True Prophets vs False Prophets
A true prophet is a truth-teller, one who sees and names things for what they really are, not for what we want them to be. They’re often unpopular for their claims. But even if the truths such prophets claim aren’t necessary pleasant, they do present an opportunity for liberation: from the illusion that suffering or pain is your fault, from the misconception that the goal of life is personal satisfaction, from the wasted time, energy, and money expended on trying to achieve such nonexistent aspirations.
There’s a temporary sense of fulfillment that comes from throwing yourself completely into the illusion that this person can give you everything you want or need. There’s a rush, not unlike doing drugs, or skydiving, or having sex. But just like those things, the good feelings fade and you’re still you in the end, with all the same longings, scars, and imperfections. Only now, you still have the lingering realization that the thing you tried to heal yourself from all of these woes didn’t work. So you’re left with trying to chase after the next thing that promises the same kind of healing, or with the knowledge that you’ve been suckered. And by then, the false prophet has already moved on to the next mark.
For the false prophet, your life could be so much better, more meaningful, more complete, if only (fill in the blank). This kind of good news is hucksterism, which is hardly the sole purview of Christian preachers. It always suggests that all of the imperfections, problems, senses of lack, want, etc, can all go away if you get the formula right. Ultimately all of these methods are about chasing a fleeting feeling or some nonexistent sense of total fulfillment which simply isn’t real. And to suggest that Jesus’ primary message was that it’s all about you, and that your happiness is what matters most, is a gross distortion of the Gospel.