Pride, Part 69

We live in a day where it seems that the pace of the world and the advancements in science and technology have made the Church irrelevant. The only reason it even seems that way is because of the pride of the heart in what appears to be human achievement. The nature of the heart that is born spiritually dead wants to shed its dependency on God and live by for itself and by itself. The advancements of technology combined with the pride of the heart have led many to renounce Christianity as outdated and superstitious. That is nothing more than the idolatry of the heart that is focused on self being unleashed to some degree. Another side of the problem, however, is that this has also happened in the professing Church. The professing Church wants to survive and has thought that it must turn to entertainment and focus on being relevant. It may be shocking to many to think this, but the focus on entertainment and relevancy is nothing more than another version of the same old man-centeredness that the Church falls into through the wiles of the devil. We want people to come to church and so we entertain them, but in doing so we forget that we are at a church building to worship God rather than entertain men. If men are entertained rather than brought to worship God, we join them in their idolatry. When we desire to be relevant to men, we forget that true relevancy is to show men the truth of God and of eternity. When we change things in a desire to be relevant, we have done nothing but join men in a man-centered focus. That is egregious pride on our part and does nothing to show them their own pride that they must repent of.

“In Luther, the theocentricity of primitive Christianity returns; and it is the determining factor of his whole outlook. His opposition to Catholicism is due ultimately to nothing else but this. In the Catholic conception of Christianity, it is in the last analysis man who occupies the centre of the religious stage; in Luther’s reforming conception it is God. Luther seeks to eradicate every vestige of the egocentric or anthropocentric tendency from the religious relationship. There is no place for the slightest degree of human self-assertion in the presence of God. Here, man must be content to receive undeserved the gifts God wills to bestow on him, and to obey without thought of reward the commandments God pleases to give him. In other words, he must let God really be God, the center around which his whole existence moves. This theocentric emphasis can be described as the fundamental motif of Luther’s entire thought.” (Let God Be God! An Interpretation of the Theology of Martin Luther)

The Church is accused of being out of touch with reality, yet it is the world that is out of touch with reality since Christ Himself is the real reality that entered into the world (John 1:14-18). Reality has to do with what is real and there is nothing and no one more real than the source, foundation, and source of all reality and that is the living and true God. The Church must declare what is the reality behind much of the façade and false realities that the world wants to stand for and has brought into the Church. It is not humility and love that brings entertainment and so-called relevancy into the professing Church, but rather it is pride. It is pride in the disguise of humility that does these things. It is pride in the disguise of love that does these things. Perhaps it appears as humility and love to try to be relevant to human beings, but it is nothing but pride to try to reach men in ways that make them temporarily happy rather than to try to do what is good for their eternal souls out of love for God. What is truly good for human beings will offend them at first. The glory of God shining through the Gospel of Christ is offensive to fallen human beings, but it is that alone that will bring what is truly good to them.

Jude 1:16 speaks to our day: “These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.” False teachers in the days of Christ and just after Christ followed their own lusts. They spoke arrogantly and flattered people in order to take advantage. While men in fancy suits, perfect hair, and smooth words go around today speaking of God, they are flattering people in the name of God in order to take advantage of them and get their money. We need to have a new Reformation in our day where at least a few will arise and begin to pursue the truth and show others what is really going on. We must learn to look beyond the fancy suits, buildings, flattering language, and bold promises about what God will do if we do what these men say. We must begin to understand the real nature of pride and that it is not inconsistent with a lot of religious success in a fallen and deceived world in which God is withdrawing His restraining hand from. We must have biblical reality crash our false worldviews and begin to see that man-centeredness has taken over in the professing Church as well. It is under the guise of many things and done with the name of God and conservative uttered over it, but unless we have a true Reformation of true God-centeredness we will truly perish.

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