Greetings Friends Around the World Over,
I hope you will find this post helpful in discerning a misleading belief system that’s extensive in the world today among Christians. It is called Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, or MTD in abbreviated form. May you have the understanding, and exercise the courage to depart from any worldview which distorts and does not faithfully represent the Gospel of Christ. May you remain true to the reality we have in Him, who alone can give us a lively hope with energizing joy.
The title of my post today is, “Bula” man-river as the answer to Moralistic Therapeutic Deism (MTD).* Consider the following statements I have excerpted from my book, “Bula man-river – The Miracle of Triune Living,” from which you can read the points of difference that separate the two belief statements – the worldview of MTD, and the beliefs and practices of the “Bula” man-river. **
MTD-1 “A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.”
“A god exists who created and ordered the world…” – Excerpt from my Book: “One of the most important and overlooked aspects of Jesus’ mission was that He came to reveal to us the true nature of God. Throughout His mission, Jesus made reference to God as His Father (John 17, 1:1-5, 14-8). John attests to this Father/Son relationship, saying, “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is the closest relationship with the Father, has made him known” (John 1:18). Jesus also mentions another personage in the unified Godhead – the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-18, 25-26; 15:26-27; 16:7-15; Matt. 28:18-20). Jesus came to reveal the true nature of God by revealing the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, and to show that God is triune in His nature and not solitary. God is ONE trinity. That is, He is the union of three persons in one Triune Godhead. He is not alone; He is not individualistic; He is not isolated or reclusive. The triune love between the Father, Son, and Spirit was something that was never seen articulated in humanity until the Son came and took upon Him His creaturely human body. (Pg.21-22, 182)”
“…and watches over human life on earth” – Excerpt from my Book: “From the beginning Adam and Eve experienced this miraculous life firsthand – they were given a home that God supernaturally materialized before their eyes, the Garden of Eden. God did not point out a jungle and instructed them to plant a garden themselves. No, God lovingly and meticulously planted the garden himself. God’s love is impartial – he has unreservedly set aside his love for every man, woman, and child for all time, and nothing can make him change his mind. He sacrificed his only Son to prove his love for all mankind. However, this intimate relationship can be made to happen in human reality. God waits upon man to choose to freely love him as He has chosen to freely love man. life of God. This life of miracles is one He intended for all humans to experience for all time… Miracles always remind us of a life we cannot inherit as humans, but we experience it as a foretaste of our future in God’s glorious realm. That’s our birthright.” (Pg.11-13, 18)
MTD-2 “God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.”
Excerpt from my Book – “From the essence of God’s love springs all gifts and all goodness… The apostle Peter defined God’s ministry in humanity this way: He is among us for nothing but good (Acts 10:38) This is clearly seen in the message of the Gospels. Wherever Jesus touched the lives of people, miracles happened. Regardless of who they were, it’s clear the only proviso was faith. We’re all special to Him. We are all born for this miracle-filled life as a direct act of goodness from the Creator Himself.”
“It’s not possible to speak of the Spirit’s work in the Bula man-river without the fruits that identify who He is – it’s one and the same, it’s unavoidable. (1Cor.13) Most times when people think of the fruits of the Spirit, they often view them academically through the legalistic lens of religious proponents who uses them to make “better people” of us. We live powerless lives when we do. We are not zombies, but free-will humans made in the image of God. We can view these fruits in a purely academic frame of mind, but they are first and foremost the energy and spark of the Spirit in the life of the Bula man-river. We can exercise them as some self-righteous human behavior or we can give ourselves to the Spirit to let His energy inspire our actions in them. The practice of the fruits of the Spirit is not for some hollow “self-improvement” exercise for human personal gain. The fruit is the Spirit’s creative energy for developing loving relationships with our God and our fellowman.”
“On the contrary, we fail to realize that from eternity these fruits undergirded the loving relationship of the three persons within the Triune God. Love’s energy is brought to life in the application of these fruits. In our constant presence before God, the Bula man-river share this energy and the creative relationships we have within the Triune existence of God. Now you are in their midst living the same life they live from eternity and tasting that life in the Spirit. This is the birthplace of gifts, dreams, talents, and calling… This defines the mechanics of Trinitarian living. The fruits of the Spirit articulate God’s love and undergirds all human relationships of the Bula man-river within the Triune existence of God. Jesus “lives creatively” in the power of the Spirit through us as Bula man-rivers from which we derive our inspired abilities (Matt. 16:24; John 8:12, 12:26; 1 Pet. 2:21). We don’t take the “creative fruits” of love in the Spirit and bottle them up inside us – that is “reverse flow”; it’s stagnation and lifelessness.”
“When relationships are motivated by fear they become twisted, for relationships are made for love based on the Triune existence of God Himself. His promise to each of us rings clear through time, because you’re a Bula man-river, you’ve come back home to Eden, from here on, “My love and goodness will chase after you every day of your life” (Ps. 23:6, The Message emphasis added)” (Pg. 156, 112-113, 25, 213)
MTD-3 “The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.”
