You are my friends if you do what I command you. -- John 15: 14 (ESV)
Beloved, I do hope and pray that this teaching is as revelatory to you as has been to me. Followers of this ministry know that I often write about "friend of God" theology. In 2006, Israel Houghton won song of the year for his composition known as Friend of God. We all know the song and have probably sung it hundreds of times in church. I remember that increasingly the song would stick in my spirit like a needle; as if something was wrong that I could not put my finger quite on. Then a good brother once said to me, singing Friend of God does not actually make you a friend of God. I started praying when the song would come on; wanting to see the spirit behind it and what I was always left with was the song is actually very narcissistic in nature. It is a song about me disguised as a song about Him. It is not worship to declare to God that you are His friend.
The problem of course is not the song. Houghton was Joel Osteen's worship leader so it should come as no surprise that his biggest hit is not actually about God. All Houghton was doing however was providing an anthem for people who have been taught wrongly for so long about the nature of their relationship with Jesus Christ. Fast forward ten years and the Friend of God theologies have been placed on steroids to the point that last year a mega pastor actually preached a sermon called, "Jesus is my wingman." One such mega-heresy center is Bethel Church and their number two resident Bible butcher is Kris Vallotton. Kris not only believes in the Friend of God theologies but he unashamedly writes about them and the results are quite revealing. God is always there to serve Kris Vallotton. Need more money? Jesus is my ATM. Need a new job? Jesus is my blessing dispenser. Why? Well because He is my friend dude! So let us reason together through his (linked above) recent blog article entitled, "Can We Change God's Mind?"
"Here at Bethel we have a core value that God is good. What helps us actually grasp this is the saying that "God is in a good mood." I know that many people say God is good but they see His goodness as His unyielding moral standing, rather than a part of His personality or nature. When I think about the Creator of the universe being in an actual good mood, it helps put things into perspective. It makes Him feel closer and more personal. It makes Him feel more approachable and relatable. It makes Him feel more like a friend than a master. The truth is that God is infinite and has so many names and facets that it's impossible to put Him in a box, but Scripture shows us that He does want to relate to us as friends. He's calling us into intimacy, connection and conversation". Just as a friend would. Is that how you see God?" -- Kris Vallotton
When your goal is to denigrate God down to your level, the vehicle often used is to humanize God. To give Him human attributes to level the playing field. The goodness of God IS part of His unyielding moral standing! That's the entire point! But that does not allow Kris Vallotton's wickedly deceitful heart to feel like he is in control. Thus we must forfeit the unyielding moral standing and exchange it for a personality. Instead of goodness, God is in a good mood. How ridiculously unbiblical can you get? Kris is right that this switch changes the perspective but he fails to realize that this is not a positive development. He is no longer looking up at God. Now he is sitting across the table from Him. He feels closer, personal, and even intimate. It makes Kris feel as if He is more relatable and approachable as well. Then we see the tell all sentence:
It makes Him feel more like a friend than a master.
Therein lies the major problem with following friend of God theologies. Your perspective on who God is changes and as a result it is no longer God you are seeing. God does not lie. God does not change. God does not sit across the table from you and sip a latte. Get over yourself.