The God syndrome

Many religious practitioners, down through the centuries and throughout the world today, have suffered from (what I like to call) the “God-syndrome”.  It refers to religious leaders or church pastors who see themselves as the Lord’s Anointed or the anointed Man of God.

It’s the priest in Roman Catholicism who can absolve you of your sins and turn wine into Christ’s very own blood. Without his intervention, you would be eternally damned.

It’s the anointed prophet or healer in the Charismatic church who can call down God’s blessing and bring healing. Without his intervention, you would not have all that God intended for you.

It’s the apostle in the Pentecostal church that can achieve spiritual breakthrough in your life because he is in closer contact with God. Without his intervention, you would live a substandard Christian life with little victory.

It’s the sangoma (witchdoctor) in African Traditional Religion who is in close contact with the Ancestors and can supply you with protective muti. Without his intervention, you could be cursed or not get the job you want.

It’s the popular Evangelist who always has a new revelation from God.  Without his intervention, the country will suffer.

It’s the flamboyant preacher in the Evangelical church who is involved in scandalous sin, but church members and church leaders won’t challenge him, because God has called him and is blessing his ministry.  Without his preaching, the church could go bankrupt.

All the above, is a distortion of what the Bible teaches.

Jesus was and is the Lord’s Anointed (e.g. Acts 10:38).

The Anointed One was the Messiah or King. Jesus came as God’s King, the Anointed One, to rule over God’s Kingdom (e.g. Mark 1:1, 14-15).

In Jesus, every Christian has every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3) and all we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3).

1 John 2:20 says that every Christian has been anointed because we all have been given the Holy Spirit.

The person standing up at the pulpit on Sundays is no closer to God or more spiritual than any other Christian in the church.  He is simply exercising his particular gift – to teach (Ephesians 4:11-12) – just as every other Christian is called to exercise their particular gift to serve the church (1 Corinthians 12:4-11, Romans 12:3-8, 1 Peter 4:10-11).

Claiming the title of the “Lord’s Anointed” or behaving like the “Lord’s Anointed” is spiritual abuse.  It is claiming a spiritual authority that is simply not yours.

To all the “Lord’s Anointeds” out there: You are not Jesus.  You are not one of Jesus’ Apostles who were commissioned by Jesus himself. You do not speak God’s words. You cannot forgive sin.  You do not have a hotline to heaven. You do not know God’s secret will.  You cannot achieve any spiritual breakthroughs.  Nor can you bring blessing on anyone’s life.  Jesus has done it all already.

What you can do is teach the Bible.

What you can do is pray that God would work, according to His good will, in people’s lives.

When the phrase “man of God” is used in the New Testament, it is used for the one who is above reproach and flees temptation (1 Timothy 6:11), who faithfully teaches the Bible (2 Timothy 3:17) and is willing to suffer for Jesus (2 Timothy 1:8).

That is the true man of God.

If you think you may have the God-syndrome, please, for the sake of the church, stay as far away as possible from any church.