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False Teacher of the Day #56: Mike Todd, Transformation Church

by | Mar 18, 2024 | Apostasy, False Teacher of the Day, heresy, Opinion, Religion, Social-Issues, The Church, Video

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It’s been a while since I published an article in our ongoing False Teacher of the Day series. But here is one who has become increasingly popular in recent years, and though the spiritually discerning already know this, it is obligatory to point him out. All throughout Evangelical Christendom, few figures provoke as much controversy as Pastor Mike Todd of Transformation Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Todd, a man synonymous with a brand of Christianity that is as unorthodox as it is circus-like, has become emblematic of a worrying trend within the faith—a movement that elevates spectacle over scripture, entertainment over edification.

At the center of Todd’s “ministry”—if we can even call it that—is an approach that can best be described as a circus of sensationalism where the eternal is eclipsed by the ephemeral. One of the most glaring examples of this sacrilege is Todd’s promotion of the prosperity gospel, an ideology that promises material wealth and physical well-being to believers who possess sufficient faith. This false teaching stands in stark contrast to the New Testament’s emphasis on spiritual riches and the inherent dangers of avarice. Yet, Todd, along with associate Pastor Tim Ross, pushes this narrative, misleadingly equating financial success with divine favor.

Further exacerbating concerns is Todd’s penchant for theatricality and shock tactics, always at the expense of reverence for God’s glory. A particularly egregious instance was his recent stunt where he covered a Bible and communion elements with syrup and whipped cream—a display that not only trivializes but outright mocks the solemnity of Christian symbols and ordinances. Such clownmanship betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of, or disregard for, the weighty significance of these elements in Christian worship and belief. Here’s a clip of that moment:

Compounding these issues, Todd’s associate Pastor Ross, under Todd’s leadership, has ventured into deeply rank blasphemy and perverted theological territory. In a sermon, Ross astonishingly compared Jesus to a stripper, suggesting that just as a stripper disrobes for money, Jesus stripped Himself of glory for humanity’s sake, reducing the Savior’s sacrificial death to an act of transactional nudity.

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Transformation Church’s engagement with modern feminist movements further illustrates Todd’s controversial stance on social issues. While feminism seeks to address and rectify gender inequalities, the church’s alignment with certain aspects of the movement raises questions about its commitment to biblical teachings on gender and leadership roles within the church. Such alignment indicates a troubling confluence of biblical reinterpretation with secular ideologies, potentially undermining the church’s doctrinal foundations.

The climax of Todd’s controversial actions was the simulated crucifixion of a woman during an Easter service, a spectacle accompanied by secular music that stands in direct opposition to the reverence traditionally accorded to the commemoration of Christ’s resurrection. This act, more than any other, encapsulates the crux of the issue with Todd’s ministry: a penchant for blending the sacred with the profane in ways that detract from the gospel’s message.

His fans might argue that Todd’s methods are simply innovative approaches to evangelism, designed to engage a modern audience. However, the line between contextualization and compromise is thin, and when the gospel is obscured by theatrics, the essence of Christian teaching is lost. The Bible warns believers to be vigilant against false teachings and to uphold the purity of the gospel. As 2 Timothy 4:3-4 warns, “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”

Mike Todd’s ministry, with its emphasis on entertainment, prosperity theology, and sensationalism, represents a departure from the sound doctrine that the Apostle Paul admonished Timothy, and by extension, all Christians to uphold. As such, believers are urged to exercise discernment, to hold fast to the truth of Scripture, and to resist the allure of teachings that, while perhaps engaging and contemporary, ultimately stray from the path of biblical orthodoxy and faithfulness to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

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