The Biblical Adage of “Dying to Self” is not Ego Ablation

Overcoming issues of confusion about the concepts that Betacize Christian Men.

Readership: All
Targeted Audience: Pastors, Elders, Counselors, Mentors, and Christian Brothers
Theme: Masculine Authority and Responsibility
Author’s Note: Although this post does not address Gnosticism as a stand-alone post, it was inspired through, and could be included in, the series on Gnosticism.
Length: 2,400 words
Reading Time: 13 minutes

Introduction

In recent years it has been observed that the modern church is a de facto Beta factory. The most obvious reason for this, to most who frequent here, is the feminization of the church and the relegation of male authority to observer status. It bears repeating that this repels men with any sense of masculine identity while retaining passive Beta and Delta types. This is also one of the main reasons why the modern churchian franchise is so devoid of male leadership.

Another outstanding reason for the demise of Christian masculinity is the deluge of poor teaching which neglects explaining the contextual application to the audiences, and the outright false teaching that reached its critical momentum of popularity in the 1980s and has continued to the present day, thereby displacing a solid understanding of Scripture for more than a generation.

Worst of all are the odd, cartoonish, and effete notions of masculinity that have crept into the church and have somehow earned popular approval through romantically charming, subtly inverted interpretations of scripture. The task of uncovering all these false notions, which are precisely Gnostic in nature, has been a regular topic of discussion within the Christian Manosphere.

Part of all this confusion arises from the fact that there are many Christian teachings which apparently have the effect of domesticating men. This post examines one such idea that is central to Christian doctrine which I believe is largely responsible for this phenomenon. It concerns the Biblical idea of “dying to self“.

Written for the benefit of other men who have struggled with the same issue, this post recounts my personal experience dealing with a false conceptualization of this idea, how this held me back in both my spiritual growth and my personal development, and what I have learned from this experience.

A Damningly False Assessment of the Self

In Christian circles, we often hear about how “pride goes before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18), and egotism leads one astray. I’ve heard this time and again in all my years of church attendance. However, there was never any distinction made that it is the Bad@ss Chads who need to rein in their ego, whereas less confident men should develop their ego. I never apprehended this contextual nuance, even after reading the entire Bible as a youth. So I naturally came to the comprehensive conclusion that another oft repeated phrase, “dying to self” (Romans 6:11; Philippians 1:21) refers to getting rid of pride, and killing the ego. IOW, don’t be a Chad!

And that is exactly what I did. Because I believed that the ego was part of the “old self” that needed to die (Ephesians 4:21-24), I killed my ego as a general habit until I had no ego at all. Likewise, I sacrificed all desire until I didn’t even know what I desired (Romans 13:13-14). I made altruism my main focus in dealing with others (Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:31; 1 John 3:17-18). I was always introspective and non-judgmental to others, suspecting that I might have bad motivations (Matthew 7:3-5, Luke 6:37-42). I gave no consideration to what others thought of me (Matthew 6:1-34, Galatians 1:10), and simply followed my conscience.

While all this seems rather pious and holy on the surface, later in life I would learn that this approach is essentially a subtle denial of my sinful nature, as in denying that I have one, or that I can manage it myself; not in the more correct sense of denying it from having an omnipotent rule over my life. This is another crucial distinction that I missed somehow.

The byproduct/effect of this approach is that I became crippled by self-consciousness and unaware of my own nature. It also killed all my joy and discernment. It prevented authentic social connections, to the point that others couldn’t understand me. They just saw that I had no ego, and they concluded that I was a bad guy. This was really frustrating to me because people often assumed that I was bad — even people I had gone to church with for years — not because I had done anything wrong, but just because I was cynical, distrustful, ego-less, and brashly inconsiderate when confronted with anything that violated my conscience. While in college, I asked my pastor about this, and he told me that it’s because “no one knows who you are.” He gave me a book about Meyers-Briggs personality types and told me to read it so that I could better relate to others. This did help me greatly, but it didn’t get to the core of my problem.

A Life Changing Epiphany

I carried these impressions for most all my life, and I never came across any evidence that suggested that my doctrinal application was amiss. But after having a talk with my current pastor (at the ripe old age of 48), I gathered that something about my earlier impressions were not quite right.

