Sunday, January 8, 2012

P4E.226 Love = Self Sacrifice Part 3

I ended the last post with: "This is where the Christian church is missing the boat and the point. There is simply no teaching on how to practice self-sacrificial, Christlike, love on a day-by-day basis. What would that look like? How would I act if I were to be self-less in my attitude? How could I correct my spirit so that I had others' interest at heart ahead of my own? What words would begin to come out of my mouth as a result? Do I even want to know?"

My friend, David Taylor, added a couple more questions:

"Am I aware of how that is going to feel when I am sacrificial?" and
"Do I know what resistance to sacrifice will hit me, what rationalizations and justifications will thwart the voice of love?"

That last question of Dave's really strikes at the heart of the problem. Our sense of self-preservation is a strong force. We don't want to talk or hear about selflessness. We don't want to die! What would be the point in that? What would be the point of dying to myself? Isn't it true that nice guys finish last? How would it help my wife or my children if I let others run over me? Won't I just be seen as a wimp? A loser? Sometimes we forget that we have a true Enemy. Yes, you know the One I'm talking about. His name starts with "S." That's right. It's Self.

Not only is our our own sense of self-preservation strong, the Christian Church wittingly or unwittingly also rises to our defense! The Church has misguidedly fused the American ideal of rugged independence and Charlie Sheen's "winning" attitude creating a new brand of self-promoting Christianity to disastrous effect.

If you listen to mainstream Christian pundits, you'll hear that as Christian men, we're to be "purpose driven" and "wild at heart." If you listen to some pastors, we need to be "manly Christian men"; macho, self-reliant, self-confident, independent, and driven. Consciously, or unconsciously, men are encouraged from the pulpit to combine these character qualities with being a "Christian." It's madness and has resulted in sexism, hubris, misogyny, aimlessness and confusion in "Christian" men. Worse yet, it leaves the men of the Christian Church without a clue as to the very thing that Jesus said would distinguish them from the world.

More to follow...

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