Battle vanity

Jesus separates all humanity into two groups, symbolized by “wheat” and “weeds”. The latter end up on the burn pile. Wheat may be “People of good will”. Weeds might be “People without good will.”

Danger lurks. Wheat may be “People who obey Jesus to be saved.” Weeds may be “People who think they can pretty much do as they please and be saved.”

The sanest question we ask: “Which group am I in?” That’s a very hard question, especially for those who battle vanity in the whirling confusion of the 43,000 schisms.

“I believe in God and I am a good person so I am going to Heaven.” is a popular thought. So is: “I asked God to forgive me. He did. I am saved.”

It’s also popular for those in the 43,000 different denominations to say “I believe in Jesus.” Many of them leave it at that. Others expand that thought to encompass a higher theology: “I believe in Jesus and The Bible.”

It is popular to recognize God as God and self as the proper path to Him. “I worship God the way I want.” is always fashionable. It has an underlying definition of God and self that equalizes the two: “I worship God the way I want.” says “I am equal to God in that He does not need to tell me how to worship Him.”

Those who think they are saved by their own thoughts avoid “Thou art Peter and on this rock I build My Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I give you the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.” Some are actually insulted. “Is Jesus telling me that I have to be in His Church to have the doors of Heaven opened to me? That doesn’t sound like my Jesus!”

Those who battle vanity may inquire, “Your denomination refuses to prohibit abortion. Can you love God and neighbors while supporting a group that’s so afraid of losing members that it won’t condemn the killing of our most helpless neighbors? Doesn’t that weakness show that “the gates of hell” have prevailed? How can you say “I believe in Jesus and The Bible.” and support a group over which evil has prevailed?”

This is where we often hear the reply: “I believe in Jesus and The Bible.” with a sharper tone of irritation. The irritated “I’ll save my soul by myself!” is the vanity within, resenting, resisting, and repudiating the need for obedience to a higher power than self.