What a distressing dichotomy there seems to be, between what modern, western Christianity teaches and the original teachings and ideals of the Master - who all of us admire and say we love. Do we?
With book titles like "Love Your Life," "Your Best Life Now," "Love Wins" (which teaches universal salvation among other heresies) and teaching by some evangelical authors that deny the blood atonement and the need to embrace the cross of Christ and self denial, the faith of the late 20th and 21st centuries in the western church, especially in North America, seems a rather sad parody of Jesus' demanding words on taking up our cross daily, not being conformed to this world and despising our self centered lives.
Why has the church become so un-Christlike, so worldly and so carnal? Why has the narrow road leading to life become such a broad, comfortable freeway of easy believism? What has gone so tragically wrong with the Christianity of our day and why is our impact on society so minimal?
Sadly, I find much of the same malady in my own life, if I am even slightly honest with myself. It sickens me in my heart, this self love that is so enduring and seemingly invincible. But, in God inspired moments, it also drives me closer in desperation to my Lord and his "Radical Cross"(as Tozer put it), to the one who loves me - an undeserving, wayward and prodigal child - with an undying, redeeming, everlasting love.
The same sterile, superficial, self-centered faith that insidiously affects much of the American Christian church in our day, has apparently also found a place in me. May God in His mercy help me and deliver me, and by His grace may I return to a true, selfless faith in Him, and to His radical, unsympathetic, flesh-crucifying cross, freely allowing it to slay everything in me that is unlike Him (Gal. 2:20). - Contributed by John Herbst.