Sunday, December 02, 2007

Spiritual Arrogance

In my previous post I made reference to me being humbled from a sense of spiritual arrogance. I have a reluctance to post on this, yet a compelling urge to speak to it. What is spiritual arrogance? In my view, it is having the self-view that you have insights into God's will that are more true and convicted that that of other believers who truly seek God's revelation in their lives. I'm drawn to look at the prophetic movement. I'm drawn to look at the healing ministry. I'm drawn to look to those who believe that God speaks uniquely through them, at the expense of others to whom God speaks. I call those who think that they have the unique gift of discerning God's will at this time and in whatever place they may come clean. I feel it is pandering to the crowd.

I study the word-faith movement and see patterns that are somewhat suspicious. Did you know that in every state where there is a "conference" that God reveals a distinct prophecy that that state will receive a special movement in the faith? There will be a special revival in that state that is unique to that state. It will make that state the source of world revival. C'mon.

Does the term "manipulated masses" ring true? I know that if a world famous evangelist said that where I live is where the world will look for revelation, it would be a really cool thing to behold. I might even get so caught up in the notion that I'd write a big check to help that happen. But it's snake oil sales and nothing more.

In the healing ministry, I see those who only come to offer healing services if their "honorarium" is met, and they are given no restrictions on how many love offerings are to be made. Sounds like a good business plan to me. It all comes down to spiritual arrogance, where some individual makes themselves out to be the only true discerner of the will of God. I get appalled!

Personally, I'm guilty of this same, but different, spiritual arrogance. While not financially predatory, it is an ego-driven demon that at times overwhelms me. It says...." are the reason this person is healed." I thank God that He opens my eyes to see the fallacy of this thinking. I thank God that he knocks me down and says that I'm making it about me rather than Him. I thank God that today...and every day...I'm not spiritually arrogant. I'm just a humble servant...who sometimes gets awed by God's glory, and foolishly think I have something to do with it.

I'm not arrogant. I'm not spiritually arrogant. But, I'm tempted. Temptation isn't a bad thing. Jesus was tempted...but he did not give in to it. I pray that I continue not to give into it. I entertain temptations, but always, by the grace of God, turn from them. May I, and all in the healing ministry, do the same.


Mark H said...

When Sue and I first moved to Inverness we joined a church which we initially felt was similar to the one we'd left in Manchester. But we started to realise that one or two things were awry and one of them was this spiritual arrogance that you describe.

Things like spiritual arrogance and religiosity ensnare people with good hearts, but poor accountability, who are trying to seek God and please him. These were people with good hearts. But there was a pervading attitude that Inverness was the centre of the universe, the only place in the world into which God had spoken concerning revival, and that this particular church was the only church in the town that was doing things right.

It's great when we know that Father loves our city and our immediate church family. We need that kind of assurance and confidence. But it's something else entirely when we think that makes us more special, more loved than, than anybody, or anywhere, else. That is a spirit that is opposed to the unity of God's Spirit.

Thankfully, Father will humble those who get ensnared so that they can be set free. But I've sensed this particular enemy sniffing around on several occasions since. I have to recognise him to make sure he doesn't get a foothold.

We should never underestimate the desire of our own flesh to be the centre of everything. The antidote is to submit to the Father who affirms us on the basis of His love for us, not upon our own fragile self-esteem.

Which was a long-winded way of saying ... great post!

Brother Marty said...

Your articulate response is anything but long winded. I didn't want to name names so you provided a great "case in point" as to what I was trying to say. Thanks for the personal witness to this type of attitude that prevails in many churches/organizations.

The Thief said...

When I was an associate pastor, the senior pastor I was working with told me, "Brian, you do not have the gift of healing."

(he was referencing a time when he had fallen and hurt his shoulder, and I'd prayed for his healing, but a few days later, he hurt worse than before...)

I thanked him for that, because it takes all the pressure off me. Now I can leave God to do the healing if He chooses.