A Church in Captivity to the Idolatry of Self

Challenging words from David Wells:

Much of the Church today, especially that part of it which is evangelical, is in captivity to this idolatry of the self.  This is a form of corruption far more profound than the list of infractions that typically pop into our minds when we hear the word “sin.  We are trying to hold at bay the gnats of small sins while swallowing the camel of self.  It is idolatry as pervasive and as spiritually debilitating as were many of the entanglements with pagan religions recounted for us in the Old Testament.  That this devotion to the self seems not to be like that older devotion to a pagan god blinds the Church to its own unfaithfulness.  The end result, however, is no less devastating, because the self is no less demanding.  It is as powerful an organizing center as any goddess on the market.  The contemporary Church is whoring after this god as assiduously as the Israelites in their darker days.  It is baptizing as faith the pride that leads us to think much about ourselves and much of ourselves.

David F. Wells, Losing our Virtue, 203-204

Certainly challenging to think about our faith in this perspective. Are we Christians because it’s true and God is God? Or, are we self proclaimed Christians because it helps us to think much “about” and “of” ourselves?

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