Friday, 12 July 2013

Self Righteousness vs. God's Righteousness

Self righteousness can take many forms. The devil is a crafty shape-shifter who can even disguise himself as "an angel of light". I've been thinking about the many shapes that self righteousness can take, and I can tell you that I've been guilty of these (and continue to be, God alone is righteous, and anyone who says otherwise is a lying Pharisee, to be honest). Here are a few examples:

1. Phariseeism:

This form says "look at me! I am righteous! Look at the good that I do! I even mention God's name once in a while and give my tithes, that proves I am holy. And I pray too!"

 Phariseeism is also in all of the subsequent examples, just disguised so it is harder to detect. We are all guilty of these things, better to confess it and ask the Lord to help us not continue in such false worship and idolatry.

2. Mother Theresa:

 "I am so humble and much better than I used to be" 
(she didn't actually say this---that I know of---but her life brought much attention to her "goodness")

still putting attention on self, not actually on the Lord, and then throwing Him some crumbs by saying "God made me this humble and wonderful and etc". This is a tough one. The first one is obviously wrong and very easy to point out. This second one is one we can even fool ourselves with, while we fool others in this self directing tactic. It still makes self worship the ultimate goal (although we continue to convince everyone around us that isn't true). We want others to agree how good, talented, humble, qualified, encouraging, "loving", etc, we are, instead of attributing all that to only God, and if it (goodness) appears in us at all in actual truth, it is only because He is in us, and has put it there, no credit to be had for ourselves at all, not even the "awe shucks" false humility.

3. Benny Hinn:

"God gave me a gift that is different from your gift, why judge me? I am doing great things too! God loves me just as much as you so get the beam out of your own eye before jabbing my eyes for my splinters" 
(Benny Hinn did accuse those with logs in their eyes looking for the tiny splinters in his own, perhaps not these exact words, but very very close).  

Benny teaches false doctrines and has false "healings" and fake "Holy Spirit" revivals, but hey, who are you to judge??? Jesus in His word says He wants us to use correct judgment, and when things are wrong the Bible says we are to EXPOSE THEM.
Eph 5:9  (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Eph 5:10  Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
Eph 5:11  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

This speaks of the fruit of the Spirit, which is of God, not ourselves, and nothing to get ourselves thinking we are the one who is "good". Jesus Himself said only God is good and every man is a liar. True words. We need Him every day and that is no boast.

4. The Pope:

"I am in charge because God gave me this responsibility. I have to look good because others need to have my good example"
 (again, no pope has ever said this---to my knowledge---except maybe in secret) 

The pope seems like a nice guy, and "since Jesus isn't here in the flesh anymore" these guys want us to believe that we need a person in that spiritual leadership role to guide the sheep. There are also pastors who have this same mistaken identity problem as the pope. Jesus is still here with us. We do not call any man our "father" in the spiritual sense. We have one mediator and that is Jesus, and we have the Holy Spirit which bears witness to Him (Jesus) alone.

5. Beth Moore:

"I am a good Christian and good wife and mother and I only teach to women, although men come to my classes, but I don't tell them to come and I can't keep them out if they want to be with wonderful little ole' me and I do all this because I LOVE Jesus SO MUCH!!!"  
(definitely a paraphrase of what I have seen Beth Moore say, she has said all those things, not all in one sentence)

There are many Beth Moores and I also lapse into this hideousness wrapped up in lovely country silliness that self-deprecates into "I'm just a silly beautiful blonde and can be silly about how I love the Lord". It is still all about self. If you go to her website, Beth Moore's name is emblazoned upon it in huge script with her beautifully made up face smiling down on you. Her doctrine is mostly self help for women. Once in a blue moon she will mention the name of Jesus to give the impression that it really is all about Him although really it's all about Beth Moore. She is "SO SWEET"...and her doctrine? She buys into the meditation stuff that comes straight out of New Age mysticism, emptying yourself hogwash. Sigh. And her followers are, just that "her" followers, and will attack you and call you a gossip if you say anything "bad" about her.  Fluff and nonsense.

J.K. Rowling:

"I am not a witch. I am a Christian and a writer who just writes good fiction. Fundamentalists are stupid"
  (I have seen J.K. Rowling say these things in defense of her satanic books that are filled with witchcraft and which is turning many young people to desire to participate in witchcraft)

This lady claims to be a Christian, but otherwise there is absolutely no evidence for that supposed fact in the writings she has made millions from. Likewise there are many churches that claim the name of Jesus that are buying her books and even making Bible lessons out of some of her teachings. They claim to know Jesus well enough that teaching from satanic books is ok with Him, because, after all, Jesus is a loving God, and these books teach about "good and evil", which is exactly what Jesus teaches us about.

All of the above examples prove that we need correct doctrine. I myself am guilty of lapsing into any of the above false positions at any given time. It is by the grace of God that I am saved, not through my "goodness" (which would give a false impression). That is why it is important to state that truth often, to remind others as well as myself of the truth of the fact. God alone is good, God alone gets the praise, God alone and no other.

 Rom 15:17  I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.
Rom 15:18  For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,
Rom 15:19  Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

Jesus alone gets the glory. If others want to say I am "good" I correct them and tell them I am not, but that God in His mercy decided to save me anyway.  That is the gospel, that though we were yet sinners God loved us and saved us from our sins. Where is the boasting? And we need to tell the truth, which inevitably exposes the liars.

Doctrine is important, and it is very loving to tell the truth about the matter, rightly exposing the error and rightly confessing that we ourselves are prone to errors, and apart from God are nothing. No fake humility. No cutesy "Shucks I know I'm cute and it's all about me, and isn't Jesus wonderful" . It's all about Jesus. Let's not give Him lipservice and then get others to agree with such behavior. Let's tell the real honest to God truth instead.

The truth is we are all sinners, and God forgives repentant sinners of which I am chief.

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