Wednesday, April 8, 2009

looking no higher than himself

This difference, between following and worshiping, is not insignificant. Worshiping is an inherently passive activity, since it involves the adoration of that to which the worshiper cannot aspire. It takes the form of praise, which can be both sentimental and self-satisfying, without any call to changed behavior or self-sacrifice. In fact, Christianity as a belief system requires nothing but acquienscence. Christianity as a way of life, as a path to follow, require a second birth, the conquest of ego, and new eyes with which to see the world. It is no wonder that we have preferred to be saved.
Robin R Meyers, Saving Jesus from the Church, p. 15

It may be safely said that anyone who considers worship to be "an inherently passive activity", has likely never truly worshipped anyone or anything (outside of the person's self).

There is nothing "inherently passive" in expressing one's love, loyalty, and devotion to someone, and most important to God. Is a mother who adores her small child a passive person? Far from it. Is a man who adores a woman passive? Likely, he will be the more active to prove his worth to her.

If anything, that is the point--true worship of God is an active thing, and in fact one will not have "changed behavior" without worship of God. Which is why those like Meyer seem more intent on changing God than in changing their fellow man.

You may have noticed that I didn't include "self-sacrifice" above. I almost did. But something jumped around a bit in my memory, something from C.S. Lewis. Lewis starts his essay "The Weight of Glory" talking about the difference between the old virtue of "love" and the modern virtue of "unselfishness". "Love" is mainly concerned with the good of the one loved, while "unselfishness" had in focus mostly the doing-without of the self.

So I thought, and so I see, when I noticed his word "self-sacrifice". His hyphenated word, like unselfishness, is concerned most with the self and it's ability to do without, and not with the good of those on the outside. It is as selfish as unselfishness.

And do not be fooled by his rhetoric of "following Jesus". Even in that, he soon tips his hand, in saying that the Gospels give us little if any true knowledge about Jesus, that the Gospel writers were intent on creating some kind of mythical god-man, that we cannot know anything for sure about the "historical Jesus". The jesus he tells us to follow is simply an empty shell in which has been poored the ideas he and his fellow liberal theologians have approved.

No comments: