1 Cor 11:1. Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
Iyanla Vanzant has a television show in which she helps people to “find themselves.” She throws out a few Scriptures to make you think that she’s teaching and equipping from a biblical standpoint; however, she doesn’t stand firm on Scripture. As of this writing, I understand that she has a significant Christian following; however, Iyanla is an ordained Yoruba priestess and an ordained New Thought minister.[i] The Yoruba religion “holds that all human beings possess what is known as “Àyànmô” (destiny, fate) and are expected to eventually become one in spirit with Olódùmarè (Olòrún, the divine creator and source of all energy). Furthermore, the thoughts and actions of each person in Ayé (the physical realm) interact with all other living things, including the Earth itself.”[ii] As a Minister in “New Thought, sometimes known as Higher Thought, promotes the ideas that Infinite Intelligence, or God, is everywhere, spirit is the totality of real things, true human selfhood is divine, divine thought is a force for good, sickness originates in the mind, and “right thinking” has a healing effect.” [iii] Think on that for a moment! She is providing advice, some of it is good, that is based on spiritual concepts that differ fundamentally from ours. As I looked at her and her views from a biblical worldview, I became concerned for the people following her .
In one episode, Iyanla seemingly encouraged a pastor’s wife to leave her husband.[iv] This man had at least 20 affairs during their marriage. In another episode, Iyanla embraced a transgendered female as “he” instead of as “she” (this person’s sex at birth). This caused a lot of problems within the family. Iyanla invoked the word “god” several times. She clearly wasn’t referring to our God but some “god.” The transgendered female’s father is a pastor, and he didn’t pick up on Iyanla’s twisted version of the Fruits of the Spirit.
In short, our stance can’t be situational. Iyanla used her stage to provide further confusion instead of clarity on how a Christian should react. Many of us might be doing the same thing. I’m disappointed that these two Christian pastors followed the advice of this non-Christian minister.
It appears Iyanla has a huge female following … Is your head on a swivel for the ideas that are allowed into your home? Iyanla is just one example; there are plenty of male examples we could address also. Are you protecting your spouse and children from false doctrine? Everything that shines isn’t gold. It also isn’t godly.
We must not follow someone just because they quote a few Scriptures. We shouldn’t follow them just because they are doing “some good things.” Rather, we must evaluate everything based on a solid knowledge of the Bible—and this requires spending time in it. Let’s follow those who follow Christ.
Note: This is an excerpt from Yves’ soon-to-be published book, Outside The Wire: Preparing For Spiritual Warfare. Order your presale copy and get it at a discount.
[i] “Iyanla Helps A Pastor Heal Old wounds.” Oprah Winfrey Network. Accessed on April 27, 2013 from http://www.oprah.com/own-iyanla-fix-my-life/Iyanla-Vanzant-Helps-a-Pastor-Heal-Old-Wounds-Video.
[iv] “Iyanla Fix My Transgender Life.” Oprah Winfrey Network. Accessed on April 27, 2013 from http://www.oprah.com/own-iyanla-fix-my-life/Iyanla-Fix-My-Transgender-Life.