There is a big difference in these two: confidence and arrogance. While it may seem to go without saying, it seems that some do struggle with it deeply. I’m not talking about the world or those in politics or business. For the purpose of this post, I reference those in the Church and engaged in the Mission. Does the Church, and more specifically, does some of its people and leaders understand the undeniable difference between confidence and arrogance?
I pray we do. I sincerely hope we do. And I am glad that God has placed me, and my family, in a church that does. But if some don’t get it, we should be praying without ceasing that God will get a hold of us and show us that we should have confidence in Him and in what He has done and is doing in our life, in our world, and with His others. But the reality is that there are traces and many examples of nothing but arrogance (today) among some who claim and state to be Christian, churched, and informed.
In the last few weeks, a very large Christian publication with a tremendous presence tackled this very issue with a title that was eye and heart grabbing. The title, “Elitism,” and it showed how churches and movements today are following a doctrine of internal self exceptionalism. What it promotes and teaches, at the core, really flies in the face of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and only creates more confusion and divide between a lost and fallen world and the Good News we have received and are called to distribute.
Arrogance. Narcissistic. Prideful. Conceit. I know better than you. I have it all figured out. No one else is as good as us. We have the answers. You know, I have personally had to help several people, in counseling, who were indoctrinated and churched in this way and who desired to be freed from it. It is not a theory or a rare form of theology – it is becoming more prominent, and unfortunately, more widespread.
These are all ways to define this dangerous and toxic attitude. But it’s more than just an attitude – it’s become a central pinnacle in both movements and networks.
Here is some of God’s truth, from 1st Corinthians 1, that I believe speaks right into it and against this: “Brothers and sisters, consider what you were when God called you to be Christians. Not many of you were wise from a human point of view. You were not in powerful positions or in the upper social classes. 27 But God chose what the world considers nonsense to put wise people to shame. God chose what the world considers weak to put what is strong to shame. 28 God chose what the world considers ordinary and what it despises—what it considers to be nothing—in order to destroy what it considers to be something. 29 As a result, no one can brag in God’s presence. 30 You are partners with Christ Jesus because of God. Jesus has become our wisdom sent from God, our approval, our holiness, and our ransom from sin. 31 As Scripture says, “Whoever brags must brag about what the Lord has done” (vv.26-31).
I believe some like to hear their own voices. I believe some like their own style. I believe some like to boast on what they have done. I even know of many examples of people/leaders who believe and think that no one can do it as well as they do it.
How dangerous this is, in the Kingdom of God!
Aren’t we to be humble? To serve others? To build up the Kingdom of God in grace, in humility, and in love? I’m not saying that we don’t stand for beliefs, and values, and essentials – but rather, we don’t teeter on the line of elitism or exclusiveness. No, that is not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. I end with the words written by the Apostle Paul, because the longer I go on in this life, the more I relate…“I am least in the Kingdom of God!”
Blessings and joy,