The reason I went to my pastor was because I was having marital difficulties. My wife was being intransigent, stubborn, and vindictive. My pastor insisted that my problem must be that I was proud, but this didn’t make sense to me. I’d spent most of my life eschewing pride, as I said above, and besides that, I am too much of a loner to be proud.

Through further talks with my pastor, and after contemplating this for a while, I realized that my personal issue was not one of pride per se, but rather a general inability to trust due to some childhood experiences. But interestingly enough, being proud and being unable to trust have many of the same effects in one’s spiritual life, and they also share many of the same outward manifestations which are noticed by others (e.g. being hesitant or unwilling to engage with others, being suspicious of other’s motivations, general cynicism, having difficulty in feeling and expressing thankfulness, poor discernment, unable to maintain a consistent posture of humility, and so on). To make matters more confusing to everyone, I looked more like a Chad, and I carried myself more like a Chad, than not. But I didn’t have the flambuoyant ambitions of a Chad.

My pastor told me the approach I took of killing my ego and my desire is just like what Buddhists do. He said I was Buddhist but I didn’t know it! I find it bizarre that I got these impressions from reading the Bible and attending church.

Working Out Salvation

Eventually, I realized that in another deeper sense, my pastor was right about my issue with pride. But it was not the pride I had always been warned about. It was a deeper, pharisaical kind of pride that motivated me to avoid the egotistical type of pride typical of Chads. It became clear to me that I went down this path because I did not trust myself and I was suspicious of others’ influence on my spiritual life, but I was too young to understand this about myself at the time. Only after attaining the experience of middle-age and then talking with my pastor did I realize that I was distrustful and that this stance of distrust is a reflection of a distrust in God. Only then did it occur to me that my approach of abrogating the ego is not the right way to kill the old self.

Supplementary knowledge (which appeared to be a Divine confirmation) to this insight from my pastor came through Ed Hurst. I was reading Radix Fidem daily at that time, and Ed had several posts that explained the importance of having a strong, healthy, well adjusted ego, and how this is important for one’s faith. [As a representative example, go read Ed’s post, The Blessing of Ego (2013-8-31).] Ed bluntly pointed out that “The current popular notion that ego is somehow evil is a feminist lie.”

It took me a while to take this in and readjust my self-concept and my world view. The epiphany that made this all click for me was through observing how people who have a poor or maladjusted ego are typically somewhat sociopathic. This also explained why many people jumped to the conclusion that I was a bad guy all throughout my life, even though I was rather straight laced, a regular church-goer, well-practiced in prayer, and well-read in the Bible. They were using my ego as an indicator of my character.

After talking with my pastor and realizing that the ego is an important part of my psyche and not evil, there was one day, in the space of a moment, I found that I suddenly had an ego that seemingly appeared out of nowhere! When I told this to my pastor, he remarked that it had been there all along, but I had repressed it from my conscious awareness. He was glad that I became aware of it, saying that I can now make progress in becoming more spiritually healthy.

Since then, my discernment has slowly been growing. But I can tell you, Buddha was wrong in saying that having no ego leads to happiness. Still to this day, my joy and contentment are still lacking, and I find that dealing with the ego, desire, discernment, trust, etc. to be more trouble than what I feel it is worth. For me, perhaps this is a form of redemptive suffering — learning to embrace those things which I had rejected for so long.

Reassessing Reality

After becoming more acquainted with this truth, I discovered that the ego is the junction between the heart, the mind, and reality. True growth and social adjustment cannot occur unless this junction is healthy and active. A broken ego constitutes a broken man.

Furthermore, I found that it is impossible for a man not to have any ego — to not desire anything for one’s self, to not pursue joy and pleasure, to not think of one’s self as being good in the basic sense of being made alive and in the image of God; or IOW, “It’s Good to be a Man”, as Michael Foster likes to say. If a man continually dwells on the truth that he is inherently bad and morally corrupt, as Christian doctrine states, it can be revealing and perhaps deeply motivating to some men (i.e. Chads), but it severely discourages the confidence and self-image of others (e.g. non-Alphas).

