Monday, August 18, 2008

Daisy Theology - He Love Me, He Loves Me Not (Transcript)

I suppose someone listening to this may not be familiar with the plucking of Daisy petals to determine someone’s love.

A young lady might pick a Daisy flower, and stare at it as she picks off its petals one by one. As she picks a petal, she says aloud, “He loves me.”

As she picks off the next petal, she says, “He loves me not.”

Petal by petal she speaks the words, “He loves me, he loves me not; he loves me, he loves me not,” until the last petal is plucked off. And whichever phrase coincides with the last petal, tells her whether the one she loves...loves her.

Silly superstition, I know. But even sillier is building our view of God around Daisy Theology.

Performance Is What It's All About?

Daisy Theology is that view of God that basically says, God loves me when I perform well, and when I don’t perform well...well, how could God love somebody like me, when I act like that, or think this or that?

And so many have built their Christian lives around the awful thought pattern, “He loves me, he loves me not; He loves me, He loves me not.”

They may not SAY that God doesn't love them, but they FEEL it. And they feel it because they THINK it. And they think it because it's TAUGHT to them every time performance-based Christianity is held up as an idol.

And it's a shame. And it's not just a shame. It's a blasphemous denial of the Cross of Christ, where He said, "it is finished". It's Galatianism at its most subtle. It's the attitude that God loves me when I'm "good", and frowns with disappointment and anger when I'm not "good".

It's screamed from the pulpit every time condemnation is heaped on the sheep, because they aren't performing to perfection. It's screamed by pop Christian books that consist of nothing but 10 or 40 or 100 "rules to live by".

Books like How to Be A Good ______ [husband, wife, friend, Christian, worshiper, charity worker, pray-er, etc. ad nauseum]. Written by men and women who know that they fall short, but think it is incumbent on them to tell everyone else how to be a "Good ______."

Not precious principles from a loving God who loves us because He chose to before the foundation of the world, but rules to measure by. Rules to condemn by.

Daisy Theology is hurtful to the Christian life.

Why Daisy Theology Is Hurtful To The Christian Life

Here are 7 reasons why:

1. It quenches the peace of God.

Peace is a fruit of the Spirit. When we are filled with the Spirit and walking by the Spirit, we have peace in our hearts. This is a cycle, because the more we have peace in our hearts, the more we desire to commune with the Lord. We want to draw near to Him, and express our love to Him, and draw on His wonderful love for us.

When wrong thoughts about God creep into our thinking, it pushes out the right thoughts. And this quenches the Holy Spirit, and causes us to be robbed of our peace. Instead of resting and basking in the love of God, we fret and worry and amazingly, we may not even know we’re doing it for a while.

We may even try to perform better, trying to earn God’s favor and love and peace. And so we get off of the ground of Grace, and onto the ground of Law. And the cycle goes the other way. Until we come back to the great truth that God loves us by Grace, unconditionally, accepting us in the Beloved, Jesus Christ.

So Daisy Theology quenches the peace of God.

2. It causes believers to experience condemnation, in direct violation of Romans 8:1.

Rom. 8:1 says that there is now NO condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. But that doesn’t mean believers don’t sometimes FEEL condemnation. And if you FEEL condemned, then in a way you are. And so there is this odd thing going on where one is experiencing what is not even true.

And when a believer experiences condemnation, they will either have discouragement and despair for a time, or they will muster up their flesh and determine to perform well to earn God’s love. And under this lie-based scenario, the Spirit is quenched, and there’s another spiritual tailspin.

3. It steals the joy of salvation.

Joy is also a fruit of the Spirit, and is robbed from us for the same reason peace is robbed from us. The cry of David in Psalm 51:12 is the same cry that comes from the one who is in the dry desert of Daisy Theology: Lord, “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation”. But cry as we might, that joy won’t be restored until we abandon “He loves me, He loves me not,” and acknowledge the precious truth that He loves me.

4. It's contagious, spreading it's lie like a virus, everytime someone "sneezes" it.

The world, the flesh and the devil are intent on deceiving believers in Jesus Christ about God’s love for us. Every day in a thousand ways, every Sunday even in the pulpits of preachers who love Jesus, the virus of Legalism is spread.

Every time the Christian life is portrayed as some measure of performance, making it man-centered while pretending to be Christ-centered, the virus is spread. Every time God is taught to be angry and frowning on His born-again children until they get their act together, the virus is spread.

Every time the Christian life is looked at as a list of rules to live by, or else...the virus of Daisy Theology is spread.

We need to immunize ourselves from this virus, by proclaiming from the Word of God, and meditating in our hearts on the truth that God has already forgiven all of our sins, past present and future.

And there is nothing we can do to make Him love us more, and nothing we can do to make Him love us less. He loves us, because He has chosen to do so, even while we were yet unsaved.

