After a conversation with a friend, I have defined what I call a Theology of Self.
1.The study of the nature of God as it relates to one’s own interests, welfare, or advantage.
2.A system or school of opinions concerning God’s exclusive regard to one’s own interest or happiness.
A friend of mine recently explained that she is more favored than everyone else. “Why?” I asked. “The Bible says that I am the head and not the tail. So I am generally better than everyone else since they are tails.”
Sad, really. But it points to a deeper issue that is becoming more common among believers, especially the black church.
The first issue is context. Context, context, context. Yes, I am one of those “context” people. I firmly believe context is essential to understanding scripture. Not only context, but the five W’s (who, what, when, where and why). The verse she is referring to can be found in Deuteronomy. And I’m fairly certain she doesn’t know that. I’m also certain that her experiences do not resemble those of the people being spoken to in Deuteronomy. I’m just saying.
Second, the whole theology of self begins to deteriorate if you question those who subscribe to it. Difficult questions like suffering, homelessness, poverty, hunger, unemployment, debt, etc. Most subscribers would only be able to give replies akin to “praying more” or “asking God for favor” or even “being prayed over”. Seldom can subscribers give answers of depth when this theology is questioned.
What are we becoming? Why is it necessary to be “better than” someone? Especially a fellow believer. Why do we think we must always be on top? Why are we favor-chasers? What happened to sacrifice and giving? Do we even know where our brethren are, much less being their keepers?
I’m rambling; I know. And this blog should be a research paper. But I just wanted to get it out there.