There are those who would orchestrate events to center around themselves, make themselves out to be a martyr and implore an outrageous vocabulary of obscure words to over-impress their loyal following.
There are those who thump their Bible publicly, sacrilegiously touting a prosperity gospel that the desperate and unenlightened just may buy ($) into, doing more to send someone to hell than to reach them with the Gospel of Christ.
There are Christian hedonists who think that God is all about their satisfaction, too focused on self-fulfillment and their own experience of God to ever contemplate the vastness of God and His purposes that may in fact include our suffering and brevity of physical life.
There are entertaining churches filled with consumeristic Christians.
There are hyper Calvinists who believe that they are chosen and that others are damned . . . that God's sacrifice was only for some and their focus is personal growth.
There are Arminians who believe that the blood of the lost is on their own personal hands . . . that their presentation of the gospel is paramount, disregarding that the power is in the gospel itself, that the Spirit draws the unbeliever and that God's gift of eternal life is secure.
There are many who practice idolatry under the guise of Christianity.
And, sadly, there are many who blaspheme the Holy Spirit, rejecting the gift of eternal life.
all of this and more in a culture where politicians deceive, unwed mothers abort, married couples divorce, consumerism rules, greed is a way of life, violence and suicides plague daily life; and enjoyment, entertainment and possession are the highest of aspirations
This is pride, and our society, both secular & non, is permeated with it. What happens next? Sure we're in a period of grace, but how far will we as a culture be allowed to go? God only knows. We do know He does not change. He offered much grace to Israel & Judah - - but there came a time to pay a price for the pride of kings and nations. There was even reckoning for the pride of heathen kings and nations (remember Nebuchanezzar & Belshazzar?)
Is pride a sin that is at the root of all other sin? It seems that way to me. So then, how do we combat it? Can we combat it? We all possess the capacity to be totally consumed by it. And to not be is a continual personal choice of emptying ourselves and being filled with the things of God (His Word, namely). And even then, we can fail.
We can't force this choice on the rest of the world. We can pray for conviction, but the humbling of oneself is not just a matter of the Spirit's conviction, it is a matter of responding to it.
So this is where we find ourselves and I guess the conclusion, once again, is that God is God and we are not. He knows where we are right now as a people and as individuals. He knows where we're headed. His glorification and purposes are in no way dependent on us and our choices. So we can love Him, and know Him, enjoy Him, obey and strive to please Him. We can comfort and encourage one another while the day is here.
The previous posting on pride: Sad State Of Affairs, part 1 was posted on 1/5/08