The “me” monster unleashed in today’s churches

Dr. Prince has a new article up over at the ERLC blog. He begins by writing:

“Narcissus is a character in Greek mythology who, upon seeing the beauty of his reflection in the water, falls in love with it. He devotes the rest of his life to his own reflection. From this we get our term “narcissism,” a fixation with one’s self. I fear that in the church we have created a narcissistic form of pseudo-discipleship that is less about taking up our cross and following Christ and more of an attempt to use Jesus to help us live a better life.

A morally Christianized narcissism has invaded many churches where congregants read the Bible and hear sermons in a pursuit of individualized self-improvement. Corporate worship is often understood as a matter of convenience in assembling individual Christians who seek individualized answers to individualized questions. The result is a malformed expression of Christianity in which the church is seen simply as a tool to help each individual grow spiritually. Thus, the church exists to provide us the support we need for our personal discipleship.

The problem at Corinth

In 1 Corinthians, the apostle Paul confronts the problem of divisions in the church. He writes, “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment” (1 Cor. 1:10). Apparently, the Corinthian Christians were divided into factions, based on congregational personalities and ministry leaders.

Paul writes, “What I mean is that each one of you says, ‘I follow Paul,’ or ‘I follow Apollos,’ or ‘I follow Cephas,’ or ‘I follow Christ’” (1 Cor. 1:12). He goes on to rebuke their divisive party spirit as “the wisdom of the world” (1 Cor. 1:20). Paul contends that the answer to their factiousness is for everyone in the congregational community to remember that no one is anything (1 Cor. 1:26-29) apart from Christ and him crucified (1 Cor. 2:2). The word of the cross is the wisdom of God that makes foolish the wisdom of the world, which defines life outside of the lens of the gospel (1 Cor. 1:20).”

Read the rest here.

By |July 7th, 2014|Categories: Blog|

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