Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Log In My Own Eye

Why do some Christians (like me) attack those with whom we disagree? Does the act of pointing out the "errors" of "false teachers" give us a feeling of spiritual superiority as we self-righteously look down our noses at them?

Well, yes. That happens on occasion. I don't believe I should assign such motives to others who call out false teachers, but I must have the integrity to admit that I've sometimes struggled with that sort of holier-than-thou attitude. Denying that ugly reality doesn't do any good. Like everyone else, I continually fight my old nature, which always enjoyed inflating my ego. In this battle against my own sin nature, I well understand the apostle Paul's frustration with his own sin:
21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. ~~Romans 7:21-25 (ESV)
So when I catch myself self-righteously calling out people like Beth Moore, Rick Warren or any of the others that frequently appear in this blog, I need to confess my conceit and repent. Displaying whatever discernment I may have for the purpose of elevating myself woefully dishonors the Lord.

But confessing my self-centered motives doesn't automatically mean I shouldn't criticize those who misrepresent and/or distort God's Word. It merely means that I must acknowledge my sin and accept His correction before I correct anyone else. His discipline allows me to then address the sins of others.
Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye. ~~Matthew 7:3-5 (ESV)
The escalation of weak doctrine and outright false teaching in the 21st Century church both saddens and angers me. My sadness and anger, however, must never devolve into a platform for showing off my supposed spirituality. Rather, a true desire for Christ's glory and for the proper teaching of His Scripture must motivate me. As He enables me to lay aside my sinful attitudes, He also empowers me to stand for His truth. And I pray that, as I make that stand, He will glorify Himself...and only  Himself.

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