Non-Alpha males need to realize that God made us with those desires — to think of ourselves as being good and to think of other people being good, even though we/they are not (in God’s eyes), and to want to have a good reputation in the eyes of our peers, even though it is all vanity. Alpha males have a firm grip on this truth of self-esteem, but other men, not so much.

In this case, we could do with recognizing the difference between Coram Mundo and Coram Deo. Yes, in the eyes of God, all are sinful and have fallen short. But in all our day-to-day interactions with others, the strength and stability of a man’s ego is a rough indicator of his constitution and a pretty good predictor of how solid and reliable he is. I now see this to be a practical truth that has been carelessly obscured by churchianized interpretations of Proverbs 16:18 that neglect the context.

Chads, on the other hand, need to learn that it is our old man (the sinful nature, our old dying self) that tries to overemphasize desire and the demands of the ego. For Chads to be spiritually healthy, they need to keep those desires balanced with a discerning sense of his God ordained purpose in life, and an acute consideration of others’ desires and needs.

Let each of you not only look out for your own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Philippians 2:4 (NKJV)

This awareness of the intrinsic motivations of others can be extremely revealing for Chads and non-Chad alike, as it serves to give one a sense of self. In fact, the concomitant conflict and suffering is the main source of feedback for refining our applied wisdom, but only if you perceive this through the viewpoint of discernment, as opposed to one’s obedience or holiness, which is legalism. Discernment is key.

Conclusions

In respect to the recent debate over Christian Mysticism, it is clear that attending church, praying, and reading the Bible were all insufficient to shake me out of my false notions surrounding the purpose, place, and value of the ego. In fact, church and Bible reading were the primary source of these misunderstandings, and clinging to these only served to perpetuate my error. Coming to a proper understanding of my self and getting free from these lies required me adopt a mystical approach when engaging in the discussions with my pastor and Ed Hurst through email.

Every man is strong in one area and weak in something else, and this is what makes them immature. The Biblical language for this is “that which is lacking”, as St. Paul put it in Colossians 1:24, and “incomplete”, going on James 1:4. The Biblically prescribed remedy for being “incomplete” is patience, suffering, and fellowship. Suffering is a natural part of being incomplete, but the things which cause us suffering are a clue that points to that which is lacking. Fellowship is necessary because we learn the things we are lacking from other men who are strong in that suit.  Patience is required to willingly engage with other men and build up that which is lacking in each other.

My suggestion to pastors, elders, mentors, and brothers is to identify what is lacking in each man under their care, make this evident to him, and devise a plan of action for developing that part of his persona. Bad@ss Chads would need to take their ego down a notch, but I would guess that the grand majority of men in your churches, especially men broken by the the dog-eat-dog SMP and the Feminized Beta Factory that we call churchianity, would strongly benefit from having an integrated ego and a stronger sense of purpose. These men need encouragement to develop a healthy, well-adjusted ego. Again, the ego is important because it activates, integrates, and functionalizes the soul of a man.

I would be interested to know if any readers are familiar with any Orthodox teachings on either of these two subjects, “dying to self” or “knowing one’s self”.

About Jack

Jack is a world traveling artist, skilled in trading ideas and information, none of which are considered too holy, too nerdy, nor too profane to hijack and twist into useful fashion. Sigma Frame Mindsets and methods for building and maintaining a masculine Frame
This entry was posted in Churchianity, Convergence, Counterfeit/False Paradigms, Discerning Lies and Deception, Faith Community, Faux-Masculinity, Fundamental Frame, Generational Curses, Gnosticism, Identity, Introspection, Maturity, Personal Growth and Development, Models of Failure, Mysticism, Philosophy, Self-Concept, Sphere of Influence, Teaching, Trust. Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to The Biblical Adage of “Dying to Self” is not Ego Ablation

  1. Bardelys the Magnificent says:

    I recently read The Screwtape Letters and this reminded me of one of the themes: that all virtues have their negative side which can be exploited. True humility, for instance, does not mean having a low opinion of yourself; rather, it’s about not being braggadocious of the talents you have by realizing that those talents came from God, not you. Unselfishness toward others can become toxic and turn to resentment if left unchecked. God gave men egos, so they are good and useful in some way. Somewhere along the line, it became advantageous to attack it, so here we are trying to put the horse back in the stable.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. thedeti says:

    “In recent years it has been observed that the modern church is a de facto Beta factory. The most obvious reason for this, to most who frequent here, is the feminization of the church and the relegation of male authority to observer status. It bears repeating that this repels men with any sense of masculine identity while retaining passive Beta and Delta types. This is also one of the main reasons why the modern churchian franchise is so devoid of male leadership.”

