May 11, 2019
Subject: Marrying Yourself: Our Culture’s Ultimate Rejection of Biblical Authority
Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Their website explains it this way: “Self-Marriage is a commitment to valuing and prioritizing self-love and self-care within a culture that has neglected it, left it behind, commercialized and dehumanized it. Self-Marriage is a commitment to being there for yourself, to choosing the livelihood and lifestyle that will help you grow and blossom into the most alive, beautiful, and deeply happy person you can be.”
More people have been holding marriage ceremonies with themselves. They take vows with themselves, they promise to love, cherish and honor themselves, unto death separates them from, I guess, themselves. The idea of marrying yourself has become a formalized, public event to commemorate your obsession with yourself: “Self-Marriage is a way to formalize, proclaim, share, and sanctify self-love. It can be honored through a physical ceremony, and regularly through one-on-one sessions to grow and build this marriage.”
But the ‘Marrying Yourself’ website is trying to fill a void: “Through Self-Marriage, you create enough space in yourself to respect the parts of you that have been rejected, repressed, or shamed. Self-Marriage is for those who have been heartbroken and wish to heal their wounds and step into their wholeness.” The secular solution to heal their brokenness is to retreat into oneself, center on oneself, glorify oneself. There are other names for this: the self-esteem movement, the ‘Me First’ movement. It’s narcissism.
In our verse this week, Jesus has been preaching to the large crowd following Him. Earlier in Matthew’s book, he records that “Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people” (Matthew 9:35). They know only Jesus can heal them. As God in the flesh, He is actively drawing to Himself those described by the Self-Marriage website as having been “rejected, repressed, or shamed”.
In fact, Matthew 9:36 explains just how committed He was to this large crowd: “When He saw the multitudes, He was moved to compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.” He wasn’t obligated to heal them. He loved them. Their brokenness moved Him to action. This is why, in Matthew 11:28-30, He announces that anyone who is weary of carrying their shame, guilt, low self-esteem only has to come to Him, and He promises to heal them: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
So why do we need a ‘Self-Marriage’ website, if the same Jesus Christ who healed people in 32AD is still available to heal today? Because in Matthew 11:28 Jesus makes one condition for anyone to receive His healing power – they must come to Him. There’s the rub. Columnist Dennis Prager recently explained that America’s leftist, secular culture has rejected biblical truth. Since the Bible has been removed in our culture, more generations are being raised to seek answers within themselves. Here are a few examples.
“The biblical view is that people are not basically good. Evil therefore comes from within human nature. For the left, human nature is not the source of evil. Capitalism, patriarchy, poverty, religion, nationalism, or some other external cause is the source of evil. The biblical view is that nature was created for man. The left-wing view is that man is just another part of nature. The biblical view is that man is created in the image of God, and therefore formed with a transcendent immaterial soul. The left-wing view – indeed, the view of all secular ideologies – is that man is purely material, another assemblage of stellar dust.”
The biblical view is that human beings have free will. The left-wing view – and the view of all secularists – is that human beings have no free will. Everything we do is determined by environment, genes, and the matter of which we are composed. Firing neurons, not free will, explain both murders and kindness. The biblical view is that, while reason alone can lead a person to conclude murder is wrong, murder is objectively wrong only because there is a transcendent source of right and wrong – God – who deems murder evil. The biblical view holds that wisdom begins with acknowledging God. The secular view is that God is unnecessary for wisdom, and the left-wing view is that God is destructive to wisdom.”
But the good news is just because our culture rejects Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, who is willing to take anyone’s shame for them, doesn’t mean He isn’t still available to you. Just come to Him.
Ed Croteau is a resident of Lee’s Summit and hosts a weekly study in Lees Summit called “Faith: Substance and Evidence.” He can be reached with your questions through the Lee’s Summit Tribune at Editor@lstribune.net.