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OCD – Obsessive Christ-centered Disorder?

September 3, 2009

You’ve heard of OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. But is it possible to have a Christ-centered disorder? Is it possible to be obsessive about being Christ-centered, Gospel-centered, Gospel-driven, Christocentric or Gospel-focused?

Unless you’ve been asleep the last 5 years or more, this Gospel-centered and Christ-centered lingo and terminology has become very popular in the Evangelical Christian world; especially among Reformed circles.

There is Christ-centered worship, Cross-centered marriage, Gospel-centered churches, Cross-centered clothing, Gospel-centered rap, Cross-centered bookstores, Christ-centered children’s ministry, etc.

To be Christ-centered simply means that Christ is the center of all doctrine and therefore all of life for the Christian. Likewise to be Gospel-centered means all of one’s doctrine and life flows out of, through, and back to the Good News of Jesus Christ and His glorious cross. At the very heart of the Christian’s life is that he has been transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit by, well, News.

The Gospel is news that is extremely and eternally good. The news and its goodness is that God has provided a way for man to be reconciled back to Himself. News necessarily must not just be told and passed on but proclaimed, heralded, lifted up, written on hearts, heard in streets, raised on banners, and spread like the best and hottest gossip around.

The question then is not so much what does it mean to be Gospel-centered or even should a Christian be Christ-centered. The question is, is it possible to become obsessed with being Christ-centered? Can one become overly attached to the Gospel?

I’ve heard some criticism towards the whole Gospel-centered and Christ-centered movement that they are going too far in trying to be focused on Christ. They are extreme and very simplistic by minimizing everything down to just the Gospel. They are missing so many other good things about God. They are minimalistic and reductionist in their thinking and living. There is more to life than just the Gospel.

To which I ask, WHAT ELSE IS THERE?

The whole counsel of God? Okay. And where is all that culminated in one place? His holiness, judgment, mercy, wrath, grace, love, forgiveness, redemption, glory, goodness, kindness, patience, etc.

THE CROSS!

The love of God for everyday people? Okay. And where is that best seen and displayed? THE CROSS!

Theology? Discipleship? Evangelism? Church growth? Church planting? Missions? Feeding the poor? Relationships? Yeah, okay. And where do all of those find their ultimate purpose, drive, and fulfillment? THE CROSS!

Correct me if I’m wrong here folks but isn’t the cross of Jesus Christ, the flesh and bones and blood of the Gospel, where everything about God (who He is and what He has done), Jesus (who He is and what He has done) and man (who we are and what we have done), the center of everything? I mean if we’re gonna major on something, focus on one thing, make much of a single thing, shouldn’t it be the cross of Christ? The Good News, the Gospel, about God’s love for sinners and God’s love for His own glory? Both of which are culminated at the cross.

So, to claim somehow that Christians who desire to see, think, feel, believe, and live Christ-centered, Gospel-centered lives are extreme, unbalanced,  missing it, or obsessed is unreasonable and naive.

The cross is everything. The Gospel is the center of the target. Jesus Christ is God most effectively translated. And the cross is God most gloriously manifested. And the Holy Spirit of God is God most powerfully displayed.

To be too obsessed with being centered and focused solely on the Gospel of God in Christ Jesus is to be too in love with God. Is that even possible?

Once Christ-centered Christians, or those who desire such, grow too accustomed to the desire to be Christ-centered to the point of dryness, emptiness, and unfruitfulness, then being cross-centered becomes the latest fad. It becomes stale and dry and as boring and lifeless as dishwater.

We must truly be Christ-centered not just in our professing, thinking or believing. But most truly in our doing, acting and living.

To be Christ-centered means one is striving to live Christ-like. Then the terminology and mindset of being Gospel-centered has power and meaning because the Christian is not only believing the Gospel but is be-living the Gospel. That is what it looks like to be cross-eyed, Gospel-centered and Christocentric.

Too obsessed? I think not.

Our love for God and the Gospel of His Son should daily ever increase in thought and feeling and living that we become more and more obsessed with it. This is a divine obsession that is healthy and eternal.

If a Christian is to be obsessed with something, be obsessed with Jesus Christ. Be obsessed with His Gospel. Be obsessed with the cross. And live like you are truly obsessed with it.

This is not a disorder. This is radical, insane, crazy alien lust for the one thing that will satisfy our hunger and thirsts: God in Jesus Christ!

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One Comment
  1. sararamonita permalink

    Praise God!

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