I recently came across a social media link referencing a rapper I previously never heard of, tackling an issue that has replayed in my mind over the years, particularly as I’ve watched friends praise various people the rapper berates in rhyme.
Rap artist Shai Linne managed to gather some press of late, taking on some so-called prosperity preachers for their lies and distortions in a rap called “Fal$e Teacher$”. I even saw where another rapper likened these charlatans to “motivational speakers” rather than preachers. I guess this just goes to show the wisdom in Ecclesiastes is true when Solomon writes “Nothing under the sun is truly new” as I’ve had the very same thoughts about the people Shai Linne names. Read here Linne’s response to Paula White, one of the motivational speakers (I simply can’t in good conscience call her a preacher), after her “ministry” responded to his rap.
Rather than write a critical review of Mr. Linne’s rhyme, I’ll key on a few of the statements he makes in his rap and share some of my own thoughts.
Don’t be deceived by this funny biz
if you come to Jesus for money
then he’s not your God
Earlier in his rap he criticizes prosperity preachers for “treating Jesus like a lottery ticket!”
This has long been a problem of mine. And not just that, but the tentacles and premises that follow from the idea that all we need to do is pray to Jesus and ask him for stuff, and he’ll give it to us. I told a friend the other day it’s akin to rubbing the bible just right, as if we’re rubbing a jeannie’s bottle and making our wishes known.
I’ve actually has my faith questioned by people in church because of things they were aware of in my life, such as the loss of a job while I had a wife and young child to support. Thankfully, it forced me into the Bible, where I read the story about a guy named Job, whom God had some very praiseworthy things to say about early in the story.
Instances such as this must come from the foul fumes of the whole prosperity gospel mantra. How else can you explain the idea that all we need is to simply “believe” and God will pour monetary riches on us like we’ve never seen? All I know is that’s not been the case in my life.
Linne also raps:
And you’re thinking they’re not the dangerous type
because some of their statements are right
that only proves that Satan comes as an angel of light!
This reminds me of the story about the temptation of Jesus that is recorded in Matthew 4, Luke 4, and Mark 1 and how even Satan quoted scripture to Jesus in his ill-fated attempt to get Jesus to bow to him.
That’s why I’m so concerned about friends and others who listen to folks like Joel Olsteen, Paula White, TD Jakes and others. If, as the bible states in 2 Corinthians 11:14, Satan masquerades himself as an “angel of light,” then there’s no wonder why folks like these, and many others, can be so attractive. As long as they pepper their motivational speeches with a few choice out-of-context quotes from the bible, people will follow them because, after all, they’re quoting the bible!
Look at how Eugene Peterson translates 2 Corinthians 11:12-15 in The Message Version and see if this idea was possibly on his mind too (and that of the Apostle Paul’s) as this was written:
And I’m not changing my position on this. I’d die before taking your money. I’m giving nobody grounds for lumping me in with those money-grubbing “preachers,” vaunting themselves as something special. They’re a sorry bunch — pseudo-apostles, lying preachers, crooked workers — posing as Christ’s agents but sham to the core. And no wonder! Satan does it all the time, dressing up as a beautiful angel of light. So it shouldn’t surprise us when his servants masquerade as servants of God. But they’re not getting by with anything. They’ll pay for it in the end.
As an aside, I have long appreciated several of the pastors I’ve had over the years, who continually prompted me and other congregants not to merely believe their words, but to search it out in the scriptures for ourselves.
While I hope that through Shai Linne more people will begin to discern the truth and not be attracted by the facade, the sad fact remains that we’re in a spiritual battle for our eternal lives and we must be ever vigilant to the false teachers among us.