Christlike Or RELIGIOUS CLONE?
Earlier today I came across a YouTube video of a Charismatic Pentecostal word of faith-flavored false prophetess named “Sheryl Brady.” (click on the link below)
As I watched this video, I said to myself “Why does she sound and act like T.D. Jakes?? Her “preaching” style, the inflections in her voice, and her body language are just like T.D. Jakes. It’s as if I’m sitting here listening to a white woman channel the personality of T.D. Jakes.”
So I did some research and lo and behold I learned that Sheryl Brady was mentored by none other than T.D. Jakes. Big surprise huh? Check out the following excerpt from a December 1, 2012 interview with the “Christian” Post:
Pastor Sheryl Brady recently spoke with The Christian Post about how Bishop T.D. Jakes impacted her life and helped her decide to take to the pulpit and lead a congregation. Brady was commissioned by Jakes to pastor The Potter’s House of North Dallas less than two years ago. The church has grown from a few hundred congregants to a few thousand.
CP: How did Bishop T.D. Jakes impact you? Brady: It was really Bishop Jakes who made me become aware of the gifts that were within my life. My story is that I was a 15-year-old high school dropout and life was very hard for me because of the lack of education and of jobs and finances and all of that kind of thing. When I met him it really began to wake-up a lot of the things inside of me that I had no idea were there. So, my connection with him, for my life, it was vital because I really believe God used him as a key to help unlock some of the treasure that was inside of me.
CP: How did you meet him? Brady: I was invited by a friend to attend his church service and as I watched him preach – you know sometimes God gives us a glimpse into our future – I could just see myself doing that. Some people say they go to school for that or a theology school. I wish I could say that I did that, but really it was like an epiphany. God just really began to tell me “you got this in you.”
The purpose of this blog is not to pick on Sheryl Brady, but rather to use her as an example of a common phenomenon in churchianity today: RELIGIOUS CLONING.
Religious cloning is when a ‘pastor’ reproduces a copy, replica, or an imitation of himself in his followers. In essence, what you end up with is a clone of the ‘pastor’ [a person who duplicates, imitates, and closely resembles the appearance, function, performance, and “preaching” style of their ‘pastor’] rather than a disciple of Jesus Christ.
I’m not going to tap dance around the mulberry bush in saying this, religious cloning is demonic. It’s not just carnal or an innocent “mistake”. . . . . it’s of an antichrist spirit. If a so-called “pastor” is cloning himself by reproducing his own image in his “spiritual sons and daughters” — the saints need to seriously question what spirit is operating through him.
And I am not “bashing T.D. Jakes” or any ‘pastor’ who falls into this category. I am simply using discernment by testing all things by the word of God (1 Thessalonians 5:21, Matthew 7:15-20, 1 John 4:1). The word of God is clear that our Father’s will is to conform us to the image of His only begotten Son Jesus Christ: “For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters..” (Romans 8:29)
The word “conformed” means “to become similar in form, nature, or character; to give the same shape, outline, or contour to; to act in accordance with; to accommodate; to be obedient and compliant in action or behavior; to be in harmony or agreement with.”
Our heavenly Father is the Divine Potter and we are like clay in His hands (Isaiah 64:8, Jeremiah 18:1-6), and His will is to shape, mold, and conform us to the image [character] of His Son Jesus Christ. And what is the character of Jesus? The fruit of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)
God is not cloning, cultivating, or “birthing” the image of ‘pastors’ in people — that is a work of the enemy. God is cultivating the image or character of His Son in Believers.
Paul the apostle wrote “My children, with whom I am in labor until CHRIST is formed in you–” (Galatians 4:19). The Greek word “morphoō” translated as “formed” means “to fashion, shape, or mold.” The apostles labored among the people of God so that CHRIST and not THEIR OWN IMAGE would be fashioned, shaped, and molded in them. Be careful of “pastors” who claim to be your “spiritual father/mother” with a “prophetic mandate to birth you into your destiny, season, harvest, purpose, calling, anointing, ministry,” etc. Whether they realize it or not, they are being used by the enemy to clone themselves in you, instead of laboring until CHRIST is formed in you.
Much of this “spiritual mother/father, covering, birthing” hocus pocus is just religious cloning being carried out through Scripture-twisting and so-called “mentoring.” Religious leaders are replicating and proliferating themselves among the masses, rather than making disciples of Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20). Run for your life from “pastors” who want you to “take on their anointing/mantle/ministry” because they want you to be like THEM rather than Jesus. That is Satanic.
Acts 4:13 says “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.” When the religious crowd in 1st century Jerusalem heard Peter and John speak, they could tell that they had been in the presence of Jesus. They didn’t hear the personality of James speaking through Peter and John or see a replica of Matthew standing before them — they saw the character of Jesus and heard His voice speaking through the apostles. That is because the apostles were born-again and conformed to the image of Christ. They had the Lord’s Spirit, His mind, His fruit, and His word. They were so captivated by Christ that His image shone through them to outsiders.
Compare that to today’s church-system where many professed Christians have become clones of wolves, hirelings, and denominations. People do not perceive that they have been with Jesus, but instead, they hear the personalities of religious leaders being channeled through professed Christians and see the image of man-made religious-systems.
How does religious cloning happen? It happens through idolatry, which is the worship of a false god. Many professed Christians are captivated by electrifying religious leaders, and whatever we are captivated by — we conform to and reflect. If we are captivated by Christ, we will conform to Him and reflect His image. But if we are captivated by religious leaders, we will take on their personality, mindset, and even the inflections of their voice and body language.
Sadly, many people who profess Christ are not captivated by Him. They are transfixed on celebrity “pastors,” so they attend all of their conferences, and buy all of their books, tapes, cd’s, and dvd’s trying to mimic their ‘preaching’-style, theology, and body language. And of course they hope to replicate the results of celebrity ‘pastors’ — fame, status, material wealth, a large following, and power and authority over their own personal religious empire.
When you listen to Paula White, you are not hearing Jesus expressed through her unique personality — you are listening to T.D. Jakes speaking through her. When you look at Juanita Bynum, you are not seeing the light of Jesus shining through her unique personality — you are looking at a by-product of T.D. Jakes. When you heard Mase Betha teach in the past, you were not listening to someone who had been with Jesus — you were listening to Creflo Dollar channeling himself through one of his religious clones.
The same can be said for many up and coming “gospel” artists as well as ordinary everyday professed Christians who aren’t famous. I can see it in the way they talk, the way they sing, they way they walk, their ‘ministry’-style, the structure of their religious organizations. . . they have been captivated by heretics who ‘birthed’ their sinful image into their soul.
Saints, if you have been tricked into allowing some so-called “man or woman of God” to reproduce their own image in you, I urge you to repent. God has called us to be followers of Christ conformed to His image — not disciples of pastors conformed to their image. If the image of Christ is not being formed in us, but the image of a man — that is a mark of the beast mentality, because the mark is simply the name, number, and image of a man — which is SIN/THE FLESH.
A Christian is called to be CHRISTLIKE, not “celebrity-preacherlike.” It is past time for Believers to return to our first love and be captivated by Christ. Then and only then can we reflect His light and glory in a dark dying world.
“For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not ourselves.” (2 Corinthians 4:6-7).