    Paul Maxwell/Selfwire: Evangelical Culture is Beta Culture

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Rock Kitaro says:

    Dude, this entire post was so deep. Thanks for sharing.

    “The byproduct/effect of this approach is that I became crippled by self-consciousness and unaware of my own nature. It also killed all my joy and discernment.”

    I felt this. When I first read the entire Bible, shedding off the old skin to be more Christ-like… it was tough, and ironically… suicidal thoughts crept in (around the age of 30). You’d think that drawing close to God and hearing the “Gospels” (Greek for good news) would give a man hope… but really, at first, all it did was give me hope for a world after I die. Not this current world. Eventually, I did have to just accept my flaws, work on improvement, sure… but accept that I’m just as imperfect as everyone else. I take comfort in knowing God can see my heart and HE can tell that I am truly doing my best, even when I slip and stumble.

    Which is also why it takes strength not to lash out like a vicious lion when I have one of my more zealous Christian family members poke at me for not doing enough, or when they say that there’s more I could be doing. I’m like, “Hey, what’s your name?”

    “Cool, I’m Rock. I’m doing MY best. Not YOUR best. I’m not you.”

    Liked by 5 people

    • Maniac says:

      I empathize, Rock. “Barometer Reading Christianity” sucks. God sees our thirst for righteousness and knows full-well that we’re going to stumble along the way sometimes. But He’ll pardon our shortcomings as long as we own up to them.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Red Pill Apostle says:

    Philippians 2:3-4 (NKJV)
    3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

    I included verse 3 with verse 4 that Jack included in his post because it’s where I see much of the church universals thinking go off the rails.

    Think of the man who wrote Philippians. He was a legalist’s legalist, astute in the law and exceedingly proud of his accomplishments and the esteem of his peers. He was humbled by Christ on the road to Damascus, but did not lack the gumption to un abashedly preach and write as an authority on Christ, salvation and proper faithful living. He basically told the kids what to do.

    Paul’s background as a Pharisee must have influenced his writing with regards to being humble. He was the theological Chad, who lorded his acts based “holiness” over others. What Paul realized is that his personal pride could get in the way of his mission to evangelize the gentiles. This is the death to self and thinking of others as better he’s talking about. He’s not weak and sniveling like most current church teaching makes men, he’s self sacrificial for something he knows is bigger than himself.

    There’s a world of difference between being weak and being humble in serving a greater purpose. Living for something bigger than yourself requires an iron will and the ability to let people’s opinions roll off you like water off a duck’s back, effectively humbling yourself. Taking the world’s barbs for your faith is what suffering for Christ is, but this does not prevent you from looking out for your own interests. It does mean that you will have to consider others first sometimes.

    Liked by 4 people

    • info says:

      There is a good reason why on the plane. You give yourself the oxygen mask first. You aren’t any good without helping yourself first for example. As the Scripture says:

      1 Timothy 5:8
      But if anyone doesn’t provide for his own, and especially his own household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever.

      Hence why mass immigration. Including lack of quality control and allowing foreigners to take over the country whilst denying one’s own Nation their own rightful substance. Is fundamentally anti-Christian.

      As is evident among Western European countries like Scandinavia.

      A self-negating Nation isn’t good to anybody as much as individuals that misunderstand “Dying to self”. It is hatred for the Neighbor that you know personally for the sake of “Neighbors” that you don’t know as well.

