This blog deals with issues pertaining to natural dignity and worth that all humanity deserves under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. You will find articles about Life issues pertinent to Christian living and faith.
“Our once great western Christian civilization is dying. If this matters to followers of Jesus Christ, then we must set aside our denominational differences and work together to strengthen the things that remain and reclaim what has been lost. Evangelicals and Catholics must stand together to re-establish that former Christian culture and moral consensus. We have the numbers and the organization but the question is this: Do we have the will to win this present spiritual battle for Jesus Christ against secularism? Will we prayerfully and cooperatively work toward a new Christian spiritual revival ― or will we choose to hunker down in our churches and denominationalisms and watch everything sink into the spiritual and moral abyss of a New Dark Age?” - Mark Davis Pickup
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
REJECT PRIDE, RETURN TO CHRIST
When I was young, it was fashionable to
grow a beard and long hair, put on a tie-dyed t-shirt, faded jeans and head off
to Europe to “find oneself.” Often I wondered
what would happen if those searchers didn’t like the inner-self they found? At
a personal level, I had already met my inner self, in the comfort of my own
home, and was horrified at what I found! What I found was a cesspool of
self-interest and self-exaltation. Pride was the underlying motive for all I
did, with occasional streaks of kindness which I twisted to bolster delusions
that somehow beneath all the corruption I was actually a good man.
Looking for the god or goddess within
Modern spirituality urges us to look within
ourselves and embrace the inner man and the god within. I did an Internet search for “find god within” which identified over
124-million results! It seems that finding the god within oneself is quite a hot
topic. There is a shaky assumption that inner peace awaits as we discover the god
or goddess within. On one particular
Internet site a fellow who identified himself as a Grand Master (of what I don't know) told his followers (how many I'm not sure): “Yes, there is a God, but not the God you perceive. As Jesus
said, “Don’t look here or there for heaven. It is within you.”” Methinks the "Grand Master" was taking a few liberties with Luke 17.21.
In that passage, the Pharisees asked Jesus
when the Kingdom
of God would come. Jesus replied that the “Kingdom of God
(not heaven) is amongst you.” Our Lord
was referring to the Kingdom
of God being internal and
spiritual rather than external and physical. Taken in light of other things He
said about the Kingdom of God (Mark 1.14-15, Luke 16.15-17), his last comment
likely means that the kingdom has arrived in the person and ministry of Christ.
Looking within for God is a dead end rooted
in pride and self-exaltation. It ultimately brings people lower not
higher. The Scriptures repeatedly tell
us this. (Proverbs 18.18, 28.25, Ezekiel 28.1-9, Habakkuk 2.4, Matthew 23.12, Luke
14.11, 1John 2.16). Pride is a form of hatred for God. It was pride and self-exaltation
that made the devil the devil (Is.14.12-15).
Saint Augustine warned about pride and self-exaltation in City of God:
"For, pride is the beginning of all sin. And
what is pride but an appetite for inordinate exaltation. Now, exaltation is
inordinate when the soul cuts itself off from the very Source to which it should keep close and somehow
makes itself and becomes an end to itself, … the soul falls away from the
unchangeable Good which ought to please the soul far more than the soul can
The “Source” and “Good” Saint Augustine referred to is the God of the
universe not some puny, make-belief god within us. Saint Augustine was referring to the great I
AM WHO I AM of Exodus, the Alpha and Omega of Revelation 1.8. (Also see Jesus’
words in see John 8.57). The simple fact
is that God is who He is quite apart from what Mark,Tom, Dick, Grand Master Harry thinks.
The eyeless “I” of self exaltation
Pride poisons our potential to foster or
even care about our relationships with other people, other than how they can
puff us up. We become an eyeless “I”. Self-exaltation
kills the potential for a relationship with the great I AM WHO I AM, through
Jesus Christ. That has eternal implications.
I want to help you not to overlook this point. We live in a time and culture that celebrates Self above everything.
Fellow Christian, place a guard around your heart against
self-exaltation lest you fall away from the warmth and light of Christ. He said, “Whoever exalts himself will be
humbled but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matthew 23.12.) And
Jesus practiced what He preached.
Saint Paul wrote, “Have among yourselves the same attitude
that is also yours in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did
not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied
himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found him in
appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a
cross. (Philippians 2.5-8)
Live and walk humbly before God (Micah 6.8).
If there’s any exalting to be done toward you, let it come from Him. In such a state, you will find your worth as a
child of God.
“But to those who did accept him he gave
power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name.” John 1.12
So our goal as humble followers of Christ is not to be great in the eyes of the world. I agree completely. But I wonder how this relates to your quote at the top of the post about wanting to become a great western (christian?) civilization again.
It is only through Christ western civilization became great. It only through Christ that we will return.
Profound in its simplicity that a at the end of the day, as St. John suggested, we are called to be less so that Christ can be more in our lives and everyone's life.
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