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.”