ME, MINE, & MYSELF ALMIGHTY
By Akin Ojumu
Those who pay, even the most cursory, attention to American politics must have heard of the term narcissism. The past decade has seen the Google search for the word and its associated terminologies skyrocket. Along with this resurgent interest are all sorts of armchair psychologists and psychoanalysts crawling out of the woodworks and tagging everyone with the narcissism label.
With etymology in Greek mythology, narcissism derives from the name of Narcissus, the son of the river-god Cephissus and the fountain nymph Liriope of Thespiae. He was so incredibly good looking that, despite many suitors, Narcissus didn’t find any of them worthy to be his soulmate. Spurned and rejected, some of his admirers took their own lives.
Narcissus left a trail of jilted lovers and broken-hearted maidens in his wake. One of them was nymph Echo, who beseeched the god Nemesis to punish Narcissus for breaking his heart. His prayer was answered one day when Narcissus was walking along a lake. As he stopped to drink some water, he saw his own reflection in the water. Immediately, he fell in love with what he saw. Entranced and transfixed, Narcissus gazed endlessly at his own image until he faded away and died.
Like Narcissus, malignant narcissism is a highly virulent disease ravaging the souls of men. More than ever before, mankind is consumed with the virus of self-love. At no other time in human history have the children of men been this imperiled by the plague of self-admiration.
From the very moment a child pops out of the birth canal, he is taught to see himself as the greatest thing to grace God’s earth since the first sliced bread came out of the oven nearly a century ago. As he goes through the various stages of life, the notion that he is the center of the universe, around which all the galaxies revolve, is reinforced by the books he reads, bolstered by the shows that beam from his TV screen, and ratified by his social media likes.
Genetically encoded into man is the pride of Lucifer, who became so impressed with his own beauty, intelligence, power, and position that he lusted after the honor and glory that belonged to El Elyon alone. Hence, man is corrupted by the sin of haughtiness and the son of man is polluted by the iniquity of pomposity.
Sadly, this is the case for many self-professed Christians. A soul-consuming desire to ascend above the heights of the clouds rages in the soul of many believers like an uncontrollable summer wildfire.
Believing they are equal with God, they long to sit upon the mount of the congregation. They treat the Word of God with absolute scorn in their misinterpretation and their disdain for Scripture is made manifest in their misapplication.
Guilty of narcissistic eisegesis (i.e., narcigesis) – narcissism being excessive interest in or admiration of oneself, and eisegesis being the “interpretation of a text by reading into it one’s own ideas”– they mishandle Scripture by injecting into it their own opinion, and they interpret Biblical passages as though they are all about them.
In the account of the 7-day creation, they see themselves as the Creator. They think they are Moses who defeated Pharaoh’s army and parted the Red Sea. Of course, they are Joshua, son of Nun, who led Israel to victories over Canaanite nations and brought God’s people safely to the promised land.
It was definitely them who killed Goliath with a sling and a stone and went to become the king of Israel. Mordecai certainly had them in mind when he told Queen Esther, “for such a time as this” were you raised to deliver the Jews. Without question, they are the prophets of old who spoke as God’s oracles, and are the Messiah who died on the Cross and washed our sins away.
All the promises in the Bible, they believe, are for them and all about them. When Jeremiah prophesied in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end,” this was God talking about them and not the children of Israel whom He promised to rescue from their captivity in Babylon and restore back to glory and honor.
In their self-obsessed minds, passages such as, “You are gods, and all of you are sons of the Most High,” in Psalms 82:6 and quoted by Jesus in John 10:34, are definitive proofs of their deity and they are certainty of their divinity. Completely missing the context, they fail to realize that this passage was God mocking and condemning the unjust and wicked rulers of Israel who had turned themselves into demigods worshiped by the people with fear and trembling.
“Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18).
Those who burn with passion of pride and fervor of self-love will be consumed by its flame. Anyone who erects for himself a tower of ego and builds in his own honor a throne of self-conceit will, one day, crash and burn. This is the sad reality of men like Steven Furtick who, in this video clip, calls himself “God Almighty.”