The affliction of modern man is what should be ridiculed as “ingrown autonomy”. Man views himself as totally independent. He is authorized by whatever impulse stimulates him at the moment to act accordingly. It is his subjective truth that dictates his moral framework, and his moral framework is guided by that great humanist trinity: “my, myself, and I.”
In contrast, the early Christian creeds begin with a statement which offends man’s self-centeredness by confessing that God the Father is the maker of heaven and earth. As one writer notes, “the creed is simultaneously descriptive and prescriptive. This means that if God is the creator and we are His creatures we owe Him all the honor, obedience, and most importantly worship that is due to Him as the Almighty Creator.”
When Christians recite the creeds, it isn’t a robotic recitation of syllogisms. Rather, our confession of faith in who God is as revealed by scripture, obliges us at the outset to bend our knee to worship. As the 95th Psalm reminds us, “It is He who made us, and not we ourselves.”
The deep roots of the creeds anchor us in faithful worship. You are created, dependent, complex. God is uncreated, free, and simple. You require daily bread, but He is as one Christian mystic put it, “Self-kindled and self-fed.” To be a human is to exist in reference to the sovereign God, while He is the eternal I AM.
He isn’t your equal. He isn’t just the biggest created thing in the cosmos. He is your God. This truth summons you to worship Him, for He made you, and through Christ redeemed you. The humanist daydream of autonomy is to build your house in a nuclear reactor in meltdown; but to bend in faith to worship your Maker is to live in this glorious house which the Living God has created for your good & His glory.
Our sinful attitude throughout history has been to think that God is disposable, ignorable, or irrelevant. Yet the Scriptures and nature itself compels us to come face to face with the awesome truth that He is God the creator of heaven & earth, of all things visible & invisible. This demands our worship. This demands our praise. This demands our faith & obedience. Yet our every sin is a defiant insistence on attempting to be autonomous in a world which God Almighty made and is anything but autonomous. May God forgive us for the pride at the heart of this twisted sense of independence. May He grant us grace to humble ourselves and cast ourselves entirely upon His great mercy and grace.
After all, to be truly human is to recognize that He is God and you are not. This is the only way to truly start living.