Page 10 - February 2018 - Truth & Tidings
P. 10

and declared themselves to be something   and glory. Yet, in practice, the sense of
        other than heterosexual. They represent   “self” does invade our thinking and be-
        the heroes of the expressive individualism   havior. On a personal, individual level, I
        world. Young children in school are being   may view God as the One Who can help
        told to explore who they might be and to   me meet my goals and fulfill my life. I may
        have the courage to express who they are,   never, however, even have asked God what
        at an age when they are not even able to   His will for my life is. God becomes my
        make decisions about which shoes to wear   spiritual “personal trainer” to coach me to
        to school. When your rules for life are dia-  my personal best. Yes, I should strive to be
        metrically opposed to all societal norms,   the very best I can be for God; but it must
        you eventually destroy society.      be within the scope of His will for my life,
          Some who are reading may be thinking   and not measured by my own limited and
        that the quest for self-identity and self-  skewed concept of self-fulfillment.
        fulfillment is not really wrong. The prob-  More damaging, perhaps, is the impact
        lem with every nice-sounding philosophy   this has upon assembly testimony. “The
        is that it has repercussions in everyday   assembly  is  not  meeting  my  needs,”
        life. Eventually it finds its way to the man   expresses a sentiment which reflects the
        on the street. Consider how this quest for   thinking of our age: “The assembly exists
        liberation plays out in streets and towns,   for me!” So if the assembly is not meeting
        in lives and families, and in homes of or-  my needs, I can leave and go elsewhere to
        dinary people.                       find a place which will meet my needs and
          Any responsibility hindering my devel-  help me express who I am.
        opment can now be avoided. Marriage,   One of the secondary purposes of an
        children, commitments, and obligations   assembly is to feed the Christians (Acts
        can all be discarded if they hinder my de-  20:28; 1Peter 5:2). We can never excuse our
        velopment. I am the center of the universe,   lack of food, hiding behind sanctimonious
        and I can define what is right and wrong.   claims to primarily exist as a testimony to
        No one else has the “right” to tell me what   the Lord Jesus. But we must also remember
        is morally acceptable. If my marriage is   that the primary purpose of an assembly is
        hindering my happiness and my self-  Godward: we are House of God, God’s hus-
        fulfillment, then it must be discarded, and   bandry, and God’s building. Our primary
        I can walk away from it. If children limit   purpose is to bring pleasure to the heart of
        my ability to self-actualize in my career   God by our worship and our service. That
        or in my life, then I either avoid having   is primary and must never become second-
        them altogether, or I find some other way   ary. The assembly is not all about me, but
        around them. Disappointments and delays   all about Him. As God receives from us, He
        are not disciplines sent by God into your   will return in abundance to us. When the
        life for your good, but are obstacles to your   secondary becomes primary, we lose both
        personal development.                the primary and the secondary.
          What is the influence and impact upon   Others may complain that the assembly
        spiritual life? The fallacy of such thinking   is not helping them to develop gift or that
        should be obvious to any Christian. The   the assembly leaders do not appreciate
        center of our universe is not self, but our   their gift. Behind such thinking is the not-
        Savior. We profess to live for His pleasure   so-subtle thinking of individualism. If the

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