Unable to leave the beauty of his reflection, Narcissus drowned.
Narcissistic Spirituality has been the undoing of the American church. Gazing into the pool of our own reflection until we are swallowed up in its depths.
The origin of the word narcissistic comes from the story of Narcissus in Greek mythology. He was so enamored with himself - to the point of disdain for those that loved him - that he was lead by Nemesis to gaze at his own reflection in a pool. There his transfixion with his own image caused him to fall headlong into the waters resulting in his demise.
spirit of this age
Self-absorption is the spirit of this age - thus we have a plethora of “selfies.” And unfortunately the church has not avoided this epidemic. Just recently I saw a commercial for a new channel on a satellite network which goes something like this: For those who are interested in advancing the kingdom you can watch Christian TV 24/7. Can this be anything more or less than self-absorption- staring at our own image? The question is begged, “How can someone who is going nowhere advance anything?”
The pages of Facebook bear verdant evidence that the tares of the glory of me have been sown among the wheat of the Glory of God.
mesmerized by the myopic
We have become mesmerized by the myopic. Myopia is a condition which prevents farsightedness. Those whom it afflicts are unable to see the big picture. Worse yet, they do not even realize there is a big picture.
From Francis Frangipane: “Too many of us attend church each Sunday, not to be filled with the Spirit, but to be inoculated with just enough religion to make us immune to God the rest of the week.” And he continues: “Over the years we have developed a host of programs, outreaches and ministries all designed to bring people into church and make them better Christians. A number of these efforts the Lord has blessed; some He has accommodated and used; while still others, in truth, He has simply ignored.”
An example of this is our over-emphasis on Romans 8:28 (and similar passages such as Jeremiah 29:11) which makes us think it is all about us - yet reading on to 8:29 we find out it is about Him: that He would be the First Born - the Preeminent One - at the Head of a host that resemble His nature and attributes. This is the singular purpose of God. We grow together into the fulness of the One - “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:” Ephesians 4:13 KJV This version uses the word till instead of until. Till is a word of Scottish origin which indicates fulness or completeness.
An inward self-absorptive focus is a sure sign of mental instability - and of spiritual immaturity. Indeed, it robs us of the vision of the sole purpose of the Father in the Son - and as a result we are perishing: “Where there is no vision, the people perish:...” Proverbs 29:18 Or they are unrestrained - that is, all of their resources are squandered upon themselves. Prodigals have gone nowhere - for the word means not a wanderer, but a squanderer.
Our pews are filled with prodigals–and that not necessarily their own fault. If believers are fed a continual diet of messages designed to encourage their self-esteem and to make them feel comfortable, immaturity of all kinds is the inevitable result: “Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.” Hebrews 5:13 NIV
joined together in oneness
The high priestly prayer of Christ for His Church is that we would be joined together in oneness giving expression to the fulness of His Glorious Person: "The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one;” John 17:22 This prayer is yet resounding in the Courts of Heaven awaiting its ultimate inevitable fulfillment.
With laser-like precision the myopia of Narcissism - which stands in determined yet doomed opposition to oneness - will give way to the radiance of His Glory: For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6 ESV Also: 2 Corinthians 3:18; 1 Peter 2:9
consummation of the ages
Our abiding confidence is that at the consummation of the ages our Lord will have perfected His Bride - without spot or wrinkle. Her rapturous benediction in concert with the Holy Spirit will be: ‘The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.”’ Revelation 22:17 ESV And in reply: ‘He who testifies to these things says, "Surely I am coming soon." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!’ Revelation 22:20 ESV