In Galatians 1:7 (NLT), Paul states that “…there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ”. Of course, your next question may be “why would someone want to deliberately pervert or twist the Gospel?” The answer is simply this: for selfish gain.
Many of the false teachers of today have created a commodity from the Gospel – they use it to attain wealth (from tithes, offerings, love offerings, first fruits, etc.). Once the false teachers begin to gain a steady and lucrative income from you, you cease to be a parishioner and you now become revenue stream (or a “giving unit” as described in the Finance Office of your church).
The videos below are an egregious example of a false teaching perpetrated by Dr. Jamal Bryant – Senior Pastor of Empowerment Temple AME church in Baltimore, MD. Bryant has twisted the gospel for some time, but most folks ignored it because he’s young, charismatic, and charming.
Bryant and his wife are divorcing – his wife alleges that he fathered a child out of wedlock (with a member of his congregation). I won’t turn this site into a supermarket tabloid, so visit the Baltimore Sun newspaper to learn more of the official story
Anyway, Bryant took to the pulpit of his church a few weeks ago to address (or not address) the issue that his congregation had been whispering about for some time. Does he admit his wrong and repent? Does he ask for forgiveness and seek godly counsel? Well, view the videos below (in order) and tell me what you hear:
So let me get this straight – Bryant uses the story of Nathan confronting David about Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12:1-24, NLT) to justify that he is “still the man”? Interestingly, he started with verse 7, and didn’t even bother to present the Gospel in its proper context. How low can you go? At least David had the decency to confess that he had sinned before the Lord (2 Samuel 12:13) – did you hear Bryant confess and repent to the people he’s been entrusted to lead? He then distorts Psalm 51:10-13 (NLT).
Again, this division of Psalm is David asking God to create a clean heart in him – because of his sin with Bathsheba. If you read the chapter in its entirety, you’ll see that David recognizes his rebellion (verse 3), and admits that he sinned against God – and that God’s punishment is just (verse 4).
Finally, at the end of Part 4, Bryant’s “armor bearer” twists the knife a final time by distorting the account of Christ reading in the Temple in Luke 4:20 (NKJV). An exploration of the entire account, however tells the full story in context:
16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written:
The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
19 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”
20 Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” 22 So all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth. And they said, “Is this not Joseph’s?” Luke 4:16-20 NKJV)
OK, so let me get this straight – Jesus’ declaration that He is the Messiah that Isaiah foretold of is equivalent to Bryant’s tantrum and ending his “sermon” by slamming his bible closed and walking away in a huff?
The saddest part about this whole affair (pardon the pun) is the reaction of his congregation. What if he admitted (or not admitted) to murdering an innocent person – would they do cartwheels and throw money at his feet?
This is yet another example of the need for prayer in the Body of Christ. Men and women are being imprisoned while trying to spread the Gospel in hostile territory, and this clown is huffing and puffing because his revenue stream is being threatened?
We need to pray…