You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. - John 5: 39-40 (ESV)
The Gospel of Me. You cannot turn a corner in pop Christianity these days without hearing a "sermon" or new theology that is squarely and solely about you. Often times the use of Scriptures is secondary to the overall point the "preacher" wants to make. That you are wonderful. That you are powerful. That you are good enough, smart enough and gosh darn it, people like you. Don't believe me? Here are some of the book titles from the most popular preachers in this country today:
"Destined to Reign"
"You Can, You Will"
"Your Best Life Now"
"It's Your Time"
"Become a Better You"
That's five usages of YOU and in case you were wondering it is YOU that is destined to reign and YOU that has unmerited favor. Hallelujah, pass the offering plate. It is a little light on God however. Joel Osteen is quoted as saying that he often does not bring a Scripture into his messages until the end and he is not going to apologize for that. Instead his sermons always start with a joke, are founded on a carnal thought he wants to teach, and are supported with anecdotes and personal experiences. Eventually there may be a verse taken out of context here or there but they are not relevant. They are merely window dressing. Mega church pastor and lord of hyper grace, Joseph Prince, has a similarly dangerous way of approaching the Bible. He has his own gospel, which is merely the old heresy of antinomianism. He then does not approach the Word to hear from God but rather to find verses or stories he can leverage to try and prove that his gospel is authentic. Either way, the overall focus is once again - you. Well preacher those are just their books. OK, let us look at recent sermon titles then:
"You Are Anointed"
"God's Plan to Bless You"
Is No Longer Angry With You Today"
"Awesome - Building Great Relationships"
"Keys to a Blessed Life"