Too Proud for the Word

Often, when I talk about the importance of God’s written Word, I notice that my own affections don’t line up with my teaching. Pride creeps up in my heart and tells me that I am doing well-enough on my own; I don’t need God’s Word. I can enjoy God in the forest and the trees, in a good song or a thoughtful film, in my relationships with my family, in a good work of fiction or piece of poetry. How wrong I am.

I notice the same general malaise toward the Bible when I read many modern, “Christian” mystics. These people say that limiting God to the Scriptures does injustice to His infinity. The Bible isn’t enough to know God; they need more. They need a life well-lived, they need nature, they need art, they need music.

Now, all of those pursuits are good in their right place, but none of them takes the primary place of Scripture. We are able to rightly interpret none of those gifts without the written Word. But many of these folks are too proud to bow before the Bible as the voice of God. They want a different God.

This desire for an self-made idol is the essence of pride. We want to make our own gods, and such pride is shown in five ways:

  1. We mystify God. When we are too proud to humble ourselves under God’s Word, the first step is often to make God out to be an infinite, unknowable being. We say things like, “The Bible can’t contain God.” An unknowable god who doesn’t require blood-sacrifice for sin is easier to get along with than One who does.
  2. We mask our own sin.In the name of “church unity” and “acceptance,” we will proudly mask our own sin as “difference in opinion” or “man-made doctrine.” Mystics will often say that we can’t be sure about sins like false doctrine, unbelief, divorce, homosexuality, cohabitation, substance abuse, and other things our culture accepts.Pride loves to hide in the darkness, afraid of the exposing light of God’s Word. People love the darkness rather than the light of Christ because their deeds are evil (John 3:19).
  3. We de-emphasize the Bible. It might not get pushed out of the house, but God’s Word is not over every door and window like God said it should be (Deut. 6). The Bible is no longer the focal point of knowing Christ, and “faith” becomes more about our thoughts and feelings toward Jesus rather than His spoken Word to us.
  4. We avoid the cross. The bloody, agonizing crucifixion for real, personal sins is an afterthought to this new “faith.” Our own new lives are far more important than our sin against a holy God and what Christ has done to pay for it. We therefore make Jesus and His teachings more important that Jesus’ finished work on the cross.
  5. We focus on ourselves. Since God can’t be truly known and the Bible is less important, we step into the limelight and offer our lives, our art, our walk with Jesus as the gospel message. The gospel by faith becomes the gospel by works, and mysticism becomes yet another false gospel.

Such mysticism is against God’s Bible because it is out to make Jesus in its own proud image. As one of my students said today after reading a mystical article, “How can we know Jesus without the Bible?!?!”

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About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

One Response to Too Proud for the Word

  1. Pingback: New Series! « Your Cross on My Back

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