5. It is rampant in the minds of many believers, and therefore in the church.

This may sound a little redundant, but it’s important to realize that this is not an isolated problem in the Church. We need to be on guard against Legalism and Daisy Theology all the time.

I don’t mean that we become Grace police, and jump down someone’s throat every time we hear it. But we can help the cause of Jesus and His Grace among our brethren, by speaking the truth in love, and by guarding our own hearts against the lie that God loves and favors us based on our performance.

6. It is seldom directly taught from the pulpit, but it's virus is smeared all over congregations by implication.

What do I mean by that? Well, hardly anyone preaches, “God doesn’t love you when you sin. He hates you, and you are going to Hell if you don’t stop that sinning and be perfect.”

No, it’s much more subtle than that, and unfortunately, is preached by preachers who themselves are fuzzy on God’s unconditional acceptance of us in Christ. They have often been taught Law-based theology in Seminary or Bible College.

They have been “warned” by well-meaning teachers that if you really preach Grace in all its fullness that the sheep will run wild. They’ve been taught that focusing on our performance is the best way to honor God. And so on.

And so they pass on these concepts to their flocks, never understanding that we are not only saved by Grace apart from works initially, but that we are to live by Grace apart from works AFTER we are saved.

That doesn’t mean that we don’t DO good works after we’re saved. We will. It’s God who is at work in us both to will and to do for His good pleasure, Paul tells the Philippians.

And as New Creations in Christ, who love Jesus, we WANT to live holy lives. But what about when we don’t? Does God withhold His love from us? Of course not.

7. It seems to "make sense", but is utterly unbiblical, destructive, and anti-Christ.

I know it seems to make sense. Humanly speaking, why shouldn’t God be angry at us, and frown on us when we fail? After all, didn’t He give us the
Bible with all the rules for living? And didn’t He give us His Holy Spirit so we have the power to obey all those rules? I mean it only makes sense.

The problem with that is that it is simply not true. It’s not the way it is. Why? Because Jesus became sin for us so that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21).

Romans 5:10: "For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!"

See, we have been reconciled to God, forever. We have been declared righteous by Him, through the blood of Christ. Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us (Gal. 3:13).

And so there is no barrier to His love for us.

And for that we can love Him.

Daisy Theology is one of the most subtle and destructive corruptions of the Word of God that has ever been cooked up by the Doctrines of Demons, Inc. lie factory.

Don't buy their product! Call the Better Bible Bureau and report them!

If you are Christ's, there is nothing that can separate you from His love. Don't forget that. There is nothing you can do that will make Him love you more or love you less. He loves you, period.

The curtain has been torn apart. The wall has been torn down. It is finished. He loves you, period.

Don't even look at a daisy, until you are completely recovered.


Anonymous said...

Amen. Great Blog.

The metaphor of the Daisy Theology. I remember reading it in both Wayne Jacobson's "He Loves Me" book and also Jim Robbin's book "Recover Your Good Heart."

This "theology" is so destructive. You lay out how it is very nicely here.

~Amy :)

Mark D. Vilen said...

I always find myself looking forward to your devotionals/messages. You and Steve McVey are two people I always learn from, and am inspired by. For many years, I bought into the "Daisy Theology." Thankfully, I discovered my identity in Christ and that I'm under grace.
Thanks for your ministry.

Only Look said...

This is never redundant. Your can climb back into our minds ever so subtly.

Thanks brother.

Grace upon grace,


Terry Rayburn said...


Thanks for the input.


Thank you, too, brother.


Always appreciate your encouragement.

Blessings all,

Matthew Daelon said...

Like Brian said. This message is never redundant. My mind is always seeking to stray off of the narrow way of grace. It's such a simple, wonderful message but the distractions from the accuser can easily shift our focus from Christ to self. As the strong winds caused Peter to take his eyes off of Christ and to put them on himself, so the devil always seeks to distract us with fear, guilt and condemnation to take our eyes off of Jesus and put them back on to ourselves.

Anonymous said...

Dear Terry,
How does a French school game like "he loves me, he loves me not." have anything to do with God? I am teenage girl and have been playing this game my whole life to find out is a boy "loves" me, it's just a silly game. Or do you mean something different entirely?

Terry Rayburn said...


Thanks for writing.

The point is that Christians sometimes feel like God doesn't love them as much when they do something wrong as when they do things right.

But God loves His children COMPLETELY, whether they are in a good behavior mode or not.

So if a Christian is thinking, "He loves me, He loves me not", they are wrong. He DOES love me.

Are you a Christian? If you are, then He loves you totally and always as His precious child.

If you're not a Christian, I would urge you to come to Jesus Christ.

Believe in Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and rose again on the third day as our Savior and Lord.

You can find out about Him in the Bible.

If you're not used to reading the Bible, you might want to start by reading the Gospel of Mark in the Bible. Then the Gospel of John.

Thanks again for writing.