I’ve been reading online about a phenomenon of increasing full blown narcissism being developed in people living in the West and of the increasing numbers of people displaying narcissism traits in the West. To me this is greatly alarming because the prognosis of someone with this personality disorder for being helped is very low to nil.
We are told through church teaching today that no one is beyond redemption in Christ. This statement has biblical truth, however, we see in scripture examples of peoples not being redeemed. This is demonstrated by the destruction of the Canaanites in the promised land. No one was saved. Even the children and the domestic animals were to be destroyed. Why, we ask here in the West. We don’t understand it.
I think we don’t understand this because we don’t understand the spiritual consequences of certain lifestyles and practices. We have very little, if any, understanding of spiritual possession. We really don’t even acknowledge this is in the western Church.
Narcissism devalues and uses other people to feed itself. Friends and partners need to be debased and hurt in order for the narcissist to feel in control and on top. There is extreme entitlement thinking. Rules are for someone else and not the narcissist. It is an insidious disorder of the personality that requires the destruction of others in order for the narcissist to feel safe. The effects of a larger population of these kinds of people will be devastating. They have no remorse, natural feelings, or guilt. The potential for unbelievable evil is high within a population engulfed with narcissism.
We need to obey what the Bible says about how to live and about how to fight and overcome sin in our lives. We need to understand that narcissists are not only born with susceptibility to this disorder, but that people can be made narcissistic by other narcissists.
I have been reading information here and there about the circumstances believers in China have been facing in recent days. My understanding is that there is concern on the part of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that religion will interfere with the globalist goals and the vision of the current Chinese government. The result apparently is that churches are being shut down and key people are being arrested.
In the book of Psalms we get a picture of despondency and of the end of the rope experiences of King David and others. At one point the sons of Korah write in Ps. 42 that “all your waves and breakers have swept over me”. The Bible states that if we have died with him we will also be raised up just as he was raised up. I think this is what persecution and difficult life circumstances can do for us. They bring us to death (either literally or physically) so that we can be raised up to life in Christ.
Psalm 42. “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God”. If we overcome, if we endure, we will be triumphant. Where does the power of this victory come from? The Holy Spirit. He gives the strength and the enablement to believers in all circumstances and throughout all ages.
Let the washing of the water of the Word strengthen, cleanse, and renew us. I’ve heard the testimony of believers going through the pain of difficult circumstances say, “I was so devastated and lost all I could do was read the Bible. It kept me going day by day”.
The Bible says “call upon the Lord in the time of trouble, and He will hear you”.
Praise the Lord, O my soul.
During the past three months I have been attended a church service on Sundays in my area. The situation of this church is that their long time senior pastor retired and they hired a new senior pastor at the end of August, 2018. The paid staff at the present time consists of two pastors. The second staff is the youth pastor and leads the children’s ministry. The senior pastor they hired is young with a young wife.
The senior pastor is a self-confessed go getter. He wants results and he wants them quickly if at all possible. He subtly warned the congregation one Sunday not to cause him to fail. One of his greatest fears is that he will not meet the expectations of family, friends, and the church. One Sunday morning a church member gave a healing testimony about her son. Shortly after this the senior pastor gave a testimony of an experience that he had while at seminary in California. He said that gold dust proceeded to burst forth from right around him and spread throughout the building. He said that he was covered in gold dust because he was the ‘best worshipper’ in the service. He tends to use humor and tries to make people laugh, but I thought later that his statement was not that funny. There have been a few times where I have questioned what he has said. This pastor has also given the congregation some insights into his early years. He was and is very competitive. He and his brother competed constantly with each other while growing up in trying to outdo the other. He is the son of an immigrant pastor who has worked hard and long in ministry.
Recently, the senior pastor began a series on giving and tithing. He made the statement that if a person cannot ‘get behind the vision of this church then they should consider giving somewhere else’. The vision that I have been able to determine so far from attending Sunday services is to build up a savings account where money can be withdrawn to support various needs and causes in the community as he sees fit and as opportunities come along.
This church has been struggling for a while. It’s gone through several stages, several ups and downs and right now they appear to be in a depleted condition. I attended this church for a few months in 2009 and they were doing better then. Attendance at this church is down.
My thinking is that the pastor needs to nurture and support the people attending the church at this time. To forgo some of his goals of impacting the community and minister to the people he is leading. My guess however, is that the elders of the church want him to promote church growth and greater giving. This is sad because this requires energy and vision that just doesn’t seem to be available to the people at this time. Sometimes we just need to sit at the feet of Jesus and be held so to speak until we are strengthened and renewed. There is nothing wrong with that from my point of view.