Selfish “Christianity” 58

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.

If it is the case that selfish hearts are busily working at coming up with a god that is acceptable to the selfish heart, then we should ask the question as to what kind of gods are those selfish hearts coming up with. In one sense this shows us just how wicked the heart is toward the living God and just how much the selfish heart is opposed to the true and living God. This also shows us why selfish hearts are so virulent in their opposition to true Christianity and so defensive of their false gods. The false gods are the gods of their own imaginations and if they give those up they might have to face the truth of who the real God really is. That is so opposite of the desires and loves of the selfish heart that it responds with anger when faced with the truth.

While God has made man in His own image, fallen (selfish) man wants a god made in his own image. Fallen man will twist and contort all facts in order to come up with a god that is according to his own desires. What does the fallen man desire concerning God? I would argue that fallen man longs to have a god in name and yet one that he can control. Fallen man wants to be like God, that is, he wants to be independent and he wants to make his own moral choices. In other words, fallen man wants to be in control and be free from the control of others. Selfish man then is always looking for a way to retain control in the things of God as well.

Selfish man wants control of his own salvation, yet the only way he can do this is to change (in his mind) the character of God from being absolutely sovereign to one who is sovereign enough to do what the man will desire. This is perhaps the most wicked part of Arminianism. It wrests sovereignty from God and gives it to man who can then decide according to his own will. Oh no, they say, that is not what is going on. However, it is precisely what is going on. The heart and basis of Arminian and Pelagian thinking is that of self being in control and not God. The doctrine of the free-will, though not stated as such, is really the selfish heart’s attempt to yank sovereignty from God and be sovereign itself.

The selfish heart wants a god that it can control and it thinks it can do so by being good and by what it prays. The selfish heart twists prayer from what it should be to the precise opposite. The heart should seek God in prayer for God to conform the heart to God. The selfish or Arminian type of prayer is to seek God to become like the desires of the heart of the one praying. The selfish heart also thinks that by conforming to certain patterns of behavior that God will give the person things that it wants. What is all this but making religion a way to manipulate and control God or a way of self being in control? The selfish heart seems so natural when it tries to wrest control from God and then tries to control God by means of behavior and prayer.

What the selfish heart seeks to avoid at all costs is a God who is truly sovereign and cannot be swayed from seeking His own glory by the behavior and prayers of selfish hearts. The selfish heart also seeks to avoid the true doctrine of grace and wants to make grace something it can obtain by what it does as well. The selfish heart mimics God in thinking that it has the power to dispense grace. This is also true of so many ministers. They seem to think that they can talk people into being saved and that they can talk God into giving people things. This is nothing more than a minister playing God in his own selfish heart and wanting to appear that way to the people. The only god acceptable to a selfish heart is one that the selfish heart can control. Even those who teach on sovereignty and say that they are Reformed can use those things in an effort to try to control God as well. A selfish heart will try to use orthodoxy to get God to do what it pleases. The selfish heart is such a vile thing that it takes a work of Divine grace to change it.

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