Triumphalist Self-Affirming Theology: “God Is On My Side, So Screw Everyone Else!”

A lot of times I get this crazy table-flipping empowerment from Christian blogs and sermons that tell me “I’m above all this” and “You go accept yourself” and “Forget what anyone else thinks” and “They’re holding you back” and “Screw the haters!” — when underneath there’s an insidious hidden language that’s really saying, “You are God’s favorite and everyone else is just against you.”

This sort of bizarre, cult-like, categorical thinking always appeals to my flesh, and I fall for it.

I suppose I can understand it, because certainly there are a lot of haters and we’d be wise to filter out false voices.  But I think we’re often too scared to hear criticism, too lazy to discern what is right, and too prideful to consider when we’re wrong — so we toss out any “opposition” and continually affirm ourselves as the most important person in the room.  We use words like “enemy” and “strongholds” and “negativity” when just maybe God is actually trying to rebuke us from serious error.

All this egotistical theology is disguised as inspiration and it works for a few seconds. But the end result is a self-applauding, me-versus-you, superiority complex that shuts down any disagreements or honest questions.  I’ve hung out with groups like this, and I want to be gracious here: but it was always disgusting. 

Maybe I’m undermining my own point by saying so, but I really just hurt for them.  They could not see the destructive divisions they were causing.  If a sermon wasn’t up to par, then instant mockery.  If a Christian’s faith looked different at all, then immediate ridicule.  If it was a megachurch, then constant hate. 

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