      God in making Israel the Apple of his eye and a special covenant with them. Leads by example. The Gospel was preached first to the House of Israel before it flowed to the Gentiles.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. thedeti says:

    Yes, our feminized church and Prot family “ministries” have bastardized the “dying to self” concept from “submission to Christ” to “completely destroying your own sense of self to the point that you don’t even know who you are”. It goes from “self sacrifice for sanctification and glorification” to “self abnegation to the point that there is nothing left of what makes you, you”.

    Liked by 5 people

    • whiteguy1 says:

      Which then leaves you in such a state that you are vulnerable to some of the most toxic and destructive kind of women.

      Following churchian teaching helped and encouraged me to decimate my own frame. With the end result of damaging me, my children and the rest of my family when I married a continuous and evil woman.

      The current beta factory I attend, is a Calvinist hotbed, seems like every Sunday it’s all about the beating the ‘self’ down. Not much of a surprise that they were less then helpful during my divorce, I’d even go so far as to say harmful to it.

      Liked by 7 people

      • thedeti says:

        Yes. that’s pretty much exactly how it happens. I’m glad you’re getting out of that.

        Like

      • thedeti says:

        I would not continue attending there. They weren’t helpful to you and they’re a beta factory. Nothing to be gained from it.

        Liked by 3 people

    • whiteguy1 says:

      (Church is a small bible church, approximately 200 members)

      Like

  6. catacombresident says:

    Ego is not a direct part of your fallen nature. It is the manifestation of self-awareness. It is your conscious self; it can be good or bad, strong or weak, defiled or blessed. Without investing in it, you cannot read your own convictions.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Sharkly says:

    The truth alone can truly set you free. Your understanding of who you are, who God is, and who women are, has to be in the correct position before you can build properly on that God-laid foundation. 99.9% of churchianity has an idolatrous false belief that women are equal to men in that they are both in the image of an apparently hermaphrodite deity. It is an article of faith to them even though the Bible never ever says women are the image nor Glory of God. Because they want to repeat the sin of Adam to make women into goddesses and give them the worth-ship to reign above the commands of God Himself, they thereby make themselves idolaters and odious to God. It is absolutely fundamental to know who you are, who God is, and to recognize the defiling nature of the the weaker vessels. You can’t become free if you don’t even recognize what sort of creation you are and who others are. You will only be deceived and remain lost until you quit effeminizing your Creator and Father by blasphemously saying that the women are His image and were made after His likeness.

    I may seem to beat this like a dead horse, but you will always be wrong about yourself and God and women until you assign God’s image correctly. You aren’t Red-Pilled if you believe the church-of-Rome-originated foundational lie of Feminism, and the blasphemous claim of the equality of women that it upholds. As long as women remain the earthly representation of your deity, you’ll wind up with idolatrous goddess worshipping beliefs. Either you get it right or you get it wrong.

    1 Corinthians 11:7 (ASV)
    For a man indeed ought not to have his head veiled, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Gregman says:

      Sharkly,

      If women are not made in the image of God, would you also remain consistent and claim that the murder of women, or the abortion of unborn girls, is just? In the exact same way that we may slaughter animals at will?

      The reason why murder of women, like murder of men is wrong, is because as humans we are made in the image of God.

      Genesis 9:6
      Whoever sheds man’s blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man.

      Regarding your verse, whether we are made in the image of God in the exact same way is up for discussion. Modern day people would claim complete equality. Matthew Henry (17th century commentator) on the contrary explained:

      “She is his representative. Not but she has dominion over the inferior creatures, as she is a partaker of human nature, and so far is God’s representative too, but it is at second-hand. She is the image of God, inasmuch as she is the image of the man.”

      “…and the woman was made out of the man, and shone with a reflection of his glory, being made superior to the other creatures here below, but in subjection to her husband, and deriving that honour from him out of whom she was made.”

      Like

      • Sharkly says:

        Gregman,
        That is an excellent question. In fact, in my opinion, it is the best point of hesitation I have ever encountered brought up against the doctrine of men alone being the earthly images of God. However, I have separately answered it for three other folks already.

        I’ve thrown in that link so as not to hijack this thread by copying and pasting all that has been written by myself and others on this question before.

