Selfish “Christianity” 37

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 concept of selfishness gets to the very heart and essence of sin, though indeed people are so blinded to it because they are blinded by it. A proud heart is blind to its own pride, but the proud heart is a selfish heart and is also blinded to how selfish it is. The selfish heart is full of self in terms of motives, intents, and loves and is its own standard. The selfish heart can justify anything it does because it justifies what it does by the standard of self. In other words, it is as simple in one sense as saying I am justified in doing what I did because it is good for me (self).

The power of self is what drives the whole world in its lusts and in its insatiable desires for things. Ephesians 2:3 shows us this when we see it in light of the selfish heart. “Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind.” What are the lusts of the flesh? They are the lusts and desires of self. What are the desires of the mind? They are the desires of the self in always craving and reaching for things that it thinks will satisfy it and make it happy. The self is the craving eye that is always looking for things to satisfy it. The self is the love that craves for others to love it and has loves that always wants to be fulfilled.

It is easily seen that the proud self will always seek self and justify self. The proud self lifts up itself and seeks itself regardless of those around it. Thus we see what happens when Christianity (in name) is taken hostage by those who want the doctrines of Christianity for the mind and the outward morality of Christianity (in a sense) for its own self-righteousness. The craving self (selfish heart) is always looking for ways to fulfill self and many times it lands upon religion to do so. The selfish heart will become a minister and it will become a leader in a denomination and it will do so in the name of Christ though it is self that is actually desired and loved. When a local church or a denomination has replaced the truth of Christ by the religion of self, things are remarkably different. This cannot be stated too strongly.

The selfish preacher wants a bigger church membership and a bigger building, so the selfish preacher will set out to find spiritual ways to convince people that a bigger building is needed. The selfish preacher will use selfish motives to convince people that they need to give more money and be more spiritual, though the selfish preacher is blind to what he is doing. There is nothing that a selfish heart will not do if it thinks that it is best for self. The selfish heart will always do what appears to be best for self and it will be religious when it thinks that religion is best for self. The selfish heart will be a preacher, a music minister, a youth minister or whatever it can be as long as it thinks that it is doing what is best for self.

What happens when this is done? One thing that happens when self rules in the churches and in the denominations is that God is lied about. True Christianity is to glorify God, but selfish “Christianity” is when each self seeks the good of self (sinful self). This selfish heart (sinful self, proud self, self-love) is the very opposite of true Christianity even when it is as religious as it can be. This wicked and sinful self seeks self while in the pulpit, while leading the singing, and while leading denominations and when it does so it is as opposite of true Christianity as it can be and as such it is a horrible lie. The selfish heart that is very religious is at heart a lie about God and a lie about true Christianity. The selfish heart lies to others and to God about all that it does.

The truth of Christianity teaches us that we are to love God and do all for His glory and pleasure, but the selfish heart lives with self at the center and as such loves self and does all for its own glory and pleasure even when it does so in the name of God. While it sounds extremely arrogant, it certainly appears that self is the chief ruler of the vast amount of visible Christianity today. As such we have ministers and churches who lie to self and others about the truth of God and Christianity. As such the worst liars (violators of the ninth commandment) are those who are very religious and yet when self is in control it always lies about God.

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