Monday, 6 November 2017

Which (self-identified) Christians are sliding down a slippery slope?

The proper answer is: It All Depends On Motivation; or, to be clearer: it ALL depends on motivation.

There is not 'safe way' to be a Christian - at least there is not in the modern West. All denominations, all churches, all unaffiliated Christians - no matter what their organisational structure, creed, traditions, practices, discipline or lack of it, direct personal experiences; all and every one of them are going-to slide down the slippery slope into apostasy IF they aren't properly motivated.

And, by contrast, if they are properly motivated, then they may be found in almost any denomination; because of the extreme variation in persons, circumstances, and between specific churches or congregations.

Motivation is (pretty much) everything. Doing everything right for the wrong reasons is utterly worthless - that is crystal clear from the New Testament. And on the other hand being properly motivated suffices (with repentance) no matter what.

But do we know our own motivations for sure? Well, we better had (and if we do not know, we had better find out as quickly as possible) - that is all I can say; because nobody else knows for sure. And if we know our own motivations are correct, then we can and should Stand Against The World (because the world is badly-motivated, and sure to be wrong). 

Does this uncertainty mean that we should refrain from judging the motivations of others? Of course not! We absolutely must do this - but again, we must know our own motivations for judgement, if we are not to be dangerously wrong. 

Motivations are everything; therefore conscious and correct awareness of our true motivations is also everything.

This is one reason (not the only reason) why - in this era - consciousness has become imperative; that of which we are unconscious will avail us nought.

None of this is of any use in persuading other people of the rightness of our own motivations - and that is as it should be. We never should try to persuade people of such things... If they cannot intuit our true motivations, and are unmotivated to try; then there is Absolutely Nothing we can do about the fact. 


Chiu ChunLing said...

I would say that doing everything right for the wrong reasons is utterly impossible, rather than worthless. Of course, that applies at two distinct levels. Not only is it impossible for us to avoid doing things that are wrong due to mere human fallibility and perverse nature, there is no conceptualizing what is "right" absent reference to our desired other words, our motivations.

A 'right' motivation is one that rewards the behavior it produces with the results the motive presumes as the reward. If what one wants is to engage in animalistic sexuality with passive female bodies stripped of any reproductive or mental function, one should not attempt to enter an eternity where all the women "are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection." And of course, the alternative that would reward the base motive doesn't exist.

This is the real trap of improper motivation, not just that such motives cannot impel the behavior that qualifies for the really possible eternity God offers, but that they won't be satisfied by it anyway, and the alternatives that do exist without God's grace aren't very nice.

Bruce Charlton said...

@CCL - good comment.