Christians have way-too-much self-acceptance,

for our level of self-awareness.  Self-acceptance without unusual self-awareness is what Jesus referred to as the “leaven of the Pharisees” — imagining one is a good guy, a God-follower, when in fact, we are the evil, the wicked — followers of ourselves, willful, agendafied, defensive, proud, competitive, judgmental, confident-we-know-what’s-best, wise in our own eyes, leaning on our own understanding.  Hypocrites we are.  This lack of self-awareness plagues all humans, but in my experience, organized religion, including the Christian religion, undermines self-awareness because we wanna BE better, DO better.  Performance-idolatry weirds humans.

Only those Christians with unusual self-awareness need to be grown in self-acceptance.  This is exacerbated by the lack of self-awareness in Christian leaders, and the resultant dishonesty in the Church, so that Christians with unusual self-awareness feel like losers, failures, unworthy, unqualified for leadership.  Self-contempt, not self-acceptance.  Pride, not humility.

Christians with unusual self-awareness need a lot of Gospel-centered teaching/preaching/reading, so hopefully as the Spirit works over time, they have a sufficiently deep foundation of grace — Gospel-awareness, to be able to look even-FURTHER inside and recognize the pride in their lack of self-acceptance.  A humble believer cares NOTHing for his own worthiness, finding the imputed worthiness of Jesus to be more than ENOUGH.

In my experience, the Gospel-awareness that can facilitate unusual self-awareness and self-acceptance is not enough to produce happiness — love, joy, peace.  Sovereignty-awareness is also needed as a believer goes through each day, especially harrrrd days.

So what offers hope to Christians with way-too-much self-acceptance and not-nearly-enough self-awareness?  Only the convicting work of the Spirit of Jesus, enabling believers to look deeply inside and see the awful truth about ourselves.  It’s just too scary to look inside without a growing foundation of grace so there is Gospel-awareness throughout the day.  Serge’s Mentored Sonship Course has been used of Jesus to grow Gospel-awareness in many Christians, and though it only provides a beginning, I highly recommend it.  Not Sonship, but MENTORED Sonship.  Even so, far-more self-awareness is needed, over a long time, to grow Christians who are Jesus-dependent ENOUGH to be reproducers — contagious to the seculars around us.  In my not-so-humble opinion.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, who has no idea how to help nonChristians with unusual self-awareness grow in self-acceptance, because the Gospel of God’s unconditional love for forgiven sinners provides enormous acceptance/security/safety

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The essence of worldliness is,

fixing my eyes and thoughts on my performance/worthiness, instead of Jesus and His imputed performance/worthiness.  Worldliness is contagious.  Outside the Church, and inside too.  A worldly feels pressure, alone, UP TO ME.  An alien/stranger to this world, on the other hand, feels contented, happy.  An alien/stranger is never defensive, never failure-avoidant, never feels the need to prove worthiness, never feels embarrassed in humiliating circumstances.  An alien/stranger experiences an amazing other-worldly peace, unknown to worldlies.  And loves unconditionally — actually enjoys, those around him/her, including jerks and enemies.  And loves/enjoys Jesus and His genius plan for us all, including the suffering necessary to grow worldlies into aliens/strangers.  Only worldlies are competitive — rejoicing in the failures of the opposition.  Only worldlies need to feel superior, are divisive, go to war, are clear-sighted about the weaknesses of the opposition, but tend-to-be blind to our own.  Only worldlies are confident-we-know-what’s-best.  So we’re confident-we-know-what’s-thankable-and-what’s-not.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, who doesn’t know any aliens/strangers, but knows gobsa worldlies, outside the Church and inside too, including himself

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It seems WRONG

to not know what to do in a situation.  UnAmerican. UnChristian. We’re trained from an early age to KNOW what to do.  INdependence, not [shudder] DEpendence.  Activism applauded, while anything remotely passive is negative, pathetic.  No wonder we Christians are hardly any different than the seculars around us.  We’re not the aliens and strangers we’re called to be.  Adults should KNOW what to do.  It’s embarrassing to admit I don’t know what to do, how to do, when to do.  Pride, not humility.  A humble person has no problem admitting s/he doesn’t know what to do.  A humble CHRISTIAN asks Jesus what to do.  And THANKS Jesus for the uncertain situation, with a curiosity and expectancy to see what SovereignShepherdJesus does NEXT, in the believer, others, circumstances.   Ahhhh.  Jesus-centered passivity, leading to Jesus-centered activity.  Humble activism.  Characterized by an other-worldly peace that clearly surpasses the peace provided by human-centered understanding, power, activity.

