The Church today is infamously known for placing the focal point on the failings of individuals. Whether intentional or unintentional, what’s demonstrated is relentless judgment—mercy seems absent. Although in their defence, they offer forgiveness, and if they do, the perception is noted as artificial. Prime attention is especially handed to sexual sin, because that perceives itself to be the most corrupt, the most wicked, the most vile—why is that?
Whenever an act was committed, Christ always took one step back from the action to reveal the heart behind the thought and intention. Murder is punishable by law, “but I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment,” are the words he spoke. It is this depravity that Christ reveals is innate in all of mankind, but there is still something absent from this—what is it that drives the heart to the thought, to the intention, and finally to the act?
It wasn’t sexual sin that made Lucifer fall—it was pride. Many people forget that. He then fooled Adam and Eve into thinking it is better to make your own mandates, that it was okay to live however way you wanted.
“For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil,” uttered the fallen angel. Really what the last few words should’ve said was you’ll play God, defining good and evil. And that’s what can be spawned from pride.
From the way you talk to the way you treat those around you, many are truly unaware of the extent of this virus. It can be as subtle as someone giving you advice and refusing to accept, because your dignity is supposedly at risk.
C. S. Lewis in his book Mere Christianity writes, “For pride is a spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense.” Pride is what grants us permission to moralize the immoral—in short, cheat; cheat on what you may ask? Your company, your friends, colleagues, family, loved one, and belief in God. It only cares about itself.
“How much self-respect must be sacrificed in order that one may squirm continually in an awareness of one’s own sin,” noted Christopher Hitchens. Self-respect is something we admire, and we hate sacrificing any bit of it to an idea that presents itself as truth. Pride can destroy what a message is trying to illustrate. If it threatens our image, or downgrades our dignity, it enrages us.
That’s why the Christian message is often seen as a threat—a threat to our freedom. If you’re not allowed to make any choice you want, you won’t be happy. We long for that autonomy. But Christ presents to us a new method, a new way of thinking, if only we humble ourselves to give it a hear. How then do we get rid of it?
You must crucify yourself.
Let those words sink in, but only if you know I’m not referring to the literal act. I can’t sprinkle any magical dust over those words—it just has to click. What proceeds is a mind with a willingness to consider a message. A willingness to analyze objectively. A willingness to seek the truth. And finally, a willingness to reflect on the claims of the one who took on his cross to demonstrate to a world how much he loved them.