Americans Need a Savior Not Another Guru
By Michael Bresciani
Mrs. Dixon the famous prognosticator and psychic to the stars talked for several hours as my friend sat in the audience and took notes. Although she didn't believe that Jeanne Dixon was a legitimate source of prophecy she wasn't listening as much to her predictions, as she was to her choice of words.
She counted the personal pronouns Dixon used like, I, me, and mine. The list of pronouns was in the hundreds. She also listed the times Dixon used words like God, Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit. That list consisted of about a dozen mentions. I remember that I was somewhat shocked by what I thought was a hyper critical assessment of Dixon's presentation. My friend was one of the mildest and most helpful persons I had ever known and this seemed so out of character for her.
I've had over three decades to ponder her critique and ponder it I have. In fact, now I use this same kind of observation without giving it a second thought. I have listened to countless speakers and preachers since then and I noticed that some use all too many personal pronouns while others refer to God, Jesus Christ, the Apostles or the scripture in general. The other thing I noticed, is that I am always far more edified or inspired by the speakers who use the latter method.
In the last ten years or so another type of preaching seems to have emerged. I call it the "you" gospel. Preachers plug the word you in some cases at a rate of a ten to one against words like God or Christ. Its how you feel, or what you accomplish, what you are learning or how you are succeeding. In a success worshipping culture like ours it works very well and preachers taking this approach are not lacking adherents or followers. Many have become more like gurus than preachers of the gospel. I have often wondered why they don't just forget the gospel entirely and move over into the motivational speakers' circuit.
I can hardly fight off the temptation to borrow a familiar phrase that the late John F. Kennedy used. Modified for present use it would sound something like this. Ask not what God can do for you, but ask what you can do for your God. Oversimplified? I think not. The last time I read my bible it still said that we are bond servants to our Lord Jesus Christ. I still take this to mean we are serving him and not the other way around. The gospel is to be obeyed, not just used as sensitivity training.
On a recent nationally syndicated TV newscast I listened to several people discussing the chances the believer has to stand up for their beliefs in this difficult place in time. Among them was my former Pastor, Dr. Richard land who is heard daily on over 600 radio stations around the country. One of the guests speaking along with Richard was a well known U.S. senator.
What he said in one breath was more poignant than anything I heard in any sermon for a long time. He said that this is a time of great opportunity for Christians throughout the US, not for proving what God can do for us. It is a time, he said, for us to prove to God that we are thankful for his salvation and ready to prove to him that we are his sons and daughters. Coming from a politician, and yet this statement should be engraved on the minds of every believer from Maine to California.
Jesus said, So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do. Mt 25:30 KJV How have we managed to twist this simple teaching to mean something almost the opposite of the way it was given? The preachers of the "you" gospel would have us to believe it should read…When God has done everything for us that He has promised to do, it will be very profitable for us.
I thought the "me" generation was only for the eighties but perhaps it has spawned an entirely new generation that might be referred to as the "Me, Myself and I" generation. Oh, those pesky pronouns!
Rev Bresciani has written many articles over the past thirty years in such periodicals as Guideposts and Catholic Digest. He is the author of two books available on Amazon.com, Alibris, Barnes and Noble and many other places. Rev Bresciani wrote, Hook Line and Sinker or What has Your Church Been Teaching You, published by PublishAmerica of Baltimore MD. He also wrote a book recently released by Xulon Press entitled An American Prophet and His Message, Questions and Answers on the Second Coming of Christ. Rev Bresciani has his own website at americanprophet.org