Mistaking Gratification for God
As it is written:
“There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.”
There is a fundamental error in the mainstream evangelical Church. It’s the assumption and underlying presupposition that unbelievers outside the Church are desperately seeking for God– that they’ve a God-shaped hole they’re desperately trying to fill.
Christian will look at their neighbors, coworkers and acquaintances, especially those with kind and gracious temperments, and say “Well what about this guy I know? He’s a seeking after God. He’s really searching.”
But that’s not true, and that’s not what’s actually happening.
Instead what they’re really seeing is a mass of humanity searching for peace of mind happiness. They’re seeing people seeking release from guilt, personal satisfaction, intellectual and emotional fulfillment, satiation of lusts and desires, meaning, and the promise of finding significance and purpose in their lives.
Well-meaning Christians watch their friends and neighbors searching desperately for these things and they surmise “Well, the only thing that can give them that is Christ”. And so the assumption is that since they’re searching for that which only God can give them- the benefits of God and his grace, that they therefore must be seeking after him.
It’s a step too far, and unfortunately this confusion is the foundation of their beliefs which is then reflected in their methodology, ecclesiology, soteriology, and everything else in between. The so called “seeker-sensitive” approach, both explicit and implicit, has failed on almost every level. It doesn’t work, because the biblical revelation which blows up every scheme of man is that people don’t seek after God. It is Christ who comes to seek and save the lost- not the lost who come to seek and be saved by Christ.
Yet in their selfishness and sin humankind seeks after temporal common graces- poorly- in the hope that they might find some respite from those very effects of their selfishness and sin. There is no God-shaped hole, only a mass of pride and sin that suppresses the knowledge of God in unrighteousness.
There are no seekers, only rebels.
Ultimately a man will be saved not because he found who he was seeking for, but rather because God decreed that who He was looking for would be found.
[Contributed by Dustin Germain]