Hubbs & I heard a fellow named Bob Sjorgren speak at church a few years ago, and our faith has never been the same. You see, Bob likens the theology of the modern Church to that of the attitudes of cats and dogs. Cats are self-centered and everything is about them. Dogs are loyal and faithful and everything is about their Master/Owner. So too, some Christians are all about themselves; this is reflected in how they live, how they pray, and how they see God as part of their lives. Other Christians are all about Jesus, and this too is evidenced in how they live their lives on a minute by minute basis.
After hearing the sermon, we read Sjorgren & Gerald Robison's book "Cat and Dog Theology," and the way that we worship has been transformed. We have also been ever-increasingly convicted of our own selfishness and how we so often rob God of the honour and praise that He is due.
Our new church, praise Jesus, is also "dog-like" theologically. So often has our pastor reminded us that it's not about us, but it's about Jesus. It always comes back to Jesus, to God Himself.
Anyway, as we have become changed, I've found myself growing ever more intolerant of those who profess Christ but who make all things about them; their theology is incomplete and it excludes God save for a cursory acknowledgement. They treat God as though He is their eternal Santa Claus, there to bless them and make them prosperous and give them rewards because of their faith or their good works or their oh-so-lovely -souls. They live out "Christianity" as a religion for the privileged and the blessed, and they pick and choose the parts of the Bible to believe and to claim as Truth (usually the "feel-good" parts). Please. Sure, God loves us, yes, but everything He does is for His name's sake alone. Everything. His glory is of foremost importance to Him, and even as Jesus hung on that cross and became a propitiation for our sins, He was doing it for the Father's glory, and not because we are so darn likeable and too cute to send to Hell.
So often, the incomplete theology of misled "cats" cause them to believe that worship is a response to what God has done for them personally, rather than an acknowledgement of who He is (holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts!) first. They embrace the "I, me, my, our, us" pronouns far more than the "You, God" and "Yours." They focus on God's love and mercy and grace to the exclusion of His wrath and jealousy and judgment and hatred of sin. They think life has to be fair according to their definition of fair, and get angry with God when life is "unfair" to them, forgetting that it's all about God being glorified through His plan for humankind. They consider themselves to be the main protagonists of the Bible, and they believe that God's will is to bless them. They ignore the parts of the Scriptures that talk of suffering for His name, and of God making His own name great.
And we are all cats. You and me. We've all been misled into an incomplete faith and understanding because we are selfish, self-centered, entitled people living a privileged life in a part of the world that has not had to suffer persecution for our faith. We indulge our sinful natures and our egos and the humanistic philosophies around us, and we make God into our personal genie, rather than the Savior and King of Kings that He is. We do not come before God as little children, faithful and hopeful and trusting and surrendered.
Oh, sheeple (I borrowed this term from Garth Turner), I must decrease so that He may increase! We must all decrease so that He may be glorified in our lives, in our words, in our deeds. To God be the glory, forever and ever. It's not about me. It's all about Jesus.