In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic allegory, The Scarlet Letter, a woman named Hester Prynne bore a child out of wedlock. As a result, she was required to wear the letter A as a sign of public disgrace for her act of adultery. On the breast of her gown, in fine red cloth surrounded with elaborate embroidery, was the scandalous symbol for all to see. While there may have been a few who sympathized with the woman in her humiliation, most showed the woman great contempt. Her act of infidelity had earned her the utmost derision.
In modern day evangelicalism there is another “Scarlet A” that has incurred immeasurable reproach. Today, this symbol of defamation could stand for arrogance. While it has not gained a public display of ridicule among Christ’s people, it has resulted in a concealed disfavor among the modern evangelical church worldwide. Few men enjoy the company of a self-absorbed, conceited man or minister who prides himself in his accomplishments.
It has been extremely disheartening to hear ministers boast of their understanding of theology and or their ability to best their opponents in the arena of apologetics. Their ability to showcase their achievements in a public forum makes a Macys’ New Year Day Parade look like an ordinary day at the neighborhood park.
Arrogance is defined as an insulting way of thinking or behaving that comes from believing that you are better, smarter, or more important than other people. And there is no better definition of a man or woman who knows so little of the debilitating power and grace of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
How can any man, especially a Christian minister, glory in his achievements in the light of the Lamb, Who opened not His mouth en route to a death that paid for sinful arrogance? God forbid that any man should boast in the light of such a love driven sacrifice!
In an age of men who are lovers of themselves more than lovers of God, the church at large needs a baptism of gospel driven humility that focuses more on the sufferings of the Savior than the successes of servants, for the only way that the church of the living God will advance is on the Calvary road.
In the Lamb,