To be clear, I'm not talking about Rick Warren. While The Purpose-Driven Life wasn't my favorite book (I didn't finish it), I have read articles he's written that I liked and heard enough about him to believe he's genuine. Look at what he's doing with his life and with the money he's made from his books. He's reverse-tithing. He's using what he's got to help others.
I'm talking largely about Email Forward Theology. I think that our being led by our emotions instead of letting our emotions be a natural part of our selves leads to us creating a picture of God as a wise old Grandpa sitting on the back porch, rocking, smiling, ready to hand us whatever we ask for. We forget that serving God got James beheaded and Stephen stoned and Jeremiah thrown down a well. We miss the radical aspects of God and somehow begin to think that he's mostly concerned with our happiness. We misinterpret "all things work together for good" as "everything will turn out all right if you just trust God."
In this world, bad things happen. People die--even those we pray for. We don't always get what we want, not even all the good things that would really benefit us. We don't always get the kind of life we are absolutely sure we were meant to live. We aren't always happy.
But FWD Theology makes us feel like if things don't work out for us, then we don't have enough faith or maybe we're not really Christians. In the interest of feeling good it robs some of us of real peace.
A true relationship with God doesn't consist only of feel-good hand-holding. It follows paths that sometimes go through dark valleys. There are days you never even see a hint of the sun. There are even days when it seems as if God is hiding from you. A full relationship with God, I believe, acknowledges all this and acknowledges that He is still LORD.
So when I watch the productions that tell us that when we give our lives to God all our problems will end, and that if we hang in there long enough God will work miracles in our lives that will take away all of our problems, I tend to think that we've let emotionalism take the place of a deeper walk with God.
Sorry to rant.
Great points... I doubt anyone would argue with you on them. Thats the same issue I have with the "book of Jabez" fad, the prosperity theology that Osteen preaches.... and yes I don't forward theological e-mails either. The main reason is I've told my employer that I wouldn't participate in that mess so I'd be less than Christian if I did (even if they were "guilt-ridden" if you are real Christian you'll forward this). About 80% of those e-mail forwards are full of misinformation and just make the Christians look silly to anyone who is willing to research them.
I won't forward anything unless I've researched it 100%... but truthfully a person who makes it their point in life to forward all this Christian material, say if they sent 1000 messages a day.... well they would probably acheive more for the kingdom by getting in touch personally with one person a day.