Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dogs versus Cats: The Narcissistic Gospel

This little analogy might be fairly common, but I'm going to repeat here.  A dog gets food and shelter, love and care and looks at his master and thinks "you must be God."  A cat gets food and shelter, love and care and looks at his master and thinks "I must be God."

The Narcissistic Gospel begins simply.  A church welcomes everyone in with open arms (so far so good), and requires nothing (what about Jesus and the Rich Young Ruler?).  For the sake of numbers, on the outward made to look righteous because it's all about evangelism, inward can be about money, worldly success and power. 

The Seeker is welcomed in and plugged in.  Don't worry about all that ugly sin stuff-- I'm sure it will fix itself down the road.  We want you to come as you are.  In fact, we'll sing feel good songs with soothing lyrics like "He thought of you above all."  Ask not what you can do for God, but what God can do for you!  Because, you know, He did it all for you!

Oh my, as I've read and re-read and studied the Gospels (the real ones, you know Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), this "Seeker-Friendly" church strategy just isn't consistent with the approach Jesus took.  No wonder His ministry didn't have a private jet to take vacations to Cabo.  (Oops, cheap shot).

I think to do church the way Jesus would, probably looks dramatically different than what we're seeing in today's church culture.

So what do you do?  Find Purpose.  Discover what He wants you to do and chase it with all your heart (Christianese for your whole being).  If you are chasing Purpose, you have less time for Ego.  In other words, you stop seeking your value through earthly success and numbers, giving power to other people around you, and instead know your value from the One who made you (Ps 139).

If you are seeking Purpose, suddenly fancy houses, fine leather seats in your car, private jets all take on a different perspective.  I am NOT saying any of these are bad or wrong-- it's all about Purpose baby.  And if that's your Purpose (which will always be consistent with scripture), then more power to you.


  1. I like that term: The Narcissistic Gospel. We spend so much effort trying to make this perfect Sunday experience, no-hassle parking, coffee at just the right temperature, ushers who will make sure you get the seat you want, pitch perfect music and laser lights, and a "relevant" message just for you. And then we're shocked when people don't want to grow. Why should they? We've made it all about them and their comfort and enjoyment.