Excerpt from my Book: “I echo the insightful comment made by Trevor Hart in an interview he gave to “You’re Included,” that “God made man to enjoy being in His presence.” That, in its simplest form, is the Gospel (Ps. 16:9, 11; Neh. 8:10; John 16:24). The purpose of miracles is to make that possible because God is Spirit and we are human and physical. To bring us into His presence, as a human, can only mean to live in a ceaseless joyful miraculous existence. That is why God declares He made every day to be enjoyed and rejoiced over (Ps. 118:24). He is declaring the state of His own existence, which, as a “unified being” in Jesus, we can enjoy by miraculous intervention. It is a presence lived both in this human life and in the life to come. When we have children, they come in our likeness because they have our DNA in them, and so it is with God. Man has God’s DNA in him, thus making the miraculous life possible.”
“To live your “dream-life” is your miracle, and it is the place to attract more miracles because that is His place and purpose for joy. We can simply tell a story that’s articulated in the interaction we have with God in our individual purpose and “life-gift.” That’s the basis upon which the subject of our calling and purpose. Life and gifts comes fused together and are inseparable. Therefore, a person’s “life-gift” or dream is always magnetizing to him or her. That’s to say, the “life-gift” is the magnet to a person’s life. We either flow with our gift or swim against it. Whoever a person is and becomes is only as good as the gift that defines him or her. Talent, purpose, dream, call it what you will, is what gives man purpose; without it, life is meaningless. There’s only one genuine and legitimate life God gives us, and through which He communicates Himself to us – our “life-gift” or purpose in life. Our purpose is founded upon Christ, “the author and finisher of our faith,” who is the storehouse of all the treasures of knowledge and wisdom (Heb. 12:2; Col. 2:3).” (Pg.17-18, 159)
MTD-4 “God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.”
Excerpt from my Book: “God has dreams to give each human as He gave to Joseph – if we will walk together. As I said, God’s hand is always outstretched. The question is, are our hands equally stretched out to His to live this life? To live your “dream-life” is your miracle, and it is the place to attract more miracles because that is His place and purpose for joy. Angels exist for this very purpose. That is essentially what this book is about – miracles! Miracles specific to you as a person made in the image of God, with a gift, your dream-life. Miracles are the product of God’s love. By being connected to His love you will find your miracle dream-life.”
“The primary attractant of miracles is the person’s purpose and dream-life. God wants to enter your world and give you the birthright that’s yours as a human made in His image. Your name bears your destiny, and your destiny bears your name. God’s love for man is beyond our comprehension. In other words, His love is like a river that never stops flowing, day or night. His hand is always outstretched to us. He has never left us, but we have left Him. This departure began in Eden when paradise was lost. God’s constant participation in our lives will make miracles more common; that’s obvious because of the interaction of the spiritual and the natural. This miracle-life is a participatory life. It’s like a dance—with your Maker. A dance is a “hands-on” activity done one-on-one, and done intimately when love is the magnet.” (Pg. 12, 17-18)
MTD-5 “Good people go to heaven when they die.”
Excerpt from my Book – “None of us signed a contract to die someday, return to the ashes of the earth, and be forever forgotten. The words the Creator uttered reveal man’s ultimate goal to be freed from the power of death. So we see the beautiful thoughts of God in creating man to share His image of immortality. Paul said, “It is appointed for man to die once and then the resurrection to judgment and to immortality” (Heb. 9:27; 1 Cor. 15:50-58; Phil. 3:9-11; Rev. 20:4-6, 11-13). That’s the ultimate purpose of becoming man-rivers of God. In God’s spiritual kingdom, there are as many offices and purposes as there are people’s destinies (John 14:1-3; Matt. 25:34). Every man, woman, and child is born to fill an office in His transcendent monarchy for which He has bestowed gifts to all. The first and greatest gift God gives man is His Spirit, who is the deposit of immortality. The purpose of life is to enter that place of promise, with immortality to live that life of destiny we have all been given. So the Bula man-river carries with him the seed of immortality.”
“This is our new life in Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension (Heb. 8:6-11). The heart of fear dies and reincarnates into a heart of love (God). This is the miraculous life we have been called to live, for nothing but a miracle can make it happen. He gave us His Son, so He too had to adopt His own humanity, thereby using the medium of humans as a blessing to humans through His life, death, resurrection, and ascension. That is what we inherit with Jesus and the Spirit in His Triune existence – something outside of our material existence – God’s Triune nature of love. When man is stripped off his fallen humanity and his material world in the resurrection, all he is left with is the love of God that never dies. Like Christ, we will have glorified human bodies natured in the love of God. For God is love (1 John 4:8).” (Pg. 12, 30, 34, 151)
From the presentation above, the Lord’s hand is extended in love to each and every one of you. He invites you to experience the miraculous life we have in Christ when we give ourselves to become Bula man-rivers in His hands, and live life that is truly life. (1 Tim.6:19) I invite you to read my book and see the breadth of God’s Triune love for you. May God’s blessing be with you all.
Kiang (Your Servant in Christ)
* The term Moralistic Therapeutic Deism or MTD, was first introduced in the book “Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers (2005),” by sociologists Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton. Their book was the result of a research project, the “National Study of Youth and Religion,” private funded by Lilly Endowment. The authors find that many young people believe in several moral beliefs that they label Moralistic Therapeutic Deism, and are given below:
- A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.
- God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.
- The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.
- God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.
- Good people go to heaven when they die. (www.wikipedia.org)
** The “Bulamanriver” is the metaphor describing the union of man with the Love of the Triune God flowing in humans, making possible the “Triune Life” – the source of the miraculous life in man. To read the many facets of life of the Bula man-river, go to my website www.bulamanriver.com where you can order a copy of my Book. Thank you for your support.
All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise