Religious Pride and Deception 25

Jeremiah 8:8 “How can you say, ‘We are wise, And the law of the LORD is with us’? But behold, the lying pen of the scribes Has made it into a lie. 11 “They heal the brokenness of the daughter of My people superficially, Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace.

Genesis 3:5 “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

It should be clear that if the very nature of man’s heart is pride and self and involved in that is man’s desire to be his own God, then it should also be crystal clear that all a man does is for self in some way. If all that a man does is for self (his own god) out of pride, then all the acts that men do in life are idolatry. The world is not just a location, but it is a way of viewing things, a way of thinking about things, which is to say that all people have a worldview which consists of theology and philosophy. Science is driven by philosophy and science, though not all see or admit that. This means that science can also be driven by proud men wanting to be their own gods and as such they may have a drive to deny the true God out of their own desire to hold His position. The world (as in the biblical use of the word) is driven by proud men full of self who want to be their own gods and act in accordance with that.

What we have, then, is competition or perhaps collision between the world of men who live as their own gods and those in the kingdom of God who live as He is God. The world can be full of religious people and have many churches of many denominations. The world can have popes and ministers of great learning and stringent morality, but that does not mean that they are part of the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God can have many who are common people who are nobodies in the eyes of the world but are great in the kingdom. It is very hard to be great in the kingdom of God and the world at the same time. The world hates the true God and they will oppose those who speak for Him. However, the professing churches are full of those who are full of the world and seek great things for themselves.

When those who are of the world are leaders of religion, those in the kingdom of God are viewed as ignorant people who believe in myths. When the men of the world are leaders in religion, then those who are proud and full of self are said to be the religious leaders and the non-religious in the world judge religion by the religious leaders. In other words, there is no real difference between those who are openly of the world and the religious people at that point. Pride and self is the real issue and taking religion to pride and self will not change pride and self, but instead the proud man full of self will always change/adjust/conform the heart of religion to fit or at least get along with his own proud and selfish heart.

The proud heart of man is always at war with God and always wants to retain control of all things. When a proud man becomes religious, in reality nothing has changed in the heart of that man. That proud and selfish man is simply directing his pride and self in the things of religion. The scribes and Pharisees were very proud and so they adjusted religion to fit them and pride and self increased, but did not change. While true Christianity comes into direct conflict with a man’s pride and indeed man cannot become a Christian without the pride of his heart being broken, false forms of Christianity will not have any conflict with the pride of men but will actually build it up and make it worse.

Jesus told the weary and heavy-laden to come to Him, but He did not tell those who were proud and full of self to do so. He told them that He was gentle and humble of heart. While proud men may desire a false humility in order that they may be proud of it, they will hate true humility since it requires them to be broken from self and truly humbled before God. The living God hates pride and will not accept it or anything that comes from it. The most stringent, most outwardly moral, and theologically orthodox Christianity is wickedness to Him when it comes from a proud heart. The greatest preachers, professors, theologians, or servants in name are wicked in His sight because of their pride. We must learn how much God opposes and hates pride. We must have humble hearts ourselves.

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