The Deification of Heather Lindsey
The appeal of Heather Lindsey isn’t that difficult to understand. Her beauty, her story, and the fruits of her life are all things typically admirable. She has cultivated the power of religious sexual repression and women’s desire for romantic validation. The result is a successful ministry with a reach in the 500,000+ range.
She appears as the penultimate representation of Godly femininity and womanhood. To her followers, her love for the Lord is infectious. Her words appear as prophetically timely to women in the bouts of loneliness. Her prayers for beauty in all things appear clearly reflected in every photo posted of her family’s life. Even photos of her in worship are ethereal, inducing awe and covet in their viewers. Her constant quoting of scriptures and punchy delivery of empowerment appears as a clear indication of one who has denied themselves for the call of Christ.
Heather has remarked previously about her compulsion of materialism in her life before Christ. She describes herself as someone who based her value on the accumulation of things: money, handbags, and other demonstrations of wealth. Though it appears she’s realized her value is found in Christ, remnants of her former attachment to material things remains. Be it a strategic placement of the Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM, the sly reveal of a red sole shoe, the extravagant children’s birthday parties, or the less-than-candid candid photos.
Certainly, no one has called God’s children to a life of asceticism. The brand ministry of Lindsey appears to be as much about Christian Louboutin as it is about Christ. It treads a fine line of showing God’s blessings and showing off. Surely, Heather must know that her posts create more frenetic enthusiasm for herself than for God. Further, she has to know that more focus on her means a weakened ability to lead one to Christ.
Check the Source
It is worth noting that the Godhead of the Lindsey home, Cornelius, was an employee of Pastor Creflo Dollar of World Changers from 2006-2010. Creflo Dollar is primarily known for his preaching of prosperity gospel, a belief that God desires for his faithful adherents to be rich. Despite denials, rumors still persist that one must present their W2 for membership at Dollar’s church. Cornelius describes the experience of working for Dollar as “a ride I wasn’t prepared to take, and please understand that the emotional bumps and bruises still affect me to this day.”
Indeed it appears that the residue of Dollar remains. The Lindseys display Dollar’s leanings in leadership and grandiose displays of wealth. In 2012, Creflo Dollar was arrested on battery charges after assaulting his 15 year-old daughter. In a statement on the incident, Dollar states “As a father I love my children and I always have their best interest at heart at all times.” He also remarked that the incident was part of the devil’s plan to “discredit” his ministry. The testimony of his daughters? He simply writes off as “Malicious witnesses [who] testify against me,” he said, reading from Psalms 35 in the Old Testament. “They accuse me of crimes I know nothing about … May those who rejoice in my discomfort be humiliated and disgraced.” Dr. Creflo Dollar was again a subject of contentious debate after he requested his membership support the purchase of $65M G650 jet in 2015.
Isn’t She Lovely?
Heather’s words and actions can leave readers in two ways. One is the feeling is inferiority, a common side effect of seeing the best moments of one’s life cataloged on social media. The second is the root of obsessive compulsion to have her life as your own. Her followers wait with baited breath to share her next words across the internet. They clamor to double tap and comment on every Instagram post. Some take it a few steps further.
The cleansing of Heather Lindsey’s social media accounts is well known. She as much a brand as she is a ministry. Her feed is carefully curated and dissent monitored and, in many cases, removed. Her followers will aid in her defense, some more viciously than others, anytime someone comments with opposing thought. Though Lindsey has never explicitly condoned this, she’s never explicitly condemned this behavior either.
Curiously enough, she hasn’t been vocally against the idolization of her beauty, ministry, or life as a wife on any of her social media channels. A stroll through the comments section of any @heatherllove account will tell the tale far better than I could. Her ministry marketing plan is not unlike most. She provides enough of an intimate glimpse into her life to create an artificial bond and connectedness with her audience. Every post is deliberate and fans the flames of covetous desire. It is evident in the exuberant compliments and adoration that litters her comments section, behavior she often acquiesces to. While she’s discouraged sexual soul ties for her [single] adherents, she’s done little to prevent the soul ties formed between her ministry and its followers.
Vanity is En Vogue
The natural question here is why discuss Mrs. Lindsey? She is no different than other social media figures who’ve amassed a large, loyal following. She appears as no more or less harmful than other moderate public figures. The answer is simple.
Heather’s platform has afforded her the opportunity to spread misinformation to a large, impressionable audience. She has convinced, and continues to convince, masses of women that their complex feelings in singleness should be ignored. She does this largely without critical examination of her theological interpretations or behavior. Even without the countless displays of vanity and vainglory on the part of the Lindseys, we cannot look over their growing impact on the lives of women.
As Min. Candice Benbow mentions, the singleness of Black Christian women is largely over-spiritualized. Make no mistake about it: the majority of Lindsey’s audience is comprised of single, Black, Christian women. Lindsey has created a ministry that teaches that women are single because God is pruning & preparing for the entrance of her mate can come in at best. At worst, her ministry teaches that singleness is as a result of being especially chosen by God for a life of solitude in preparation for His return.
The tenets of Heather Lindsey’s ministry suggests that single women must do and become enough in order to become a wife. In every instance, Lindsey has created a profitable business model by planting the idea that women aren’t “good” enough on their own. Ministry should not be in business to profit from misery. And there is nothing more miserable than creating a space that causes women to base their entire identity, worth, and esteem on their sexuality.
And many impressionable young women are buying in wholesale hook, line, and sinker.
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