“Let’s talk about me!” insists a country song of a few years back. For millions, that is more than a song — it is a whole philosophy of life! It’s the credo of their religion; the nursery of their personality; the driving force of their existence. And many modern churches have shamelessly opted to go along. They recruit members under the banner: “Have it your way!”
This arrogant egoism permeates almost every area of modern life. It is the appeal of most advertising. One commercial simpers, “This I do for me.” Another opines, “I’m worth it.” Best-selling books advise us on how to feel good about ourselves, get what we want, and do what we please. Even what goes under the name of religion today panders to personal preference: What I like…..What I want…..My own felt needs…..The impact of this mentality can readily be seen:
- In Society. A pervading atmosphere of selfishness poisons many social relationships. Marriages disintegrate because husbands and wives are unwilling to alter their ego-centered demands. Friendships are sacrificed to the ruthless drive of enlarging one’s self. The nation faces political chaos because every special interest is determined to bend policy its own way! How completely unlike the Christian concept of love which “does not insist on its own way!” (1 Corinthians 13:5). The focus of Christ-like living is: “Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor” (1 Corinthians 10:24).
- In Morality. The “Church of Me” approach of life exalts the individual as the final authority in everything. There are no absolutes and the individual is left to determine “what is right for himself.” Ernest Hemingway summed up this approach to morality when he wrote: “What is moral is what you feel good after.” The Bible insists, however, that morality has an absolute basis in the absolute holiness of God (1 Peter 1:15). The folly of “me-based morality” is well summed up in the Bible warning, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12).
- In Religion. Ours is an age when personal preference is allowed to trump Divine commandment! This is well illustrated by an ad which appeared for a new church in Santa Rosa, California, which proclaimed: “We are basically Protestant, but with a few minor differences” ….. meaning, gay people, smoking of marijuana and other godless habits are readily accepted there. Jesus rejected the “Church of Me” approach to religion when He said, “In vain do they worship me, teaching the doctrines of men” (Matthew 15:9).
The Bible warns that self makes a very inadequate God! Christ alone is deserving of our worship as “the living eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God” (1 Timothy 1:17). The litmus test of authentic Christianity is: “Father, not My will, but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42).