“For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” 1 Pet 2:25  Really??  Seems to me we’re sheep going astray, needing to be returned.

 — Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, who doesn’t know ANY humble Christian leaders or followers, including himself, which convinces him of the need for a widespread awakening in our day, empowered by the Spirit of Jesus, so the seculars around us want something we have

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The Gospel is BAD news

to the accomplished Christian, in business, ministry, politics, amateur sports, academia, whatever.  It’s BAD news to the Christian good at a hobby.  At parenting.  At leadership in the Church.  At whatever makes you feel good about yourself, worthy.  The Gospel is BAD news to you, because it says your worthiness/somebodiness is filthy rags.  The Gospel is BAD news to believers with something to LOSE.

The Spirit uses the Gospel to EXPOSE you to yourself, for the fraud you are.  You claim to treasure Jesus and His imputed worthiness, but what you REALLY treasure, is your own worthiness.  You find Jesus and His imputed worthiness UNsatisfying, and that’s why you have idols in your life, and the biggest idol of them all, is your own worthiness.  Pride, not humility.

But.  Once you are EXPOSED for the fraud you are, there is HOPE.  Jesus came for frauds, for failures, for losers.  You QUALIFY for grace, because of your failure to find contentment in Jesus and His imputed worthiness, needing NOTHing else.  All else is sinking sand.  This problem you have, is the leaven of the Pharisees that Jesus EXPOSED.  The Pharisees imagined themselves followers of God, but they were frauds, just like you.  And I.

Think I’m being extreme?  Consider how you would feel about yourself, if tonight you lost EVERYthing.  Job, health, relationships, home, cars, savings, bank cards, your precious reputation, and you became a single homeless person with zero friends, under a bridge.  Would Jesus be enough for you?  If He would, then you are no fraud.  Dave and so many others are frauds.  Thankfully, Jesus’ love extends to frauds.

Accomplishment/somebodiness/reputation/success is not bad, but it’s very dangerous.  “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees,” said Jesus.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, championing Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, and sovereignty-awareness, in hopes that the Spirit transforms us Christians to become such undone, contrite, humble, lovers of Jesus and others, that the seculars around us want what we have

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Why are we Christians so unfruitful

with the seculars around us?  Jesus said, “You cannot bear fruit unless you remain in me.”  Do we remain in Jesus all day long?  No.  Whyzat?  We are created-dependents functioning as independents, wise in our own eyes, leaning on our own understanding, confident-we-know-what’s-best — analyzers/judges of everyone and everything.  We remain in OURSELVES as we go through our day — as self-reliant as the seculars around us.  Apart from Heaven, we have nothing they don’t have.  We do not reproduce because the Jesus in us is contagious to no one because of our independence — we don’t ASK Him and THANK Him about everything as we go through our day, but rather we ASSUME or willfully DO.  And because we KNOW what’s thankable and what’s not.   So we don’t go through our days curious and expectant to see what He does NEXT, in us, others, circumstances, but rather go through our days feeling alone and in charge.

