I think Keller just nailed me…

I’m currently reading Timothy Kellers, “Counterfeit Gods.” Wonderful, convicting, and challenging book. I was reading tonight and the following passages really stuck out to me as he began discussing the idols that many Christians and Christian communities have set up, and the damage it has and is doing. You can find it on pages 131-133 in the book.

“An idol is something that we look to for things that only God can give. Idolatry functions widely inside religious communities when doctrinal truth is elevated to the position of a false god. This occurs when people rely on the rightness of their doctrine for their standing with God rather than on God himself and his grace. It is a subtle but deadly mistake. The sign that you have slipped into this form of self-justification is that you become what the book of Proverbs calls a “scoffer.” Scoffers always show contempt and disdain for opponents rather than graciousness. This is a sign that they do not see themselves as sinners saved by grace. Instead, their trust in the rightness of their views makes them feel superior…

Wow, I think Keller nailed me. I like to think I don’t have this issue, but when I search myself and am really honest with myself, there are many times that the above passage here sums me up quite well. Forgive me Lord, I am indeed a sinner, in need of Your grace.

“…the Enlightenment abandoned religious orthodoxy and put in God’s place things like the American system or individual self-fulfillment. The results have not been good. Putting Nation in place of God leads to cultural imperialism, and putting Self in the place of God leads to many of the dysfunctional dynamics we have discussed throughout this book. Why did our culture largely abandon God as its hope? I believe it was because our religious communities have been and continue to be filled with these false gods. Making an idol out of doctrinal accuracy, ministry success, or moral rectitude leads to constant internal conflict, arrogance and self-righteousness, and oppression of those whose views differ. These toxic effects of religious idolatry have led to widespread disaffection with religion in general and Christianity in particular. Thinking we have tried God, we have turned to other Hope, with devastating consequences.”

Again, I think Keller nailed me, and many people I know. Certainly a need for much repentance within the Church…

I encourage everyone, especially Christian leaders to go out and get this book.

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