Just a few thoughts that filled my mind today as it relates to my interaction with the world I live in...chew on them at your own risk...

Three important facets of faith:

Orthodoxy – What we believe.

Orthopraxy – What we do with what we believe.

Orthopsyche – How we do the things we believe.


Many know the right things and do the right things, but with the wrong spirit.

This means that you can know the person of Christ, but know precious little of the personality of Christ.

This means that you can be spot on with your theological understanding of God, but be dead wrong in your theoemotional representation of that belief system.

I believe each one of these is deeply important, but I fear that the most glaring sore on the leprous body of Christ is our dysfunctional Orthopsyche.

It is often the attitude of Christianity that makes the world dismiss our doctrine and our practice without so much as a second thought.

Have you seen these Billboards on the highway written by, I’m sure, a well-meaning Christian trying to reach the lost world?

What part of "Thou Shalt Not..." didn't you understand?

Keep using my name in vain, I'll make rush hour longer.

You think it's hot here?

Don't make me come down there.

This is why I'm so passionate about Orthopsyche…not to the nelglect of Orthodoxy or Orthopraxy… but I feel like talking about the Spirit and Soul with which we are to live our Beliefs for a change. Because according to the Scriptures…it has to start with a humility that leads to hospitality. A winsome spirit that evokes a welcoming spirit…an attitude that allows people to feel the heart of Christ while they are interacting with the body of Christ.

Everyone, I’m sure, has met a Christian steeped, dare I say, lost in self-love and self-deception. A person with blinders on to their own faults and flaws. A person who can only be described as a bottomless abyss of soul-sucking darkness, arrogantly oblivious to their own life’s side-effects and completely unaware of the precious lives of people all around them.

2 Chronicles 7:14

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

When people describe the Orthopsyche of the church I would hope they would say we are things like…

- Human

- Humane

- Humorous

- Humble

The first target that God goes after in our hearts is the one filled with PRIDE

Because all these other components of 2 Chor. 7:14 are dangerous if not purged first of pride..

None are so empty as those who are full of themselves.” ~Benjamin Whichcote

There is nothing so repugnant to the heart of God as Pride and Prejudice. In fact, it is one of the few things that God and the World agree on in regards to the Christian Church. They are both sick and tired of all the self-righteousness that smacks of Religious Arrogance.

That’s why Mark Twain said, "If Christ were here, there is one thing he would not be -- a Christian."

That’s why Gandhi so truthfully stated, I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

That’s why Friedrich Nietzsche shares that “After coming into contact with a religious man I always feel I must wash my hands.”

Unfortunately, Humility is one of the most neglected and unpopular virtues in our culture, like chastity--a little brown wren of a virtue, unsatisfying, unphotogenic, ill suited in this slick and savvy age of success.

And that is why Jesus said…”Blessed are the Poor in Spirit for theirs in the kingdom of Heaven.”

It was Jesus who turned the religious community upside-down and inside out with his controversial teachings regarding real religion as opposed to the cocky counterfeit that had started to overtake Christianity. Listen to what I believe was his most powerful parable speaking to the danger of pride and the desperation for humility with religion…

Luke 18:9-14

The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

9To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: 10"Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'

Sounds like Muhammad Ali’s famous words…“When you are as great as I am it is hard to be humble.

And what I’m learning is that it is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help.

**Listen to the descriptive statements in this story that represent dirty religion

1. Confident of their own righteousness

2. Looked down on everybody else

3. Prayed about himself

4. I am not like other men

I’ve made up some of my own Motivational One-liners that I imagine Christians like this Pharisee in the text tell themselves to keep poised and theologically poisoness:

Don’t ever let anyone tell you you’re conceited, other people don’t know what they’re talking about.

Live as if you’re the only one that matters. Better yet, live as if you’re the only one that exists.

If you can’t be better than someone else, look for ways to tear them to shreds. It won’t really change anything, but you’ll feel much better about yourself.

The only reason people don’t like you is because they’re jealous.

When you’re the best it’s hard to be modest. But try to be for all the losers around you.

I know that no one would actually say these out loud, but sometimes it just feels like these could describe our inner conversations and the truth of our theological underpinnings as it relates to our psche of personal and privatized salvation.

Luke 18:13-14 – 13 "But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'

14 "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

This is the spirit, the Orthopsyche, of a genuine Christ-Follower.

1. He would not look up to heaven – humility

2. He beat his breast – self- denial

3. He cried out for mercy – repentance

Remember…It starts with humility…God is praying for our humility

2 Chronicles 7:14

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

“Lord, where we are wrong, make us willing to change; where we are right, make us easy to live with.” ~Peter Marshall

I have a couple life verses that I return to often in ministry that relate to this propensity toward pride even as a pastor and I want to conclude this piece of writing rehearsing these for my own benefit as well as for the benefit of those who are interested in living out their Christianity in a fresh and refreshing spirit of humility…

Galatians 6:3 - If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

I Corinthians 8:2 - The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.

I hope our doctrine is three-dimensional (Orthodoxy, Orthopraxy, & Orthopsyche) . . . this is the triple threat.

Lord, make me humble.


Thesauros said…
Weird, how you would go to all the bother of writing a post just to speak to my issue. thanks.

Popular Posts