Learning to Own It
- Wednesday, September 25, 2013
So being as smart as you are, you’ve decided to pick and choose. You’ve read some of it and you’ve taken the parts that make sense and made them your own, and the rest? Well . . . out of sight, out of mind. Dealing with it, understanding it, is all too much work and not really necessary. Plenty of people live with only a portion of the Bible as their rulebook.
The stuff they like and seems beneficial to them they take and the rest they claim to be out of date or creative license. This happens a lot in classes that study the Bible as literature, and in coffeehouses where the validity of Christ’s words and ideas are analyzed and lined up in a cost/benefit chart meant to be used to developed your own kind of theology. When you practice this kind of picking and choosing, it’s like making your own Frankenstein faith. Like the mad doctor who created the monster in Mary Shelley’s famous book, you create your own pieced together religion specially designed to meet your specific needs. As if your editing prowess far outweighs that of the early church fathers of our faith.
In this picking and choosing of your faith, what you end up with is as volatile as Dr. Frankenstein’s monster and just as ugly, because in your human nature you pick those things that ultimately serve you. Sure, you might subscribe to the need to help orphans and widows, you might see God’s call to feed the hungry and care for the weak to be a selfish law to adopt, but when you picked it for yourself you picked it because of the ultimate benefit it gives you. In other words, it makes you feel like a good person—like you are making a difference, like you aren’t a hypocrite, like you are spiritually informed and making decisions that will benefit you in the area of self-esteem as well as salvation. That’s because of the reasons you base your picking and choosing on. When you design your own faith you must have a criteria for your choices, a line you draw that builds the perimeters of your faith, and in this kind of selfdesigned faith your human nature designs your beliefs around you rather than God, and in so doing you subconsciously make yourself your own God.
Now, anyone with a rudimentary understanding of the concept of God must agree that by definition God is not a being that needs to be saved. If He needed to be saved, then there would need to be someone more powerful than Him to save Him, and then He would not be God but His savior would be. If God by definition is all-powerful, all-knowing and perfect—i.e., GOD—then when you make yourself the designer of your own salvation, you ultimately make yourself the all-knowing and all-powerful one in your life. That means that you are making yourself the god in your life so that you can save yourself, but if you are God then you don’t need saving. When you pick and you choose your faith, what you are owning is your own inerrancy, or inability to be wrong.
You are claiming your perfection and wisdom and rejecting anything that speaks of your failure to be perfect. Unfortunately, when circumstances show you that maybe your chosen path of salvation is too restrictive or getting in the way of your ultimate enjoyment, you are faced with some heavy editorial work. And in those changes to the Scriptures of your faith you only prove that you didn’t know what you were doing in the first place. Picking and choosing your faith promises the ultimate freedom to be who you want and do what you want, but eventually it will only prove to you that to live for yourself and to make your law based on your own happiness is to become the slave of your imperfect self, and to be tortured and tormented by your own pride and failure.
Michael’s Picky and Choosy Faith: All of my life I wanted to be married. It was my number one goal in life. I was a Christian and so I knew I would only ever have sex with my wife, but who I defined as my wife was my own choosing. See, when I dated someone I really liked, I told myself I was going to marry her and so I could of course sleep with her. I chose to believe as long as I was going to get married to her, I could have her.
Recently on First Chapters
Have something to say about this article? Leave your comment via Facebook below!
Listen to Your Favorite Pastors
Add Crosswalk.com content to your siteBrowse available content