I'm a Better Christian than You
(By The Holier-Than-Thou Committee)
One of the most effective deceptions that Satan has foisted upon Christians is this idea that certain groups are more spiritually mature than less enlightened believers. The endless game of I am more approved in the Lord's eyes than you divides the Body of Christ and it also gives non-believers a very negative opinion of the Christian faith. Few people would ever openly say, “I'm a better Christian than you.” It is through their beliefs and deeds that they proclaim their superiority. Listed below are six common examples people used to promote spiritual elitism.
1. Members of the One True Church
The trademark of this belief is that a particular group has a strangle-hold on the truth and that there is no salvation outside of their organization. They hold that their leaders are specially anointed by God, in many cases infallible in interpretation and, more importantly, are above reproach. They place their beliefs in what they feel are superior interpretations of scripture and are more concerned about the doctrines and traditions of man than the Word of God.
Special revelations from God are trademark of the One True Church. In most cases, the luster of the revelation can be found to have been tarnished by failed prediction. Bible requires 100 percent accuracy rate for all predictions that are claim to have originated from God.
One-true-churchism leads to people questioning their salvation and spending more time worrying about their actions than on the Word of God and their personal walk with Him.
Mark 7:9, And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
2. The Keepers of the Law
This group of people believes in keeping Torah observance. While I see no problem with people choosing to keep the Levitical kosher (dietary) laws or the Sabbath, there is a fine line between personal choice and self-righteousness.
This group maintains that Jesus never intended for the law to go away and they base this belief on Matthew 5:17 and John 14:15, which says, "Think not that I have come to destroy the law." and "If you love me, you will keep my commandments", respectively.
What they are missing, however, is that Jesus clarified what He was referring to and it had nothing to do with the 613 laws of Torah. When Jesus was cornered by the Pharisees and asked which of the commandments were the greatest, He replied:
Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment and the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets." What was He referencing?
Isaiah 29:13, Therefore the Lord said: "Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths And honor Me with their lips, But have removed their hearts far from Me, And their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men,
Jeremiah 31:33 But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
It is impossible to for the Judaic law to save anyone. The standard is too high for any to follow them to perfection. The law said, don't do it. Jesus said, you’re guilty if you even think about doing something that is wrong. Paul warned us in Galatians that we can Frustrate and fall grace to by trying to follow after the law.
Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness [come] by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Galatians 5:4, You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
Scripture tells us that we are to exhort fellow believers (1 Thessalonians 4:1). So where is the line between assisting a believer in their walk with the Lord and condemning a believer for their every thought and action?
Common sense dictates that a believer should not dress wantonly and get drunk, but common sense is not enough for the legalist crowd. They feel that it is their duty to protect people from themselves, so they create measuring sticks in order to maintain their role as their brother's keeper.
Based on 1Thessalonians 5:22 (Abstain from all appearance of evil), popular legalisms promoted are: No drinking, smoking, dancing or going to movies. No attending sporting events because they sell beer. Women can't cut their hair or wear makeup, jewelry or slacks. Women's skirts or culottes must be at least below the knee in length. Men must wear pants at all times, regardless of the weather. No eating out on Sundays. Everything must be approved by a minister. The list is endless.
While I am not advocating a free-wheeling lifestyle here, I am saying that we are to walk in the Lord's light. Our deeds are as filthy rags to Him, it is what is in our heart that matters.
Legalism pits one believer against another in an unending cycle of constant condemnation. Additionally, it can turn people away from understanding the Grace of Christ when they are made to feel that they have bigger shoes to fill than they can wear.
Matthew 23:24 [Ye] Blind guides, who strain on a gnat and swallow a camel!
Some Christians proclaim that the 1611 King James Version (KJV) is the one and only true English version of the word of God and that all other versions were corrupted by Satan.
While Rapture Ready use the KJV for scripture, it is only because this version the mostly widely quoted. There nothing dramatically wrong with Christian bibles such as the NKJV, NAS, and RSV. There are versions that were specifically rewritten with the sole purpose of accommodating private interpretations such as the Clear Word Bible of the Seventh Day Adventists or the New World Translation of the Jehovah's Witnesses, but even these versions contains the hearty of Biblical truth.
There is no Bible version that says Satan died for our sins. The King James only crowd seems to imply there are positive magical qualities attached to the KJV version, and negative energies indwelling with all non-KJV Bibles.
The King James Version was written in Elizabethan English (ala Shakespeare) and can be rather difficult for people to read, especially those new to the faith. What is more important encouraging people to read their bible to learn about Jesus or overwhelming them with textual language making it more difficult for them to comprehend the text, resulting in them turning to commentaries of man rather than the Word of God?
Hebrews 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
5. Word of Faith proponents
This group promotes the doctrine of 'Name-it-claim-it', which says that the Lord is holding a storehouse full of blessings in heaven, just waiting for the faithful to claim their rewards here on earth. They teach that those in the Lord's favor are blessed with health and wealth and that those who are struggling in life are not blessed because of their inferior relationship with the Lord and their inferior faith and trust in Him.
The biggest question here is the one of universal application. Is this teaching practical and accessible to all? Is a teaching of the Lord if it only applies to affluent suburbia but not the underdeveloped nations of the world? What application does the teaching have for believers imprisoned for their faith by atheistic, Islamic and other repressive governments?
Word of Faith promotes elitism between the 'haves' and the 'have nots' by claiming that those who 'have not' are inferior Christians of inferior faith and the Lord is treating them as such.
Matthew 6:19-20 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
Mark 10:31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first."
6. The Intellectuals
One of the most basic human desires is for someone to seek after and receive the praise of mankind. Many Christians like to impress other believers with their Intellectual capabilities. Some go as far as, proclaiming themselves to be spiritually superior anyone that does share their same level of academic achievement.
The intellectual crowd is very harmful to the gospel. They motivate fellow Christians to strive to achieve a lofty level vocabulary that is often above the heads of the average person. The general philosophy applies that it is better to appear to be intelligent than it is to be understood by your audience.
The Bible repeatedly warns against trusting in the flesh for wisdom. Because Satan is spirit being, with nearly unlimited intellectual skills, no man is able to match wits with him. Anyone that strays from the Word of God to rely on his own understanding is making a terrible mistake.
(1 Cor 3:18-19 KJV) Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.
(Rom 1:21-22 KJV) Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.
Individuals that hold to an “I'm a better Christian than you” mindset can always find scripture that will support their stance. What they need to do is examine what is their rationale for holding to this view. If their offering of correction is not sparked from love, then one can only conclude vanity is their only motivation.
Philippians 2:2-3 Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
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