Self Absorption

October 8, 2012 at 6:30 am | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment

No….I’m not talking about some freaky genetic condition where your body somehow consumes itself and implodes. What I’m talking about, instead, is the idea that we human beings are something special. That we are the top of the heap and there is no one more important than us. Not only that, I’m going to be specific and say that I’m talking about the idea that you, as a particular human being that is part of a larger group, are the most important object/person/singular being in the universe. I know, I know. It sounds pretty harsh. The question isn’t about whether it’s harsh or not; the question is whether it’s true or not. If it’s true, there should be examples everywhere.

All you really have to do to see the truth of this is take a look at the modern American lifestyle. People get the latest fads in technology, cars, and houses because they’re status symbols and prove that the person is “cutting edge”. People drive their cars in a way that implies that their raving lunatics because the only thing that matters is them getting to their destination as fast as possible. There is seemingly no concern for the lives of those others on the road. There is no concern for speed limits or laws (they’re the most important person in the universe remember? Laws don’t apply.). When the police actually catch them, they get mad at the officer for impeding their progress. People hear about the stats regarding texting and driving and the dangers and deaths involved and they still do it. Why? Because that message sent to them just seconds ago is more important than anything else. The large chunk of metal and glass that their directing (in a loose manner) down the road is just an afterthought. Never mind that it could kill a person and destroy life and property.

We see it in other areas as well. Politics used to be about which candidate could actually lead the country in the direction it needed to go and whether or not they had the proper skills to do so. Now, it’s almost like a vote for the high school prom king. It’s about popularity, prestige, fame, looks, or some other superficial distinguishing factor (like race for example….).  Why has it fallen to this? Because the looks and fame of a person are more important than their character. Individuals have become their own gods and have placed themselves on their own pedestals to make it easier for worshipping themselves.

We also see this in the church. People have lost the biblical view of man and replaced it with one that is almost as old as creation itself. In America today we see a very different view of man and it is born out of self-righteousness, pride, and arrogance. Today, many pastors put themselves up as leaders and visionaries of the church. Some are even bold enough to “prophesy” things about the local church or even the church as a whole. I can’t help but wonder if anyone has kept tabs on how many of these prophecies have come true? Today, we also see that there are a number of pastors and leaders who have become so self-absorbed that they have placed their traditions and eisegesis of scripture over the proper exegesis and contextual understanding of scripture the way that it has been revealed by God.

Many pastors today give little to no reverence to the God-breathed scripture that we have in the Bible. Their messages have become fluff and air with no substance. They water down the hard truths of the gospel in the name of reaching more people. Some even ignore the clear truths of the Bible in order to fill their churches with goats. Their goal is not truth or maturing those in the faith. Instead, it is comfort, numbers, money, and/or power. They have numerous events and other things going on that draw people in to “get them involved” and “plug them in”. I mean, after all, the pastor definitely knows more than God regarding life, truth, and salvation. In an environment like this, it is toxic to preach the actual truth that reveals sin and convicts of a wretched lifestyle. People would be chased off and numbers/money/popularity would go down. Not only that, but the aura surrounding the pastor would dim and he would be seen as just a normal man.

We see the same type of self-absorption in the laity. People no longer are taught critical thinking or logic or exegesis. Feelings and traditions are the foundation of the faith of many modern Christians today. It is disappointing to see so many that cannot defend the truth of Christianity because they don’t know that truth. It is worse to see so many that have no desire to learn that truth. I think that this is due to the elevated image of man as well as the lack of desire to do the work necessary to properly exegete the scriptures (it is soooo much easier to just go with your own feelings!). The focus of modern Christianity seems to have shifted from God to man. God’s Word is no longer the standard for the life and faith of Christians. Nowadays it is more of a suggestion as to how people might want to live. It’s not final and binding to all of Creation as a sovereign decree of the One True God. We now agree to live by the parts that we like (God is love, Christ died for sinners, eternal security), exchange parts that we can for traditions that fit more with what we feel God should be doing, and ignore the parts that we can’t do anything else with.

It is depressing to see that the inspired Word is relegated to a historical document and not the supernatural, absolute truth that it is. The injection of tradition and feelings into the scripture has created a generation of people who cannot stomach the conviction of the truth. It has inoculated many professing Christians to the power of the gospel and truth of scripture and has replaced this with a construct of straw and sticks that allows a gentle walking and soft spoken person to gloss over sin and judgment in favor of the cotton candy message of many modern churches.

It is my prayer that God will draw the lost to Christ that they might be saved. It is also my prayer that the churches would once again regard the Holy Scriptures with the reverence and respect that they deserve. That they would preach the depth of scripture in a way that would honor and glorify God as well as change the hearts and minds of Christians to be more like our Savior. That self would wither away to nothing that Christ might be made most important….

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