A proud Christian is a Stupid Cow! By “Stupid Cow,” of course, I mean what those people, who are smarter than I am, call an oxymoron! That’s when two things are put together that don’t go together.
A “meat-eating vegetarian,” for example, is an oxymoron. Perhaps the term “freezer burn” would be a good example. Obviously, there are good reasons to use oxymorons sometimes, but it all depends on what you mean by them.
“Pride” is one of those words that can be used in more than one way. For a Christian to say they are proud to be called a Christian, would be no different than when Paul said that he was not ashamed of the Gospel. So, in that sense, the term “Proud Christian” is perfectly valid.
However, the Bible most often uses the word “pride” as a synonym for arrogance. Someone who is full of pride, in the Biblical sense, thinks more highly of himself than he ought to.
Jesus said that pride was an evil thing that comes from within a man, and defiles him (Mark 7:21-23). Then Paul told Timothy that the pastor of a church should not be a new believer, “…lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil” (1 Timothy 3:6). In other words, pride was the same sin that caused the devil to rebel against God; and it can do the same thing to us if we do not guard against it.
God protected Paul from falling into the trap of pride by sending him a demon to buffet him:
“…lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.” (2 Corinthians 12:7)
The Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-12 are filled with descriptions of true Christians. The word “pride” is not among them. In fact, the word “humility” can summarize many of Jesus’ descriptions pretty well.
I am going to go so far as to say that a person who is filled with pride cannot be a Christian. Oh, they can say the right words; do the right things; even on some level believe the right things. But unless their heart has been regenerated by the Holy Spirit of the Living God, they are not truly in Christ. One of the chief results of this regenerating work of the Holy Spirit is that it generates humility in a person’s heart.
Let’s look at it from a different angle. How could someone make themselves right with God by anything they have done? The Biblical answer is that they cannot.
If God were to ask you why you deserve to be let into heaven, your answer should be that you do not deserve it.
This is one of the most basic, fundamental truths of the Bible. All men have fallen short of the glory of God. No one deserves heaven, we all deserve hell. The only way to be made right with God is, not by our worthiness, but by Christ’s. So, before anyone can be saved, they must stop relying on how good they are, and throw themselves wholly upon the mercy of God through Christ. That is the opposite of pride. It is humility.
1 John 2:15-16 says:
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15)
“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” (1 John 2:16)
I don’t know how it could be much clearer. If you are full of pride, then the love of the Father is not in you.
So let me ask you – Are you full of pride? Why do you think God should let you into heaven?
If your answer starts with the word “I” – you should be very concerned. Examine yourself and make sure you are in the Faith.
Do you think you are better than other people; more righteous; more holy? Do you think you deserve better that other people?
If so, then you should be very concerned for the state of your soul.
If your view of yourself is not predominately marked by an attitude of humility, then you should be concerned. There is no such thing as a prideful Christian. To be proud and to be a Christian are opposites.
Examine your heart. Don’t be a Stupid Cow!