Unpopular Theology.

     In my opinion one of the most dangerous lines of thinking that’s taken hold of the Church these days is man-centered theology. It is strange to me that one of the most terrible forms of heresy is so wide-spread and unnoticed. It seems so many Christians have lost the main point of everything. 

     So often it is a very subtle difference, and I think more often than not it is unintentional, yet self-centered thinking has become disasterously prevailant. Somewhere along the line we’ve lost focus on the heart of Christianity, which is Christ, and replaced it with man’s salvation, social justice, etc. 

     Don’t get me wrong, salvation for mankind, social justice, and whatever else, are great things, and all have their place in Christianity, but they are not the focus. We have gotten so caught up on our needs, our actions, our lives, we’ve forgotten the point. Far too often meeting with the Church has become a place to get together with friends, sing some fun songs, and listen to a motivational speaker, instead of a gathering of people coming together to worship the almighty God.

    I’ve noticed this trend in Christian music. Listen to some of the songs that we call ‘worship songs’ and I think you’ll see what I mean. So often they say things like: ‘I’m coming your way,’ ‘I’m running back to you,’ ‘I am free,’ and ‘I need you Jesus.’ Notice how it’s all ‘I,’ ‘I,’ ‘I,’ instead of ‘You,’ ‘You,’ ‘You.’ Some of these songs are great and do speak truth, but they are not worship. Saying: ‘I need you, Jesus” is very true and good, but it is not worship. Saying: “Jesus, You amaze me. You are holy. You are worthy,” that is worship.

     I think the tendency is to treat Christianity like a self-help guide to get one’s life straight. That is not how it should be. The Gospel is not about how man valiantly quested to find God and restore the broken relationship and so save himself from hell. The Gospel is that God sought man, and chose to redeem him and rescue him, when man was nothing but vile, disgusting, filth. God did this not because man was worth redeeming, but for His name’s sake. It is the popular idea to think that we were the ones that initiated our own salvation, that we sought out God, but that is not the Gospel.

     I tell you, God is more than a fire escape, more than a vending machine for miracles, more than just an addition to your life. God is not content to be a part of your life. He demands to be your Life. So often we try to bend Christianity to fit our own ways of thinking and our own lifestyles. But that is not how it works. If indeed Christianity is real, if Jesus is indeed Who He claims to be, than it is no use trying to fit Him into your life. As Jesus said: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” He is everything.

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About Jonathon Thigpen

I am a student, writer, photographer, traveler, teacher, and Lego enthusiast, who is endeavouring to be a man after God's own heart.
This entry was posted in Philosophy, Redemption and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Unpopular Theology.

  1. Interestingly enough, my family and I were having a talk about this just recently. I agree with you completely.
    Christ needs to be the central focus of our songs and thoughts, not man’s needs, abilities, or anything else.

    • Well how about that. Glad to hear you all have been thinking!
      Amen. It is about God’s glory. Man-centered theology focuses on making man stand up and take action, and that sounds like such a great thing. But God-centered theology wants to make man fall to his knees, and allow God to take action.

  2. I think the best way to some this up is exactly how John the Baptist said it: “I must decrease, so that He may increase.”

  3. austind90 says:

    Well said. What is the cure for this poison?

    • An excellent question, sir. I think it is found in revamping our mindsets. Surrendering to God to allow Him to transform our hearts. Out of that will come God-centered Christians, and out of them comes God-centered Churches, music, books, etc.

  4. Jonathan, your words echo the beat of my heart. Worship MUST be about Jesus or it isn’t worship of HIM at all. The focus of many churches is not what it should be, and that is the reason for much of what today is wrong in America. It may interest you to know that last year at a Christian writers conference, the prevailing theme was to be a writer first, a Christian second, the idea being that people who put Christ first are poor writers. I take exception to that thought as a writer, for if Jesus isn’t first in my life, all I write is a waste of my time. It usurps giving honor to whom honor is due, to God. That’s like not showing appreciation to my husband when he gives something to me, and instead making it all about me. The balance and the focus are skewed. When I endeavor to use the gifts HE gave me, HE must be glorified first. The same is true in church. We are not to come together for ourselves and to be entertained by performers with lights and fog machines. We gather to honor HIM alone.

    • Thanks for reading and responding, Mrs. Fischer!
      That is exactly right. If the focus of the worship is divided, then it is not worship at all.
      Wow that is very sad to hear about the writers conference. Good gracious. I don’t understand how anyone could view it that way. I know that personally if I made writing my central focus I would lose my passion to write in the first place. Writing is never meant to be an end in and of itself. It’s only a means, a great means, but still a means. It is a medium of communicating a message. If we place the communication above the great message of the Gospel, then we’ve accomplished nothing as Christian writers.
      And that is exactly correct. The point of gathering together and using our gifts and talents is for God’s glory. It makes me think of when I’m at a photoshoot. Especially at weddings, I know I’ve done my job well when I become invisible. When the focus is on the photographer instead of the subject, he has failed his job. So it is with the Church. When the focus is on us, we have failed.

  5. Rebecca says:

    This is really good, and is why I love our pastor so much. He does everything to bring us back to “Christ alone” without us helping.

  6. Monex says:

    If you are that important to God and he considers you valuable enough to keep with him for eternity what greater significance could you have? That was what he wanted and what pleased him Ephesians 1 5 NCV …We often forget that God has emotions too. The Bible tells us that God grieves gets jealous and angry and feels compassion pity sorrow and sympathy as well as happiness gladness and satisfaction.

    • Very true. That is the intrinsic value of humanity: that God considers us worth dying for.
      Good point about the emotions. It is easy to forget that God is indeed a person. More of a person than we are, in fact.

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