“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (John 12:24-25)

Too Many Christians Now Sound Like The World

If you’re at all familiar with Apprising Ministries, and the Lord gave you eyes that see, then you’re quite aware today’s evangelical community—by and large—preaches a message that is quite centered on the self. In other words, at best, it’s semi-pelagian.

Decisional evangelism rules the roost right now with Jesus often presented with the additional offer of a “prize,” be it more success in business, a better bedroom life, or a spiritual buzz, if the hearer will but accept His free offer of unconditional [read: unrepentant] salvation.

But in the real world Charles Spurgeon was dead-on-target when he said of unregenerate and totally depraved mankind:

No more love to God is there in an unrenewed heart than there is life within a piece of granite. No more love to God is there within a soul who is unsaved than there is fire within the depths of the ocean’s waves; and herein lies the wonder, that when we had no love to God, He should have loved us.

Unfortunately, God’s glorious Gospel of repentance and forgiveness of sins in Jesus Name and the regeneration of the Holy Spirit has been replaced. Instead, hearers are given a man-centered non-gospel of social justice and told that God’s dream for the church is to make the world a better place.

This has really become the mantra of what I called years ago, The Ecumenical Church of Deceit (ECoD). Even so, I never envisioned the Seeker Driven megachurches, the cohorts of the Emerging Church, and the Word Faith Movement working together so deeply within the mainstream of evangelicalism.

With this as our backdrop then, let me now draw to your attention a hit pop song a couple of years back called “Let Me Be Myself,” which was performed by the rock group known as 3 Doors Down. The writers of this song are listed as “Arnold, Brad; Harrell, Todd; Henderson, Chris; Roberts, Matt;” ((, accessed 1-26-13.))

Now, I am somewhat familiar with a little of their music. However, please keep in mind here, that in no way am I criticizing these gentlemen themselves personally, who authored this very catchy song; I don’t know them. And as far as I can tell, I don’t believe any of them has professed to writing as a Christian.

That noted however, one would really be hard-pressed to find a clearer portrayal of the devastatingly selfish result of original sin than the lyrics that follow. So, not surprisingly, the writers do very aptly portray who all of us as human beings are, or would still be, without being born again in Christ.

In fact, as you read the lyrics, note the striking similarity to Isaiah 14:14 — I will make myself…:

I guess I just got lost, Bein’ someone else, I tried to kill the pain, Nothin ever helped.
I left myself behind, Somewhere along the way,
Hopin to come back around, To find myself someday.

Lately I’m so tired of waiting for you, To say that it’s ok, but tell me,
Please, would you one time, Just let me be myself, So I can shine with my own light,
Let me be myself, Would you let me be myself

I’ll never find my heart, Behind someone else, I’ll never see the light of day,
Living in this cell It’s time to make my way, Into the world I knew,
Take back all of these times, That I gave in to you

Lately I’m so tired of waiting for you, To say that it’s ok, but tell me,
Please, would you one time, Let me be myself,
So I can shine with my own light, And let me be myself.

For a while, if you don’t mind, Let me be myself, So I can shine with my own light,
Let me be myself, That’s all I’ve ever wanted from this world, Is to let me be me.

Please would you one time, Let me be myself,
So I can shine with my own light, Let me be myself,
Please would you one time, Let me be myself,
So I can shine with my own light, Let me be myself.

For a while, if you don’t mind, Let me be myself, So I can shine with my own light,
Let me be myself, Would you one time…
oooh, Let me be myself, let me be me (source)

With this in mind, now let me share the evangelical Christian testimony from a writing printed on the back page of the Feb./Mar. 2009 edition of the Rocky Mountain Baptist: News Journal Of Colorado Baptists, which is published by the Colorado Baptist General Convention (SBC).

This poem below was penned March 2008 by “Nicy Murphy, Colorado missionary and Women’s Missionary Union director (retired) and namesake of the Colorado Baptist General Convention State Missions Offering,” and is entitled “Me.” In my opinion, it is a little peak at what’s wrong with current evangelical emphasis:

To you I’m old and stooped and gray, I never see myself that way.
Can age reshape the inner me? No, I’m the same internally. I still am me.

You see blind eyes and are inclined, To think that blindness clouds my mind.
But inner sight can be a prize, As much as perfect, seeing eyes. I still am me.

I draw a blank, and names forget. Don’t count me out—at least not yet.
The one I see as being me is not defined by memory. I still am me.

These wrinkles on my brow, I see, As my autobiography.
My joys and griefs and loves they trace, Which lifts and creams cannot erase, I still am me.

I hunt and hunt for things I’ve lost, For wasted time I count the cost.
But one thing I’ve not lost, you see, Is my own personality. I still am me.

You see my falt’ring steps and deem, I falter too, in self-esteem. Not so.
The one who’s really me, Still walks with pride and dignity. I still am me.

When I have reached Eternity, And He who knows me thoroughly,
Reveals my true identity, I’m pretty sure I’ll still be me.

You know, sadly, upon a close look there’s really no difference in this testimony from a celebrated Southern Baptist missionary and that of the likely unbelieving men in their ode to the self. And therein lies the problem with the man-centered non-gospel of the elevation of self.

However, under the direct inspiration of God the Holy Spirit, the great Apostle Paul reveals for us the absolute, and ugly, truth about our human self:

For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good.

For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin. (Romans 7:18-25)

I know I, for one, will be eternally grateful for God extending me grace I didn’t seek; giving me so great a salvation I never asked for, and that Jesus released me from the awful bondage of being myself in order that I also might rejoice in the glorious freedom of the sons of God.

So, what about you? Do you really still want to be the you that you are; the one unable to stop hurting yourself? If you hear a Voice within mine Who’s calling you, why not come to Him now. Jesus really can set you free from the darkness of yourself, and set you free to shine in His Light…

Further reading