        The shortest answer is that in Genesis 9:5-6, God forbids the murder of men (the Hebrew word “Adam”) because “Adam” was created in the image of God. When the same law is repeated in Exodus 21:12 there it uses the very male-specific Hebrew word אִישׁ (ish). Elsewhere the Bible forbids all murder, but in those places, God makes no mention of His image, and so God clearly again chose not to claim that all people bear His image and glory.

        Women are, of course, humankind and are also intended to be temples of the Holy Spirit, and as such they are intended to be heirs together with men of the grace of life, so in that regard womankind is exalted above other creatures. But she is not exalted to the point of being the image of our Father and Son Godhead and thus rightly approaching them unveiled. Womankind was created as a second class of human to serve and reverence the image of God by bearing men’s children, among other services, and the Bible tells us she is saved, in part, through obediently serving that purpose. (1 Timothy 2:15)

        Like

      • Sharkly says:

        If the link above doesn’t take you directly to the comment left on May 9th, 2021, at 6:13 AM, then just scroll down to it. WordPress seems to have messed up how they once properly handled direct links to comments.

        Like

    • Red Pill Apostle says:

      Sharkly – An often unforeseen outcome of meditating on 1 Cor 11:7 and understanding the implications of this truth is increased patience. The patience I am referring to is very much like a father with his children. I have age appropriate expectations of my sons which means I view their follies, silliness, and mistakes through the lens of what is expected for grade school aged boys. Every time I shake my head in disbelief at what one of them could have been thinking when they did (fill in the blank) it is tempered by, “But he’s only 7, and this is the way he’s going to learn.”

      Likewise, tempering expectations of your wife in light of what the bible teaches about women leads to more patience because you don’t have faulty expectations for her based on an egalitarian viewpoint. With Mrs. Apostle, when I find myself shaking my head at something she’s done or said, my assessment is is tempered with the understanding that she is the weaker sex and more easily swayed by whim or swept up in emotion rather than thinking how a highly educated adult could have arrived at such an foolish notion. So as Sharkly wrote, it is absolutely true that a proper understanding of who we are and who women are is necessary to lay the Godly foundation that we can build upon.

      Liked by 3 people

  8. info says:

    Sanctification isn’t about destroying Nature which God created in the first place which includes Masculinity in Men and Femininity in Women.

    But their restoration. As we become more Christ-like and Godly we become more Human. Theosis/Deification nourishes human nature and perfects it glorifying human nature as we are originally made to be in God’s Image.

    And Theosis is the further fulfillment of our created Natures.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. feeriker says:

    With so many high profile Christians falling away, I wonder, did he/they turn away from God, or just Churchianity, thinking that it is Christianity.

    I’m certain it’s the latter. Part of the reason why churchianity has so thoroughly subsumed actual Christianity is that most “Christians” are spiritually and intellectually lazy and cannot be bothered to read Scripture for themselves, simply relying on the interpretation of it from others who are “in positions of authority.” The obvious problem with this is that many (most?) of these people are either themselves ignorant of Scripture, deliberately perverting it for their own ends and leading others astray, or both.

    Another driver of faith abandonment is the isolation many people suffer when theyrealize that what they’ve experienced is NOT the real faith, but are also unable to connect with any true believers who are able to help get them back on the path to the true faith.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. redpillboomer says:

    “Part of the reason why churchianity has so thoroughly subsumed actual Christianity is that most “Christians” are spiritually and intellectually lazy and cannot be bothered to read Scripture for themselves.”

    This is a real problem. For those of us who do read and study the Bible, it can be a bit of “culture shock” to be around regular church goers and find out they do NOT read their Bibles, just listen to the sermons on Sunday.

    Liked by 3 people

    • caterpillar345 says:

      And it can be similarly isolating!

      Liked by 1 person

    • feeriker says:

      “Regular churchgoers” within the churchian model are mostly people who just put in two hours on Sunday morning and go back to being of the world for the other six and four-fifths days of the week. The “churches” they belong to generally don’t do anything else of any consequence during the rest of the week (“Bible” [i.e., churchian bestselling self-help books] studies, “prayer” [i.e., mini sermons by the pastor that are a warmup for Sunday morning, with some perfunctory prayer at the end for the inner circle] meetings, and women’s club get-togethers on Tuesdays don’t count, as these do nothing to either draw the membership closer to Jesus or instill apologetics for the Word.)

