DEVOTIONAL PAGE - "Brethren, I have written a letter unto you" (Hebrews 13:22).

July 9, 2018

 

Autonomous Christianity

 My Dear Friend,

     There is a sin sickness, a chronic fault, a systemic error running through much of American Christianity. Not our profession, but our practice. I call it "autonomous Christianity." It crosses all creedal, theological, and doctrinal boundaries and spoils the manifestation of Christ in us, falsifying our personal Christianity.

     It unhesitatingly accepts Jesus Christ in every serving and beneficial role He plays but resists letting Him be our complete, ruling, life Sovereign. Thus, He may forgive, save, heal, provide, even baptize with His Spirit - but not completely take over. It uses Him to do whatever we ask to bless our hearts but will not let Him use us however He wills to bless His heart.

     This Christianity won't fully surrender and let Christ guide us in the decisions of life. It accepts the inspiration of Scripture and obeys it - unless it crosses our will, requiring us to do something we would not prefer to do. It will gladly render Jesus all forms of religious reverence - but not comply with His call to take a chance, to take a less-trodden path, to bear our own crosses, to suffer a loss, to be rejected for His sake by non-believers and non-committed Christians.

     Thus, it is a Christianity with self very much at the center, controlling every decision. It is a life ruled by Christ in profession but privately, quietly, inwardly, where no other human can see or know, holding fast to what Oswald Chambers, when describing our sin nature, called "my right to myself."

     This Christianity will do many good things. It will go to church meetings, sing hymns, give offerings, listen to sermons, engage in Bible studies, even serve in ministries or missions - yet it will still live life autonomously, holding fast to "my right to myself."

     This is seen not in our times of religious worship but in our times of actual testing. There, whatever our denomination, doctrines, or creeds, we reserve our right to have our way even when that means Jesus does not have His way.

     This Christianity will not abandon to Him in childlike trust and fully commit to a course of obedience in which failure is likely and embarrasment sure unless God comes through! In short, Self, not Christ, is still on the throne of our hearts holding us back from uncomfortable obedience, risky obedience, unexplainable obedience.

     Autonomous Christianity is inauthentic Christianity. Yet it abounds all around us. Search your heart, examine your life, prepare your will - to abandon all to the only One who abandoned all for you, who alone has the right and wisdom to lovingly guide you through the wilderness of this world and bring you, transformed and blessed, to the next. That's actual Christianity.

Against autonomous Christianity,

Greg Hinnant
Greg Hinnant Ministries

       Greg Hinnant Ministries
PO Box 788, High Point, NC 27261
1-336-882-1645