I can’t prove this, but I’m convinced that the early believers had a contagious Jesus that made them reproducers — amazingly  fruitful with family and neighbors and co-workers.  They had something we don’t have.  The powerful humility of Jesus-dependency.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, who works hard to appear humble and gracious on the outside, but can’t make it happen on the inside, and is therefore chief needer of fresh convictions of the sin of independence throughout his day

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Why can the Church not see

that WE are the Israelites?  We Christians worship the idol of independence/confidence-we-know-what’s-best, leaning on our own understanding, wise in our own eyes, not ASKing about everything, not THANKing about everything — especially the harrrd, not curious/expectant to see what Jesus does NEXT, in us, others, circumstances.   In awe of human accomplishment/somebodiness.  We work hard at having the outsides of our cups clean, but live in denial of what’s going on inside, because we treasure our own worthiness more than the imputed worthiness of Jesus.  Living without Gospel-awareness, or if we have that, without self-awareness, and sovereignty-awareness.  When we live independently as we do, we experience life under The Curse — circumstance-dependent for our joy and peace.  We claim to be followers of Jesus, but we are followers of ourselves — self-reliant, trusting in lies.  We have Heaven, but we don’t have the benefit of Jesus in daily living.  And the Jesus in us is contagious to no one.

Richard Lovelace in Dynamics of Spiritual Life says that whenever the Church in the USA and UK over the past 300 years has been as saltless and impotent as It is today, there has ALWAYS been a widespread awakening.  So in my less-sane moments, I’m irritated with the Church, including myself, but in my saner moments, I’m THANKful that the Church is exactly as we are.  Gives me HOPE for a better tomorrow.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, chief idolator, chief Pharisee, chief ranter, chief needer of the Spirit’s fresh conviction of the sin of independence/confidence-he-knows-what’s-best, so he’s freshly enjoying everyone and everything just as it is

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There is no power in independency.

Only in Jesus-dependency.  The independent is wise in his own eyes, leans on his own understanding, does not ASK Jesus about evathang, nor does he THANK Jesus about evathang, and he is not curious/expectant to see what Jesus does NEXT, in him, others, circumstances.  There is no contagious Jesus in an independent.  Only in a Jesus-dependent.

Independents are great at getting things done with human power, and they succeed in business, government, education, but not in the Body of Christ.  Or saying it better, success in the organized Church is measured the same way success is measured in business, government, education — by human standards, human power.  Lives are not transformed into Jesus-dependency by human power, human planning, human execution.  The Holy Spirit is not needed for success in business, government, education, nor in the Church as we know It.  Better strategies will not produce a better Church.  Better humans will produce a better Church, a much-different Church, where the Jesus in humans is contagious to the other humans, as it was in the early Church.

—Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, who thinks he sees the problem but feels powerless to be different or make a difference, unless the Spirit works

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We are not a nation of the humble,

but a nation of fools: proud, defensive, confident-we-know-what’s-best, wise in our own eyes, leaning on our own understanding, critical-judgmental, competitive, willful, agendafied, self-absorbed, angry with the opposition.  Independents, not God-dependents.  Believers in a sovereign nation, not a sovereign God.  Obsessed with being the Superpower, with being superior.  Self-appointed PolicemanOfTheWorld.  Chastising other nations.  If power corrupts, Superpower corrupts supremely.  We are a nation of ambitious fools, obsessed with somebodiness.  Not a humble nation that minds its own business.  Not a humble people who enjoy everyone just as they are, especially the opposition.  And Christians are no better than nonChristians, but we Christians imagine ourselves Jesus-like: humble, gracious, unconditionally loving, selfless servants of all, enjoyers of enemies.  Fools, all of us, Christian and nonChristian, self-deceived about the extent of our pride, fool-likeness, worldliness.  Fools are always self-righteous, contentious, uncompromising, clear-sighted about the weaknesses of the opposition, but blind to our own issues.  Our increasing political divisiveness will end badly.  Civil war.  Our only hope is a Holy-Spirit-led awakening that humbles Christians into an other-worldly humility and other-worldly love that causes seculars to want what we have, instead of being so turned off to the message of the Jesus we proclaim.  Jesus is not the problem.  Seculars are not the problem.  We are the problem.

—Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, chiefest of fools, chiefest of the self-righteous, the one most needy of further overhaul by Jesus’ Spirit, no matter how much he’s been overhauled to date, not proud to be an American, not proud to be a Christian, but embarrassed, in a Saturday morning rant, hoping to return on Tuesday to being the chief confessor instead of the chief accuser

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