Continuing the journey through understanding how the church as gotten to this point I now turn to a difficult topic, self denial. I have found in my life and in the life of most people I know denial is not a problem. Humanity seem to have a great ability to not recognize the issues of our lives. What I am talking about however is self denial. Ironically the most significant reason we struggle with self denial is in fact our problem with denial. Confused yet?
Humanity tends to lose sight of the fact that life is not about the rights, desires and ambitions of the individual. That is not to say there are not certain rights each person has. It is to say things like the right to life, the right to not being enslaved and such are good rights. Like the good Americans we are, there is a tendency to take our rights to the extreme. Then there is the troubling teachings of Christ in Mark 8. That we must deny ourselves if we are going to follow him. Not for a moment am I suggesting we allow thinks like slavery and poverty because it is exercising denying ourselves. However, we need to recognize that our lives are not our own.
I probably could have saved time typing and you reading by saying this, It is not about me. For the most part, the church is America has taken on the mantel of individualism, and the church has become "me" focused. For the church in America to break out of this pattern of "me"centrism, it will involve self denial.