For several years now I’ve gone to great lengths to appropriately explain how I feel that majority Christianity has simply moved their fleshly cravings and selfish desires from the world over to religion. Motivations change little and self-gratification remains on high priority. There’s seemingly little difference except that now it’s wrapped up in a concept called Christianity (yet fueled by self-satiating agendas and goals). Most Believers errantly assume that believing is the end all of Christianity. It’s as if we say, I didn’t believe and I was a worldly sinner who God was displeased with and now I believe and my life is somehow magically pleasing to Him. The only exchange made is selfish ambition and motivation that's been turned from the world to God. This man once sought after the world to meet his fleshly needs and cravings and now he seeks after God and religious activities to do it for him instead. This is, as I often state, nothing more than a religious pattern of the world that is completely incapable of maturing one into a Father-pleasing son or daughter. The eros (self-seeking love) peg can never be crammed into the agape (self-less love) hole that produces Kingdom fruit. This is why The Church has been lessened and disgraced into being no more than a worldly-modeled self-help organization, with the name of Jesus attached to it. It has somehow completely missed the simple Gospel that teaches us to lay down our very lives, at any cost, in order to be Father-pleasers.
At times I’ve been able to explain this topic clearly but never as well as Eric Mumford has in his book “Eating Jesus: Our Spiritual Appetite Awakened”. Interestingly, he refers to this as “Crossless Christianity”. It’s such a hypocritical thing that the people who cling to the cross the tightest would actually miss the pinnacle of its entire purpose: the exchanged life. There’s simply no power in a cross that doesn’t lead one to death and, as a result, new life (regeneration). Salvation was never meant to make us better people. It wasn’t designed to empower us to be leaders or world changers.
The purpose of the cross was to kill us - eradicating our flesh and our desires to please self.
Mumford states, The type or “brand” of Christianity practiced by those who have not yet been emptied and displaced by the Son may be identified as “Crossless Christianity.” Like the slave-minded Israelites coming out of Egypt, these eros captives who have now believed in Jesus remain die-hard self-gratifiers, experts from a life-long pursuit of self-satisfaction. Upon discovering that the world cannot satisfy, and that Jesus and His kingdom are real, they begin to pursue Him in the same manner that they pursued futile worldly things, hungering for Him with the same soulish, eros cravings. This old appetite to gratify self easily adapts itself to the religious, spiritual, “Christian” dimension, seeking what God can give me or make of me.
The “Christian self” substitutes the world with God as the object of its’ soulish desire. Old “hunger-habits” are simply transferred onto the things of God. The Christian predator makes God his prey; the parasite detaches from the world and attaches to God. This craving, however, is not for God Himself but rather for His benefits and effects; it is not the spiritual appetite to eat and be displaced by the well-pleasing Son in order to become a generous, well-pleasing son. This “crossless” brand of faith is not Jesus’ Father-conscious faith, which leads to fruit-bearing Life. In the light of the Holy Spirit, we must ask ourselves as believers, “What, exactly, am I hungry for? What is the source of my appetite?” Man’s soulish appetite, whether lawless or religious, is to gratify self; man’s spiritual appetite is to delight Father.