|Chancellor Palpatine (or should I say Darth Sidious) in Revenge of the Sith; the personification of a liar, manipulator, and an all round nasty piece of work|
1. How I live my life is my business, and I can do what I like if nobody else gets hurt (When you throw a pebble into a pond, it still creates ripples).
2. I come first (Sometimes I wonder if we're becoming more individualistic and less community minded. I hate selfishness. Public transport fare evasion and aggressive driving make me angry. These may seem to be minor things, but to my mind, they reflect a selfish mindset).
3. I have unlimited potential in life and can become whatever I want to be (This is the line that motivational speakers push, and some Christians believe it too. Even though I'm striving to honour God with my life, if I'm not living this supernaturally empowered, transcendent life, does that mean that I'm not walking in the Spirit and that my faith is defective? Even worse, does it mean that I'm not saved after all?)
4. God's highest purpose for me is making me happy (Again, this is problematic for Christians who aren't happy and whose faith journey has been difficult. What about holiness and sanctification?)
5. Don't be friends with down and out people because they'll only hinder you from succeeding in life (I've heard this said from a church pulpit. So much for Christian compassion).
6. Christians should keep their beliefs to themselves (But only if they're conservative and not aligned with progressive and fashionable political or social causes).
7. All Christians think alike (Some non-Christians who are either apathetic or hostile towards Christians seem to think this).
8. Christians blindly follow their leaders and do what they're told without question. (Some non-Christians who are either apathetic or hostile towards Christians seem to think this too).
9. If it feels good, do it (This seems to be the prevailing ethic of contemporary Western society).
10. I'm not responsible for the consequences of my actions (This correlates with the first item on this list).
I humbly offer these comments as a corrective. I write not to judge or browbeat, but to state things that I need to be reminded of myself, striving to grow in Christlikeness and to not be squeezed into the (Western) world's way of thinking.
Compare this to Jesus himself, of whom the apostle Peter wrote, "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth." (1 Peter 2:22)