Part 2 of 3
As we discussed last week, the fastest growing “religion” in America poses a growing threat to the rights of Christians and the proliferation of Christianity, yet is actively practiced by most of its churches. The movement to #EndSelfism must take root before this new religion engulfs American culture and tempts more churches to acquiesce to the Selfist desires of churchgoers (e.g. for an “experience”) rather than challenging them with God’s desires (e.g. to “go and make disciples”).
As the official state religion, our public schools, courtrooms, corporate workplaces, and media outlets are required to abide by the guiding principle of Selfism – namely required acceptance of each person’s power to define each and every aspect of his/her being (identity, morality, gender, etc.) free from expression of competing opinions. Make no mistake – Selfism is no longer an innocent fad relegated to this selfie, social media generation. It is a “particular system of faith and worship” mandated by an established Theocracy imposing this religion on citizens and pushing it on our children.
Please don’t hear me wrong. This is not a battle between liberals and conservatives nor Republicans and Democrats. Those culture wars are waged on the world’s stage. I’m speaking of a conflict between the kingdoms of light and darkness fought both within and beyond this earth. John 3:6 characterizes the combatants as “flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit”.
Selfist Extremists will Stop at Nothing
What’s at stake? What if Selfism prevails over Spirit in the tug-of-war for the hearts of America’s youth? As Christians, we know how the story ends. We’ve read Revelations. A horror movie isn’t as scary when you’ve already seen it and know the bad guy gets what’s coming to him. However, non-believers across our country are fighting for all they’re worth for a prize they still think they can win – SELF PRESERVATION.
What rights and privileges accompany self-preservation? A Spirit-less life presumably means a guilt-free existence, retaining a license to live however one wants. Selfism accepts no absolutes because morality is an absolute. Successfully defending the right to define one’s own moral code obviates the need for a non-believer’s most detested absolute – absolution.
The coordinated campaign that has brought nearly every pillar of society into conformance with Selfist dogma had to overcome significant opposition in a nation where the majority profess to be Christians. Preserving “self” required a fundamental redefinition or reassignment of terms formerly associated with Christians and ascribed to God.
“Science” – First, faith in human reason had to make substantial inroads against faith in God. Pitting science against Christianity meant no longer seeing it as discovering what God created, but proving He didn’t create any of it. Those concerted efforts to disprove God’s existence have extended to heavily-funded initiatives transparently trying to replicate what God did – such as Artificial Intelligence and cloning. Yet science can’t outwit God if it always has to resort to using His building blocks to do so, unable to make something from nothing. And scientists will never clone a soul.
“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight” (I Corinthians 3:19)
“Morality” – Next, right and wrong had to be ripped out of the hands of Christendom, and subsequently flipped. In the name of doctrines like those of other religions – love, compassion and empathy – Selfism now justifies the censuring of any points of view that question another’s personal choices, regardless of whether the Bible calls them “sin”. The only absolute now is the “sin” of attempting to impose absolutes on others – in other words, any perceived attempts to draw ideological, religious or moral lines. Those infringing on someone’s self-conceived notions or self-image are labeled as bigots and vilified in the media.
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil…” (Isaiah 5:20)
“Rights” – There are two sides to every story. A Selfism theocracy required that greater respect be paid to the rights of Selfists than those of Christians. For example, not being subjected to prayer in public school removed the rights of Christians to pray publicly in school. Not being “judged” for lifestyle choices removed the rights of Christians to speak openly about certain biblical values.
“Then they secretly persuaded some men to say, ‘We have heard Stephen speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God.’” (Acts 6:11)
“Truth” – Enforcing secularism meant anyone claiming to have definitive answers to life’s difficult questions had to become viewed as either arrogant or ignorant. When social acceptance became dependent on mandatory subjectivity, understanding that “truth” is personal, Selfism would win the day. When academia would scoff at any attempt to identify supernatural causes for natural phenomena, defining truth only in terms of what can be seen, then Selfists could claim another tremendous victory.
“They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator…” (Romans 1:25)
“Tolerance” – Another major coup would be if intolerance was only tolerated if directed at those deemed “intolerant” by Selfist standards. In other words, resetting the “tolerance” threshold so low that it would stifle any reasoned debate about beliefs or behaviors would ensure the identity bubbles of all Selfists remained intact. A bar that low would necessarily label any Christian attempting to evangelize as intolerant.
“I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands.” (Revelation 20:4)
“Love” – Don’t be fooled; Selfism falsely claims to be driven by love and universally applies the word “hate” to those proclaiming “truth” and “morality”, particularly Christians. Agape love is unconditional love for God and others, and it doesn’t exist apart from Christ. Selfists love and defend self, at all costs. Selfists profess no god or that all roads lead to a god; but self is their god. Respecting each other’s false god of self is not love – it’s idol worship – worship of the creation and not the Creator. Love comes from the one true God, who’s also the author of Science, Morality, Rights, Truth, Tolerance…and Liberty.
“We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
“Liberty” – Selfism’s leaders at the head of government and media appeal to the masses on the basis of compassion and empathy. However, the underlying agenda is control – less freedom, not more. Government controls actions and media controls thoughts. Do you as a Christian feel free to speak your mind today? Or are you more careful than ever about what you say, even if you know it’s true, for fear of offending someone. Political correctness has reached new heights in America because persecution has begun for those poking at anyone else’s identity bubble. Communism always begins that same way – aligning with the oppressed, promising freedom, when the ultimate outcome is less liberty than the marginalized had in the first place.
“Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up?” (Daniel 3:14)
Selfists Have Infiltrated America’s Churches
Christians have not responded well to losing their grip on those 7 words. They should have fought fire with fire – demonstrating the power of God’s love, truth and tolerance by following Jesus’ model of leading with actions (of compassion) and then words (telling people who Jesus is). Fighting the Culture War with an Air War (dropping verbal bombs) versus a Ground War (acts of love an service) has not worked. Christians are losing battles on every front – in legal courts and in the court of public opinion.
In the face of so many Selfist victories, most churches have acquiesced and reshaped their own lexicon to conform to Selfism. As we discussed a few weeks ago in 10 Words No Longer Heard in Church or Christian Music, churches now:
- Use More Selfist Terms – Victory, Healer, Comforter, Deliverer, Power, Joy
- Largely Stopped using Challenging Terms – Discipleship, Sanctification, Obedience, Repentance, Sin
- Redefined Biblical, Church-Related Terms – Ministry (aka, church chores), Outreach (aka, church advertising), Church (aka, a place and not people)
Some churches will stop at nothing to preserve “self” – their institution. The focus of many pastors has shifted from equipping each member to BE the church to attracting and retaining a congregation. For countless churches their brands have become the “self” or “flesh”, and they overshadow “spirit”, the Holy Spirit who lives inside individual members, not the building. In other words, churches have increasingly:
- constructed their own Selfist “identity bubbles”
- defined their own versions of “truth”
- relented on biblical “morality” and adopted Selfist standards
- focused on church growth through appealing to Selfist tendencies, even at the expense of other churches
- encouraged prayers for Selfist outcomes rather than God’s will as Jesus modeled
- become more concerned with defending their churches’ rights against “outside” attacks than sending out well-trained armies of disciples to love people to Christ
It’s Your Turn
How can we #EndSelfism, both within society and the Church? We’ll discuss those topics more next week.