Selfish “Christianity” 39

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.

It may be thought of as something of an over kill, but the nature of a selfish heart is so destructive to true Christianity that it must be exposed in differing ways even if it is repetitive. The selfish heart is a heart that is opposed to the true God and true Christianity which is a reflection of the true God. The selfish heart is always looking for things it can do on its own and things that are in its own power. The selfish heart is not just opposed to certain things here and there; it is specifically opposed to the sovereignty of God and His sovereign rights over man. However, a selfish heart can still preach and teach about a sovereign God as long as it thinks (deep down) that the sovereign God is pleased with its false religion and human traditions.

The Pharisees thought that they were biblical experts and they certainly had all the traditions on their side. They could quote the human teachers (expert rabbis) on the laws and as such they build their hope on the traditions of men thinking that they were building their views on the Bible. The same thing was true during the time of the Reformation with Roman Catholicism. They built their views on traditions and as such thought that their traditions were biblical traditions. They were deceived by their traditions even when they were built by learned men.

The same thing is true today. We have much of Christianity today that is believed because some human author wrote it and it has become a tradition. While a human author may have been correct in what he wrote, we must not believe it is true just because that author wrote it. Traditions abound today, yet again traditions can be nothing more than a lie that a human wrote about God and that tradition was passed on. That tradition that we have may just be partially wrong and the selfish hearts of others have interpreted it according to their own selfish hearts. When this is done, we will follow the traditions of men rather than the truth of God. When that is done, what we have is religious men following their own selfish hearts that follow the teachings of other selfish hearts.

We are taught not to be taken captive by the traditions of men rather than Christ, and what we must realize is that when we do follow traditions rather than Christ we often think of them as following Christ. We can follow a traditional interpretation of the Bible and not realize that our own selfish hearts love a traditional interpretation because the selfish heart of the interpreter is in line with my own selfish heart. We must always remember that all men are born with selfish hearts that are at enmity with God and will always lie about God in some way. The selfish heart will tell the truth about God in one sense in order to bring out a lie in another sense. The devil quoted Scripture and even said something true of the verse and yet he did so in order to twist the truth into a lie. His children do the same thing.

The ninth commandment is violated over and over again by selfish hearts and by religion. It is violated by selfish hearts that are confessing Christians and are religious leaders. A selfish heart has violated that commandment by those in the past and continues to be violated by those in the present. A selfish heart will take the Bible and true Christian tradition and twist just a little in order that it can be palatable to self and to the self of others. Conservative and orthodox Christians can be just as selfish as anyone else and perhaps be bigger liars than others because they are closer to the truth of God and still abuse those truths for selfish purposes.

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