Monday, March 6, 2006

Quick Give Me Some Prozac

Forgiveness and the Post Modern Paradigm Part 1

Looking over the open hood of my car the other day, it was running hot and I couldn’t figure out why, I realized that I had not kept up on the day to day maintenance like I should. It seems that the fluid in the cooling system had needed to be changed for some time. Of course that doesn’t seem too bad when you think about it; you just change it and move on. But it’s never that simple. One of the internal parts had been damaged because of the old fluid which now left me to deal with another problem. It took a while to figure it out as I had to look beyond the obvious.

As I was reading a post by Scott Hill on The Emergent Church it made me think of the underlying problems of the post-modern or Emergent train of thought. (Notice that I didn't call them a church.) The post modern movement as a whole has caused enormous problems for Christians and goes against basic biblical doctrines, and most directly against the doctrine of forgiveness.

So many people today will say that they can’t forgive themselves. The world’s response to this is one born out of the tolerance movement. It is always linked to the fact that as humans we need to work on our own self-image or self-esteem, in other words, be more tolerant of ourselves. When we go down this road I think that most of us know deep down that it is wrong and we also think that denial is better than truth. But that’s like saying that all I need to do is change the fluid in my cooling system of my car and everything will be OK. It won’t be OK. One day it leads to catastrophic breakdown.

No where in the Bible does it say that we need to have a good self-image. As a matter of fact, the Bible takes for granted that we all think of ourselves more than we ought to. The Bible tells us that we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

So, what if we have a self-image problem?

If I hate myself, is the Bible telling me to hate my neighbor?

If I can’t forgive myself, then should I not forgive my neighbor?

To stay consistent to biblical teaching we would have to say that we all are born with enough self-image. We would even have to say that we have too much self-image since the Bible warns us not to think of ourselves more than we ought to.

This being true what’s the real issue with someone who can’t forgive themselves?

There are two possible answers to this question for people who are children of God.

First, they truly don’t understand or have faith that through Christ our sins are carried out of the sight of God and we are truly forgiven. This is a biblical truth that we must understand and believe. If we discount this, we are placing our own logic above God. Anytime that we place our own view above God it is sin and it is the sin of pride. What we’ve done is placed worship of ourselves over worshipping God and this always leads to destruction.
Not being able to rest in Christ’s forgiveness and to rely on ourselves is nothing but sin. How offensive to God it must be that He comes up with a perfect plan of redemption and we still only rely on ourselves. We must realize that we can’t be tolerant of this sin. The problem, like all sin, is that somewhere this person has stopped worshipping God and that’s because their time has been taken up with worshipping themselves.

Second, is that we are feeling guilty about sin in our lives and we are not confessing before God and truly repenting of it. Repenting of sin is not tolerating it in our own lives and actively removing it. In this post modern world today, the marching orders seem to be denial. When denial doesn’t work "let's try rationalizing it" usually works well. Another name for this is tolerance. Many church leaders today will not confront sin in their own churches because they fear the results. This too is worshipping self.

At its core you would then have to say that post modern thinking teaches people to worship themselves rather than God and they call it tolerance!

Laying your life out every day as a living sacrifice means that we live by faith. Biblical faith is living by the word of God, not living by what we think is best. Whenever we ignore God’s word it leads to guilt and depression. Many people today are willing to let go of their spiritual joy for worldly happiness. We must turn to God and ask Him for the strength to defeat the sin in our lives. We must make a true effort to defeat sin and keep sin from our lives. Relying on God's power doesn’t mean that we will not have to work and it doesn’t mean that it will be easy and painless. The Christian life is meaningless until it costs us something and as soon as it does many so called Christians fall into their old life showing who they truly worship. We must bring our sin to the forefront of our lives and actively deal with it. This takes our best effort and at the same time we must rely on God.


Scott Hill said...

one post. that's all you've got. Time to step it up, Bag-o-donuts.

Scott Hill said...

By the way. You are too new to be moderating comments. Let them run wild for a while. You may get into a comment battle with someone and that will bring traffic to your blog. If they are moderated it will be tough for that to happen.

Justice said...

I changed it and opened it up.