Taken from the comments and written by one of NLQ’s commenters Abigail Smith on Samantha Field’s The Smell Test: 5 Signs of a Toxic Church
I formulated these “10 Red Flags” about “Christian” celebrities and ministries during my escape from QF over the last few years
1) Unbalanced- you just sense something is wrong but it sounds good and holy and everything is “backed up” with scripture verses (antidote: the gospel is so simple that even children can understand it)
2) the bloggers, pastors, etc “minister” to you with condescension and without true humility. They delight in themselves and not the Lord. If there were no internet or social media, would they be content to anonymously serve the Lord without posting pictures of themselves doing it?
3) they say they know exactly what EVERYONE needs to do (one size fits all mentality) and they must have lots of “followers”, who then will defend them without thinking for themselves if what has been said is true and especially what every woman needs to do. They are flaky and “flighty” especially for the women…an “affected” quiet spirit but it looks phony, and usually forced wearing of skirts/dresses.
4)the Holy Spirit is minimized or just plain left out- who needs Him when you have them to tell you what to do?
5)hyperfocus on avoiding carnality (I call this the Chocolate Cake Conundrum…if you tell a dieter they can’t have chocolate cake, all they want is chocolate cake)
6)say one thing but does another (hypocrites in personal lives)
7)will answer only detractors (and smear them) but can’t support any honest inquiry or dialogue
8) they have a “formula” to follow (cloaked legalism), which “happens” to be promoted in their latest book or TV show and they chose choose riches over a “good name” as the bible truly encourages. And for a fee, they can come talk to your church group or conference about it.
9) very “pious” sounding but no real Christian fruit in their lives
10) they do not have self-control, and they convince others to believe they can’t possibly have it either (antidote: self control is one of the fruits of the spirit)
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