June 15, 2019

Rampant Individualism

Stephen Um on Discipline…
“There is a cultural aversion to discipline. We’re comfortable with the idea of self-discipline. -- bringing ourselves into line with a certain standard in order to reach a long-term goal like weight loss, eating healthily, or earning an additional degree. We even refer to different branches of knowledge or fields of study as ‘disciplines’ because we understand that it takes sustained focus, hard work, and self-discipline to grasp them. However, we are uncomfortable with the idea of being disciplined by an external force -- someone or something outside ourselves.  And the reason for this is rampant individualism. Jonathan Leeman says, ‘[for] the average person in Western culture today: every attachment is negotiable. We are all free agents, and every relationship and life station is a contract that can be renegotiated or canceled, whether we are dealing with the prince, the parents, the spouse, the salesman, the boss, the ballot box, the courtroom judge, or, of course, the local church. I am principally obligated to myself and maximizing my life, liberty and pursuit of happiness… I retain the power to veto everything.’”
Stephen Um, 1 Corinthians: The Word of the Cross (Preaching the Word)


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