Arrogance, Smugness, and Superiority Are Deadly …Good morning weekend readers. I’m not sure if you’ve watched the Jan. 6 committee on TV this last week, but I decided I would watch it. To be truthful, it made me sick-to-my-heart as well as my stomach! And to think that folks are on board with this kind of violence just makes me wonder how many brain cells they have lost!

The saddest part of this is also those who agree with the insurrection and claim to also be believers in God. I want to know who their ‘god’ is because I know the God of the Universe, his Son, Jesus Christ our Savior and the Holy Spirit our Counselor—the Trinity—does not condone this kind of behavior—ever! Yet we think it is OK—read some of the manifestos of the Proud Boys and others—they think they are doing “God’s business!” Here is statistics that should make us wise-up…and sadly, these statistics are flat-out-truth:

  1. For too long, Christian apologetics has carried with a tone of arrogance, smugness, and superiority.
  2. If you want to repel anyone under 40, lead with those characteristics.
  3. Arrogance is so ingrained in many Christian cultures that Christians don’t even see it or hear it anymore. Arrogance is acceptable and attractive to get your own way.
  4. Humility is also attractive. Humility is what made Jesus so much more attractive to people than the Pharisees who lacked it.
  5. Arrogance is only ever attractive to other ‘arrogants’.
  6. Arrogance IS A SIN. So repent. Get over your smugness and superiority.

Are you uncomfortable? I know I am. Those of us who claim Christianity are all Evangelicals because we have been told to “go out to all the world with the Gospel” – Jesus’ mandate called the Great Commission found in Matthew 28. However, today the word ‘evangelical’ has been skewed into right-wing thinking that has captured many Christians today. How did things get so out-of-hand? Smugness, arrogance and superiority are 3 indicators to answer that question.

Many have their “own Jesus” that fits what they think is right. I don’t think Jesus is pleased when our thoughts, actions, etc., usurp his authority and the way he lived. But in America it’s all about what WE think, want, need, and say. Go ahead, call it entitlement, and you’d be spot on. Humility has left the planet—or at least the 50 states that make up the USA.

As you read those statistics above, take notice of #4: humility IS attractive. Our society however, thinks otherwise. We scratch, trample—do whatever we can to get to the top and be the “king/queen of the hill.” So, in Dr. Phil’s language, I ask “how is that doing for you?” Imagine if Jesus would have had that characteristic while here on earth. Do you think the disciples would have lasted with him—or the people would want to be around him?

It’s true that the arrogant are only attractive to those who are arrogant. We all sin, but the arrogant person waddles in sin daily—not giving a whit who they can hurt, trample on, etc. That kind of superiority is counter-point to the Trinity and it deeply hurts God’s heart. God didn’t make us that way, Jesus didn’t act that way, and neither should we—including the politicians!

Why have so many young folks have ditched the church? Arrogance, smugness and superiority are major reasons. #2 is so right—these attitudes repel them and many others, so it’s no wonder folks question the Christian faith. If we act like the world, we are not different than the world.

Going back to the January 6 insurrection, we see this horrible behavior. This grab for some kind of greed and superiority to stay in office, and decent behavior be damned. The creeping in of these characteristics into our Judeo-Christian principles is deadly. When will we wake up? God is shaking our world but are we listening to God or listening to ourselves? 2 Timothy 4:3-6 comes to mind—a prediction that is so true and deadly: (Amplified Bible)

For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine and accurate instruction [that challenges them with God’s truth]; but wanting to have their ears tickled [with something pleasing], they will accumulate for themselves [many] teachers [one after another, chosen] to satisfy their own desires and to support the errors they hold, and will turn their ears away from the truth and will wander off into myths and man-made fictions [and will accept the unacceptable]. But as for you, be clear-headed in every situation [stay calm and cool and steady], endure every hardship [without flinching], do the work of an evangelist, fulfill [the duties of] your ministry.

In closing, I can only think of one thing: repent-get on our knees and repent! Turn back to the true faith God has instilled in us and humbly love our God, love our community, and love the people who don’t know him. Why?—because God does and if you claim to be a child of God then you do it, too. AMEN.