• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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The Egocentric Church

Wolf in Sheep's ClothingFor the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. (2 Timothy 4:3-4 ESV)

The influence of the modern egocentric church may be found in the popular fad of minimizing preaching to pursue highly sensual worship experiences with God. The egocentric church does not find the study of Scriptures emotionally appealing. Such church-attenders may believe all the Bible says about Jesus is true without reading it for themselves. They ask, “What would Jesus do?” and they answer “Jesus would do what I feel is right.” They think that the Bible says what they believe it should say and act as if it were true. They refuse to be confused by the facts.

A primary principle of the Protestant Reformation was Sola Scriptura; Scripture alone is the final authority. Reformation Christianity maintains that the only infallible guide to the knowledge of God is in the inspired, written Word. The Christian life always begins with the Scriptures. The Bible is the authority and final standard with regard to the knowledge of God and living the Christian life. Reformation doctrine tells us not to trust our hearts but to look into the Word of God.

Justification by the grace of God alone through faith alone in Christ alone is a prerequisite for knowing God and having fellowship with Him. Scripture is clear that communion with God does not come by men’s imaginative attempts to ascend to God, or by a “tingle” running up and down your spine – but by hearing and believing the Word of God. Egocentric theology seeks the good feelings of the moment, not the deep abiding presence of Jesus Christ.

Unlike the Christianity of the Reformers and the Puritans, egocentric theology is the product of a narcissistic, secular culture dominated by consumerism. The self-centered church glorifies man not God. Biblical Christianity requires a paradigm shift in the minds of Christians. It takes men’s eyes off of the mirror and the riches of this world in order that they may see God as the greatest of all treasures. How sad it is to see true worship devolve into “make me feel good about myself” meetings.

Samuel at Gilgal

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