Arrogance is ugly. No two ways about it. We all know people who drip arrogance. Heck, we have all BEEN people who were (or are) arrogant. Pride is part of the human condition. We have a deep need to know more, to be more, than our peers.
What about "Christian Arrogance?" Is there such a thing?
We could make a list of other Christians we perceive as arrogant. That list would perhaps include certain worship celebrities, or televangelists, or pastors of mega-churches, or similar people. It might include Christian movements or organizations or causes.
We can make those lists because Christian Arrogance DOES exist. Things get muddy when we accept the fact that we, too, like "all those other people," are also arrogant.
Let me offer just one example of Christian Arrogance that seems to have been in place since the first moments believers gathered together for worship. It has to do with "planning" and "programming" what we call "the worship service."
I won't say "all" (because hyperbole never sits well with people) - but, "many" churches seem driven to create what they believe is the "best" or "correct" or "most accurate" or "most successful" worship service in their community. The best lighting. The best sound. The best music. The best musicians. The best Sunday school. The best parking. The best signage. The best preacher. Etc. They spend many hours in many meetings pouring over research and enjoying endless discussions of what they need to do in order to make their church THE church that ALL must attend. The reasons for this vary. Some are honestly well-motivated - reaching more with the gospel, serving the community, loving the children of God. And some are not so well-motivated - - we need more money to run the programs and pay the bills so we need more people in the pews.
And after all that planning and programming, we sit back in shock and amazement that SOME of the people in our church didn't accept or like or adopt our new ideas. The audacity! Don't those pew-sitters realize that we actually prayed and spent time seeking God's wisdom to provide the BEST for them and the people in our community?
The truth is - no matter how great our plans - no matter how "God-breathed" they might be - no matter how "correct" or "right" or "best" they might be - - not everyone in your church is going to love your ideas. In fact, some will hate them and speak loudly about their angst with others in the congregation.
Listen - closely - to - this...
Jesus - ONLY Jesus - showed THE best way. Jesus lived THE right way. Jesus modeled THE correct way. There was no other plan BETTER than the one Jesus modeled, preached and lived. He was THE ONLY right way to do it. His was THE plan and it came directly from God. It just doesn't get any "better" than that!
And where did that lead him?
Nailed to a wooden cross.
If Jesus was killed for offering THE absolute BEST ways to worship our God, what makes us think our amazing plans will bring about a better result?
Bring your plans and ideas to the table. Always. Just be ready to accept the reality that no matter how wonderful your ideas may be, they will be met with resistance by some. That's just the way it is.
If at all possible, try to proceed with your ministry free of the arrogance that is so ready available. You will be better off. Really.