      It is particularly telling to listen to churchians wax destressed about how few people “attend church regularly,” or how [name any particular locality] “has some of the lowest church attendance rates in the [state/country/hemisphere].” The assumption apparently is that sitting for two hours per week inside of a building with several dozen to several hundred strangers whom they don’t know and with whom they have little or nothing in common other than being in the same place at the same time at the moment is somehow going to create a lasting and fruitful “relationship with Jesus” in the average non-believer (it is unlikely to do that, but it is at least plausibly possible that it will increase the collection plate yield by some measurable amount, and that is infinitely more important to churchian “leaders”). I have yet to hear these same people display the same level of concern about how few people in a particular locality “do not have, but desperately need the redemptive love of Jesus in their lives and for someone to mentor them intensely toward finding it and Him.” Apparently that involves far too much effort and personal sacrifice. Nagging and shaming people into attending a two-hour fan club meeting on Sunday (usually only once, never to return) is much easier.

      Liked by 3 people

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  12. locustsplease says:

    The “dying to yourself” and servant leadership hasn’t affected me too much. I started church attendance in my 30s and I’m sure it kept me out of church in my 20s. The Christian men I met were so weak — mindless slaves to their wives… It was just a “Nope that’s not me. I’m not like that. I don’t want anything to do with it.” I was naturally alpha or sigma leaning, but our society’s lies wears on all but the hardest. Had it not been for the Christian manosphere I may have fallen to the bad advice or left the church. But once I heard about male authority and got the heads-up speech, it ended.

    I’ve been told if my ex committed a wrong against me with crimes at trial I should pay her double. I told the guy, “Where am I going to find $4k per month? Why don’t you pay her that and keep the blessings?” I’ve also been told the “not taking care of your own household is worse than adultery” line. My exwife is not in my household nor under my authority in any way. Just ask her or the police.

    I’m in charge, but when it really came down to it, I just did what my wife wanted to ease friction. Of course, you need to ease friction with your master. 200 years ago, men didn’t ease friction by doing what their wives told them. Marriage was for life and the men had the labor. They would not build a giant new home they couldn’t afford because honey said so. Most of the guys I know now don’t seem to have the ability to make decisions, with their paycheck or much else. They threw themselves away to be debt slaves.

    Liked by 3 people

    • thedeti says:

      “I’ve been told if my ex committed a wrong against me with crimes at trial I should pay her double.”

      Brought to you by the same people who tell you “turn the other cheek” means, “let the other guy kick the sh1t out of you”.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Sharkly says:

        The “turn the other cheek” was in Matthew 5 right amongst the other self-harm instructions to pluck out your eye and cut your hand off. Followed up by the impossible instruction to “be Ye perfect” even as your Father in heaven is perfect. Jesus was hyperbolically illustrating to folks like the Pharisees who thought they were blameless before the law and before God, that it is humanly impossible to be without sin, and that all of them would need a redeemer. Christ was preparing them to understand why they would need Him to die as their substitutionary sacrifice.

        My Mennonite ancestors developed a whole doctrine of pacifism beginning firstly from that bit of hyperbole. But pacifism certainly doesn’t fit with all scriptures.

        Luke 22:36
        Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.

        Like

  13. jvangeld says:

    “A little more like Jesus,
    A little less like me.”

    Worship songs have been playing on that theme for two decades now. It’s a lie. When I drop a vice from my life, I become more like myself, not less.
    When I practice a virtue, I become more like Jesus, and more like what God made me to be.

    God is infinite/personal, as Francis Schaeffer said. He has no desire to erase our personalities, though our sin tells us that if we jettison the sin we will jettison ourselves. That is the deceitfulness of sin talking, against which we must warn each other. No, the Holy Spirit is an artist, and when we submit to His sanctification, His Holy-making of us, we become even better images of God in the unique ways that He wants to show Himself off.

    Liked by 1 person

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