Dying to the Wrong Things

I visited Point Defiance yesterday and was incredibly refreshed by my time with Copper and God. The name of the park intrigued me, so I looked up the definition of defiance. Here was the most fitting definition on dictionary.com:

a daring or bold resistance to authority or to any opposing force.

When I read that I realized that when I walked away from Sound Doctrine on November 10, 2011, I was exemplifying what I will call “holy defiance.” In the Name of Jesus, I made a daring and bold move to resist the false and abusive authority I had lived under for 12 years. Tomorrow will be 5 months since I left and I am growing stronger every day, reclaiming who God created me to be.

I looked back today at the Emotionally Healthy Spirituality book in the chapter entitled “The Top Ten Symptoms of Emotionally Unhealthy Spirituality” and saw my highlighting of #3…

Dying to the Wrong Things

As Iraneaus said many centuries ago, “The glory of God is a human being fully alive.”

True, Jesus did say, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). But when we apply this verse rigidly, without qualification from the rest of Scripture, it leads to the very opposite of what God intends. It results in a narrow, faulty theology that says, “The more miserable you are, the more you suffer, the more God loves you. Disregard your unique personhood; it has no place in God’s kingdom.”

We are to die to the sinful parts of who we are—such as defensiveness, detachment from others, arrogance, stubbornness, hypocrisy, judgmentalism, a lack of vulnerability—as well as the more obvious sins described for us in Scripture: Do not murder. Do not steal. Do not bear false witness. Speak the truth (see Exodus 20:13-16 and Ephesians 4:25)

We are not called by God to die to the “good” parts of who we are. God never asked us to die to the healthy desires and pleasures of life— to friendships, joy, art, music, beauty, recreation, laughter, and nature. God plants desires in our hearts so we will nurture and water them. Often these desires and passions are invitations from God, gifts from him. Yet somehow, we feel guilty unwrapping those presents.

When I ask people, “Tell me about your wishes, hopes, and dreams,” they are often speechless.

“Why do you ask?” they respond. “Isn’t my only wish, hope, and dream supposed to be to serve Jesus?”

Not exactly. God never asks us to annihilate the self. We are not to become “non-persons” when we become Christians. The very opposite is true. God intends our deeper, truer self, which he created, to blossom freely as we follow him. God has endowed each of us with certain essential qualities that reflect and express him in a unique way. Part of the sanctification process of the Holy Spirit is to strip away the false constructs we have accumulated and enable our true selves to emerge.

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality – Pages 27 & 28

In my 12 years in Sound Doctrine we died to all the wrong things, as we all became clones of the leadership. At the same time we supported the full bloom of arrogance, stubbornness, hypocrisy, judgmentalism, and lack of vulnerability.

How ironic, and how deeply troubling.

May God continue to shine His light of Truth on the darkness of Sound Doctrine.

2 thoughts on “Dying to the Wrong Things

  1. Very insightful.

  2. Thanks Dan…the entire study has been this way for me…very insightful. And what perfect timing for me to have this starting in January, right about the time that I got up the nerve to step foot in church again. He really CAN be trusted!!

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