We definitely need to identify and challenge the false teachings that proliferate among professing Christians, as Michelle Lesley wrote yesterday in her blog post, I Can’t Sit Down, Shut Up, and Play Nice! Interestingly, Erin Benzinger’s This N That column yesterday spoke of her weariness with Discernment Bloggers always talking about who and what to avoid. What a mental tug-of-war!
Of course, both Michelle and Erin really meet in the middle. They both want to help women ground themselves in the Lord Jesus Christ and His Word, so that we won’t be swayed by personalities and doctrines that deviate from the Gospel. I agree! As women, we all too often settle for self-focused theology designed to stroke our egos and make us feel valued when we really need to be studying Scripture to learn Who the Lord is and how we can glorify Him.
It seems to me that evangelical Christianity has slowly shifted, over the past 50 years (perhaps longer) from worshiping and adoring Christ to making Him a means of meeting our “felt needs.” I plead guilty to buying into this attitude. To be brutally honest, I still catch myself wanting my relationship with God to be all about me. Like the majority of evangelicals, I get lost in my concerns over what I want Him to do for me until I forget to ask how I can offer myself to Him (Romans 12:1-2).
Let me give you a glimpse of what I mean. In the book of Revelation, the apostle John gives us a few glimpses of the pure worship that will happen in heaven. Let me give you one example:
11 Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice,“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!”13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying,“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”14 And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped. ~~Revelation 5:11-14 (ESV)
None of the worshipers makes any mention of self, but rather total attention gravitates to the Lamb (Jesus Christ). He is the entire reason they loudly praise Him. They don’t do it to whip up their emotions so that Christ can enjoy their happiness, although they undoubtedly feel tremendous joy. And they don’t praise Him with the expectation that their apparent worship obligates Him to bless them in return. Instead, their joy is secondary to the glory that rightly belongs to Him.
If (okay, when) I write about teachings and people that undermine Biblical Christianity, trust that I do so because those teachings and people obscure Christ and distort His Word. I do pray that, instead of producing just another Discernment Blog that rails against false teaching, I can exalt the Lord and encourage you ladies toward a deeper understanding of Him and His Word. If I focus only on hunting down heresies and ignore Him, I completely miss the point.