17 July 2012

Misconceptions in the Faith

J.I. Packer
Are we really to "Let go and let God"?  Sounds good on the surface but as we dig a bit deeper it is a misconception, a misunderstanding of Scripture. J.I. Packer dealt with this in his early years...

... One must deny self. Did not Jesus require self-denial from his disciples (Luke 9:23)? Yes, but clearly what he meant was the negating of carnal self — that is to say self-will, self-assertion, self-centredness and self-worship, the Adamic syndrome in human nature, the egocentric behaviour pattern, rooted in anti-God aspirations and attitudes, for which the common name is original sin. What I seemed to be hearing, however, was a call to deny personal self, so that I could be taken over by Jesus Christ in such a way that my present experience of thinking and willing would become something different, an experience of Christ himself living in me, animating me, and doing the thinking and willing for me. Put like that, it sounds more like the formula of demon-possession than the ministry of the indwelling Christ according to the New Testament.

...But what happened? I scraped my inside, figuratively speaking, to ensure that my consecration was complete, and laboured to ‘let go and let God’ when temptation made its presence felt. ...All I knew was that the expected experience was not coming. The technique was not working. Why not? Well, since the teaching declared that everything depends on consecration being total, the fault had to lie in me. So I must scrape my inside again to find whatever maggots of unconsecrated selfhood still lurked there. I became fairly frantic. - Read the entire article here by Justin Taylor at the Gospel Coalition blog - thanks Justin!

This phrase, "Let go and let God," is another accepted platitude in Christian circles with no Scriptural foundation that can have devastating effects on the life of the believer. It is yet another proof that Evangelicals do not understand what they believe and thus do not really believe it. Packer's solution? Read John Owen on the mortification of sin. Understand what is really happening and work it out Biblically. It will change your walk with the Lord. Praise God!

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