Atheism denies God. Ego-theism sees God as a way to feel good and boost self-esteem. Ego-theism acknowledges God’s existence, but keeps self in the driver’s seat.
Much religion is ego-theism. It’s designed to protect human pride, not to overcome it through repentance, brokenness, and humility. Jesus told His followers to go and make disciples, not to find a church that feeds their ego.
The Pharisees were ego-theists, not atheists. Their pride (not unbelief in God) led them to have Jesus crucified. Self-focus is the problem. Being captivated by the living Jesus is the answer!
Ego-theism sees God as a way to find yourself, not as the great I AM who causes us to lose our self-focus in His glory. Ego-theism says love yourself and love God. Jesus said to love God and love your neighbor.
Ego-theists want comfortable Christianity that will protect them from self-denial, sacrifice, and discipleship. They ask: “What can faith in God do for me?” Ego-theism sees the Cross as jewelry or as something to hang on the wall, but not as a daily lifestyle of sacrificial obedience to Jesus.
Ego-theism sees God like fire insurance–as a type of self-protection. It wants feel-good sermons, not sermons that boldly challenge sin and complacency. Ego-theism likes religious titles, religious ceremony, and religious control. It inspires people to name “ministries” after themselves.
Ego-theism sees self as good and rejects God’s grace. (Good people have no need for forgiveness, mercy, or grace.) Ego-theism confuses God’s love with His approval and implies that God approves even when we intentionally break His commandments.
The Bible says “God resists the proud” and warns of “the pride of life,” but ego-theists resist humility and offer God a life of pride Ego-theism cherry picks the Bible for blessings but ignores its warnings and calls to repentance, humility, and holiness. It bends the Bible to fit our opinions, desires, feelings, and pride.
Ego-theism equates loving yourself with loving God. It believes that God exists to serve humanity, rather than that humanity exists to humbly serve God.
Until we learn about Jesus by experiencing Him daily, we won’t be very excited about Him. We need Christ-theism! The biblical concept of the Incarnation is based on Christ-theism–the demonstration that Jesus is God–Emmanuel, “God with us.”
Wow, you hit the spot there, Steve. Here is how I word it in my apologetic manuscript:
Today, many Christians hold to the Christian religion because it is what their parents believed, and deep inside, they may feel it is right. But they resist the idea of God telling them how to live, and except for some Christian traditions and rituals, they lead a secular life.
Over the centuries, Christianity has become increasingly more corrupted. Few present-day Christians share the early church’s zeal for Christ and the truth. Consequently, the modern Christian church has splintered into hundreds of groups that frequently contradict each other in their beliefs and interpretations of the Bible.
God never contradicts Himself. Undoubtedly, many Christians of the twenty-first century are, at least partially, incorrect concerning their idea of Christianity. This corruption of God’s church is the devil’s cunning work, only possible due to our self-centeredness and disregard of God’s principles. As a result, many folks retain a severely distorted picture of what Christianity really is. This fact has been instrumental in leading millions of people to reject it. Friedrich Nietzsche said, “I will believe in the Redeemer when the Christian looks a little more redeemed.” …
Nevertheless, many sincere Christians across the globe are enjoying the out-of-this-world security that God has reserved for them. You see, folks who place every detail of their life in God’s control have no reason to fear the unknown. Unger’s Bible Dictionary defines the Christian’s contentment as, “That disposition of mind and restful quietness of the soul which, through Christ, is independent of outward circumstances.”
What more peace of mind do you need than to put your life into the hands of the creator of the universe? Frankly, multitudes spend a lifetime searching for the tranquility of spirit that any sincere Christian possesses.
Thank you for sharing how you feel about these things.