Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Narcissism in the church

"I may not have handled it perfectly, but this is really all your fault."

"I'm sorry if I hurt you, but you should have known I'd react that way."

"It's true I may have some faults, but your sin is really the problem here."

Jesus called it "look[ing] at the speck in your brother's eye, but [failing to] consider the log in your own eye." We sometimes refer to it as "Pharisaism." The secular psychologist more accurately calls it "narcissism."

You see it in the church, just as Jesus saw it prevalent in the synagogues of his day. The "Christian" narcissist is a spiritually bankrupt person who covers up for his or her false spirituality by presenting him- or herself as morally superior to everyone else. These people flock like vultures to the spiritually vulnerable, anyone who is susceptible to being condemned by public opinion or even their own sensitive conscience. They might even build up a righteous reputation for themselves at the expense of the people they've broken and condemned, and launch themselves into positions of church leadership so that they have power to do even further damage.

You know them. You've met them. You wonder why they rise higher and higher while you struggle to wake up every morning and face a new day in this crazy, broken world.

Amazingly there is a blog--an entire blog--dedicated to investigating what the Bible has to say about narcissism. The author chooses to remain anonymous, but you can tell from their reflections and interactions with the Scriptures that this person is a very mature Christian.

The blog is called Biblical Perspectives On Narcissism--Recognizing and Dealing with the Evil of Insolent Pride. Read carefully, ponder soberly and enjoy.