Selfish “Christianity” 53

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.

One reason that selfish “Christianity” is frightening beyond description is because of what it does in the things of religion. It is selfishness that turns the things of God into the things of self and it is selfishness that blinds the selfish heart to what it is doing in reality. The basic point is that the selfish heart will take the things that God has set forth to be used as a means to seeking Him and His glory and use those things for seeking self and the glory of self. If God does not open the eyes of selfish hearts who are religious (perhaps exceedingly religious), then religious people are using their conservative and orthodox religion as a means of seeking themselves.

While it may seem silly to some to talk like this, it seems silly to me for people not to talk like this. How can it be that God has gifted people with prayer in order that they might seek Him and His glory and yet they use that practice to seek Him for the things of self from selfish hearts? How can it be that we are not concerned about this and wish to use God as a genie which we can behave in certain ways and do certain religious things and think we are doing God a service while we do nothing but seek self and the honor and glory of self? What will open the eyes of people like this who are blinded by selfish hearts?

God has chosen to use preaching as a way to bring sinners to Himself and to feed the sheep. However, preaching has now become a way to get buildings built, to get people to be moral, and perhaps most rotten of all it enriches preachers. Men start preaching for honor and riches rather than for the glory of God and spiritual riches for the sheep. Men will put on a show in preaching rather than preach Christ and Him crucified. Men will preach for the honor of being a preacher rather than preach for the honor of King Jesus. Men long to hear the praises of men for their preaching and so they preach to hear people say “amen” and they preach to be praised. How is this anything but crass idolatry and a demonstration of a horrid blindness in the things of true Christianity?

God has used preaching and evangelism as a way to bring sinners to Himself, but men have turned evangelism into a method to get men to say a prayer or make a decision and as such the “evangelist” can now share in the glory of God, though indeed the selfish heart desires glory for self and while it says it works for the glory of God in fact that selfish heart desires glory for seeking the glory of God. Behold me, says the selfish heart, I am glorifying God. Behold me, says that selfish heart, I am humble enough to seek the glory of God. Behold me, says the selfish heart, I do what I do for God. This is really a violation of all the commands of God and it is done while doing what is thought to be the things are at the heart of serving God.

The selfish heart is put on display by music ministers, youth ministers, and Sunday School teachers. The music minister leads the music in such a way where his voice and his choice of songs are honored. The music minister can lead things in such a way where his devotion to God is put on display. Youth ministers and Sunday School teachers can be full of pride and self-righteousness as they go about thinking that they are in the service of God while they are so blind to the fact that they are serving themselves and seeking their own glory and self-righteousness. This is to be an enemy of God because it is using the things of God that He means to be used and practiced for His own glory and selfish hearts use them as a way to seek self. Not only that, but the selfish heart uses God Himself as a means of seeking the glory and honor of self. This is not Christianity; this is the devil’s way of using the things of God for self. It is to be as God and it is to seek self rather than God.

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