I found this great nugget of insight today in my reading...
Moreism (as defined by Frederick Dale Brunner): asking Jesus for "more" proof than he has already given us of his goodness, as though he has not already done enough and is not continually doing enough to deserve this trust...We should not try to prove Jesus or require him to prove himself by some extracanonical wonder or by some special historical evidences, because a desire for "more" maybe just a mask for a person's "rude unbelief."
THAT'S IT! This is a tremendous explanation of some Christians' tendency to feel that they need more proof from God (ie: internal positive feelings, supernatural occurrences to take place) in order to be completely satisfied with Jesus.
Do you remember in geometry class when your teacher would take a giant compass to draw a perfect chalk circle on the black-board? I remember thinking, "Wow, that is cool, a perfect circle! I could never draw that freehand."
Can a perfect circle be improved upon? Of course not.
When Jesus died on the cross, the writer to Hebrews calls Jesus' work on the cross, both in chapter 2 & 4, "perfect." John writes in his first epistle, "God showed his love perfectly through the atoning sacrifice of cross."
Jesus' cross is God's love perfectly displayed. What more do you need, what more do you want in order for you to trust him?
Sadly, people want more all the time: "God, show me an answer to prayer, show me a healing, show me the money!" Some people even have gone so far that they are no longer even impressed with the cross: Why did God have to kill his Son to show his love, isn't that divine child abuse; couldn't he have shown his love someway else?
Prideful narcissistic humans have a way of sticking their nose into business that they really have no right to enter: Armchair quarterbacks who are drinking a beer have no clue what it is like being rushed by a 300 pound professional nose-tackle, but they think they do. Political junkies really can not even imagine the stress the President lives with on a daily basis. A seminary student thinks he can run a 1,000 member church because he learned a few Greek words. And tiny humans think they can prove and argue for God better than he did through the cross.
Brunner suprisingly says, "Apologetics can sometimes be an illegitimate discipline when we demand more proof than he has already given us." Being someone who loves apologetics, this has really gotten me thinking; and I think he is exactly right. We only enter the life of God through faith in the cross, not through "persuasive words, fine sounding arguments, or shows of power!" (1 Cor. 1:18-25) Apologetics really is meant for the believer rather than for the person who has still yet to believe.
A final quote of Brunner says to this concerning the cross, "One more problem with "Moreism" is that in false and distorted forms of Christianity, people seek 'more' of the Lord by trying to give more of themselves. Instead of simple trust, they believe you need superior surrenders, yieldings, emptyings in order to have a more victorious life... No! Jesus has already done and given quite enough, and our human (divinely enabled!) trust is enough to enter this divinely provided enough!"
Do you ever feel like a second class Christian because you are not as "fired up" or "deeply sentimental" than other believers around you? Have you ever looked around and wondered, "Wow, they seem to sing with their whole heart and I only mumble the words Sunday morning. They really believe, I only have weak faith. They are always on cloud nine, bright-eyed and bushy tailed, whereas I am a deadbeat."
Do you really think you have less of Christ because you have less of a smile?
When I simply believe in Jesus, I receive him fully. There are no extra things I need to do to get an extra dose from him. His work on the cross was perfect, and faith alone perfectly receives everything he has done for me. We must stop comparing, competing, conjuring, and simply receive his perfect work by faith.
Yesterday I was skeet shooting with the other pastors, and even though I am the least experienced shooter, I did realize something: When I pulled the trigger of the shotgun, my shot was just as deadly and powerful as it was in the experienced hands of Jared Doty. When I fired the shell, Derek still needed to wear ear plugs to muffle the sound of the gunpowder. And... I even knocked a few clay pigeons out of the sky like the dead-eye pastor Ken did.
You see, the power did not come from my experience, my serious concentration, or even from the powerful muscle in my biceps to pull the trigger; all the deadly force was in the power of the gun alone.
So it is with the cross!