Lately I have been studying the Old Testament book Jeremiah during my quiet time with the Lord. While reading through the sixth chapter the fourteenth verse really jumped out at me. As I sat in my office I couldn’t get this verse off of my mind. So I decided to share my thoughts.
They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially,
Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace. – Jeremiah 6:14 NASB
For the last couple of weeks I have written several different pieces examining Jeremiah 6:14. In this final entry I would like to address what I believe all of this means for you and I in our present situation. I have posed several questions throughout all of this, many of which may have pointedly targeted parts of your faith, but maybe none of it really landed to close to the mark for you. I won’t assume or presume to know your situation, your heart, or your depth of maturity (or lack thereof) in the Christian faith. I do, however, hope that the final addition to my thoughts on this passage at least gives you a moment to pause and reflect on where you stand and how you approach your faith.
There is a palpable arrogance hanging heavy over much of the evangelical Christian movement. This saddens me. I realize that for some this might seem ironic coming from me. I am often known as one who can be overtly blunt in my delivery. However, I believe that in the realm of Christian thought and the arena of evangelistic communication there is a fine line between arrogance and confidence. Confidence comes from asking hard questions of yourself and your faith, developing your thoughts on God, and developing a deep understanding and trust for the Almighty that stretches far beyond simple rationale, logic, or mental contemplation. Confidence in Christ is a developed sacred trust forged from trial, testing, and triumph. Arrogance on the other hand is the result of a lazy approach to faith that is a bastardized form of assumption and bad religion (yes, I believe there is a distinction between good and bad religion). It is born out of insecurity, the twisted need to control, and the desperate clinging desire to reassure the fragility of one’s faith through grandiose gestures and sweeping blanket statements.
I believe arrogance spreads it’s jagged maw and spurts its wretched message in two forms these days. The first comes through those that constantly pander their message in a way that they know will be pleasing to those listening, and I’m not talking about style of delivery. They shape the content to suit the audience’s expectations. In simple metaphorical terms, they tickle the audience’s ears with pleasing platitudes. The second disastrous voice of arrogance is that chord made from those harsh tones of superiority combined with the dissonant absence of humility. Many Christians in their fervor to assert the innerancy of Scripture have completely missed the fact that we often err. We are so far less than perfect.
I could go on and on about how annoying arrogance can be, but this whole thing is beginning to sound arrogant itself. I am starting to sound as if I am attempting to posture my non-arrogance in an incredibly arrogant way, and I hope that is not what you might take from this. I believe, very simply, that we can find truth, communicate that truth, and care deeply for those around us without seeming belligerently self-righteous, and confoundedly pompous. The Old Testament prophet Micah put it pretty well.
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. – Micah 6:8 NIV
See the rest of the series here.