Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Wrong Focus? Experience versus Obedience

I was doing some thinking today... Why as Evangelical Christians are we so focussed on experiencing God? Does this have its roots in the neo-orthodox theologies of Barth and Brunner (his Theology of Encounter) with their being influenced by existential philosophy, most notably Kierkegaard? What I am thinking is that our craving for experience of God leads to idolatry and is rooted in self. We crave an experience, a feeling, etc., and use God to get it. And this fits very well with our entertainment, self focussed, thrill seeking, culture. Isn't this what Jesus was so angry with those who sought signs from God. What if our focus was on obedience to God (which is really worship in the Biblical sense) rather than having an experience of God. I think that we would genuinely experience God as a byproduct of our obedience to God; God would then be glorified no matter what.

Maybe this is why most Christians have a hard time reading their Bibles and sticking to it day after day, because they are reading it for an experience rather than to obey every word of God.

God, please forgive me for not treating you as God. Please forgive me for using you rather than obeying you. You are God. I am not. Please help me to glorify and worship you by obeying you, and thus glorifying your name. In Jesus name, Amen.

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