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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Christian Humanism

Many Church members today are Christian Humanists.

There is nothing wrong with community programs, Sunday School promotion, or even a focus on Church Development. However, when anything takes the place of true worship, we lose our vision and end up at a place where we worship ourselves in the name of Jesus . . . a lifestyle that I call Christian Humanism.

We've done this to ourselves. In the Western Church at large, the importance of the lay person's level of spiritual growth has been bypassed to a certain extent, both by design and unfortunate apathy. We look to our pastors and lay leaders to set the tone for worship. We leave our definition and promotion of worship to planning committees. We fail to realize our place in the body of Christ, let alone what and how our spiritual gifting should be used.

What happens when leaders fail to lead?

I've got news for you. They have.

What happens when planning committees end up becoming war zones of opinion and personal preference, and real worship is not even tabled for discussion, let alone as the the foundation of our planning?

Welcome to the Church at large.

What happens when we substitute personal worship with positive programming?

We end up with positive programming.

We become the children who would much rather play in the street with our mud pies than go in to the feast that is made for us.

But with all of our programs and ideas, we have found that the Body isn't functioning properly.

We are sick, and what we are doing simply isn't working.

Twenty-five years ago, we realized something was wrong. So we looked for something different; something that would attract people.

And the Prosperity Gospel was born on a mass scale. Christian Humanism at its finest.

But now, people are starting to feel an unease. There's a rising discontent with the "Me, Myself, and I" evangelism, like that feeling or lump in your throat when you've realized that you've really done it this time. We are in trouble, and many of us are looking to find out why.

And it's here we find the problem. We find here that we've left something out; we've forgotten the oxygen for our oxygen tank . . . and we're suffocating ourselves. With a deprivation of God, we quickly lose our ability to function in a clear and rational way, and this is what is happening in the Western Church.

So, the question presents itself . . . How do we change? How do we retain, once again, the understanding and focus of true worship? How do we get from our Self-centered Christianity to a God-centered LIFE where our adoration and voice is lifted to God?

How do we stop the madness?

C. S. Lewis has such a great view of this when He states that true progress often involves moving backward. We must go back to the principles and Truth that we left behind.

Worship is a lifestyle, not a day of the week.

We must once again pick up the yoke of spiritual responsibility and ownership. We dig deeper into the Word. We give, pray, and fast. We meet corporately having already, in our private place, fervently asked for God to show up! We lift our voices in congregational singing with thankful hearts. We actively search for ways to apply the Word to our hearts, minds and lives. We serve our community through the Spirit of Unity.

We turn back to God as our Creator, and once again see ourselves as the Created.

We bank on that.

And we become distinctively Christian again.

Psalm 100:3 - "Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves".

© Copyright Derek Hickman 2010

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