sinful men can actually wield the rod of God. To say this is presumptuous is mild. This is the “little gods” error. These false teachers never have a due regard for the sovereignty of God.
YOU PREPARE A TABLE BEFORE ME IN THE PRESENCE OF MY ENEMIES: The archangel Michael did not dare to bring an
accusation against Satan, but these types of teachers boldly mock the Devil. This suggests an unhealthy preoccupation with “spiritual warfare.”
YOU ANOINT MY HEAD WITH OIL: The height of arrogance. So many today claim they are the anointed of the Lord and no one
should question their teachings and activities. I’m sure this author, whoever he is, considers himself to be one of God’s “special” anointed ones.
MY CUP RUNS OVER: Another allusion to prosperity. A “positive confession” of abundance. Decidedly derived from Unity or one
of the other metaphysical cults.
SURELY GOODNESS AND MERCY SHALL FOLLOW ME ALL THE DAYS OF MY LIFE: No suffering, no trials, no difficulties in life! This is not the Bible gospel. These teachers hold out the promise of problem-free living and then bilk those who listen to them of their finances to support their extravagant life-styles. What a mockery of the cross.
I WILL DWELL IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD FOREVER: Actually this type of teaching doesn’t belong in the Church at all.
This gospel of greed, positive confession and trouble-free living certainly isn’t based on the Bible.
Thank you for sending us this example of heretical teaching. We advise you to steer clear of this teacher. Although it may have a veneer of Biblical sounding ideas, it is clearly imported from metaphysical and New Age teachings.