Selfish “Christianity” 29

John 6:26 Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.

Philippians 2:19 But I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, so that I also may be encouraged when I learn of your condition. 20 For I have no one else of kindred spirit who will genuinely be concerned for your welfare. 21 For they all seek after their own interests, not those of Christ Jesus.

John 7:7 “The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it, that its deeds are evil.

John 15:24 “If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well.

Romans 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

And when, in addition to these measures, the general strain of what is said to sinners is adapted to work upon their selfish feelings and animal passions, as most of what I have heard has been, and some of it extremely well adapted to work up those feelings to a high pitch, it would be strange if some affections were not excited which they might readily mistake for true religion. When God is represented as desiring their salvation, without the least qualification, and that his desire for it is infinitely strong, what impenitent sinner, that has the least seriousness of mind, is not prepared to be pleased? If “sinners love those that love them,” as our Lord assures us, they can love such a being as God is represented to be, without any change of heart. A God of all mercy, is just such a God as sinners desire. Will it be said that his justice is also brought into view, and that the terrors of hell are exhibited? True; but in what light are they exhibited? Is it not commonly in a light to which the selfish heart will as readily accord?        WILLIAM R. WEEKS.

The statement “selfish Christianity” is truly an oxymoron. It is like saying that I just took a hot bath in the coldest possible water. The life of self is directly opposed to the life of Christ in the soul and the selfish heart is opposed to all things that are truly Christian. This is so clearly seen when the Ten Commandments are seen as revealing how God is within Himself and then how man is to be like God. The living and true God has no other gods in His own presence but instead He does all for His own glory. This means that human beings, in light of that, are to live for His glory and have no other gods in His presence. It is not that any human being as the strength or ability to do this, but this shows us our inability to keep this commandment and as such we see our utter need of Christ to both save us from the power and guilt of sin but also to be our life.

The self does all for self and nothing for God. The self will seek God, but it will only seek Him in order to obtain some selfish purpose. The selfish heart serves self in all it does and as such it is in a state of constant enmity with the second commandment of God which is to have no idols. The self is the great idol that man serves. Self loves self and worships self in all it does. Self seeks self whether it is living in open sin or in a very religious way of life. When self uses Christianity as a means for self, the self is actually worshipping self using the things that are meant to humble man and bring him to worship God.

Perhaps the most horrible display of idolatry, then, is when men preach for the glory and honor of self. Instead of preaching out of love for God and for His glory, they preach out of love for self and for the glory of self. Instead of preaching in a way that manifests God with a goal of loving others that they may love God, they preach in a way that displays their own talents and they do this so that others may appreciate their preaching and laud them for their preaching. The same is true of music leaders and so on. The self is the great idol in the church when God is not truly loved and His glory is not sought in truth.

The Israelites were told that they were to take the noise of their songs away and their sacrifices were to be taken away when their hearts were not right. If so, then we must realize that a lot of religion may be nothing but a stench in the nostrils of God. If so, it may be that the best preachers (in terms of gifts and speaking ability) may be the greatest idolaters in that they are in the service of self in a greater way than others. They are using the gifts that God gave them to serve self for the glory of self. What an appalling picture this presents to us. It is not safe inside the doors of professing churches, but instead we must seek God for grace to truly worship Him and truly be those His glory shines through.

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