What is “meism”? Simply stated: it is pride. Pride speaks of entitlement: If God exists, He owes me big-time. God should serve me; He should pay homage to me. God is the one who should be asking me for forgiveness for placing me in this mess.
“Pride is the delusion that God, if he exists, is awfully lucky I’ve shown up and should mind his p’s and q’s lest I change my mind (Buchanan, Rest of God).” What’s even worse in a broken world filled with broken people, is that pride has the audacity to say “Not even God is good enough or big enough or smart enough to sort out the mess I’ve made or stumbled into.” Therefore, I will conclude that He does not exist.
C. S. Lewis called pride the “Great Sin.” We have come up against something which is immeasurably superior to ourselves in God. Self becomes the center. A smug sense of self-righteousness hides the fact that we are totally obsessed with ourselves. Says Lewis: “Someone who is so proud and so wrapped up in himself and so capable of rationalizing anything could not possibly see something greater than himself.” If we are a prisoner of our pride, confession to God’s existence is impossible. There is no greater need than when we think we have no need.
Pride is conceit, arrogance, an inflated opinion of one’s own importance, power and ability. It fosters the idea that we’re self-sufficient and don’t need anyone, not even God. Some even have an air of superiority, a win-at-any-cost determination, a pursuit of glory, power, and control over people, especially those they are prejudiced against. Self rules.
Frank Sinatra’s chart topping song is not the right foundation to approach the deeper questions of life, but atheists choose to live it out anyway. “I Did It My Way” “Now, the end is near, So I face the final curtain – My friends, I’ll say it clear, state my case of which I’m certain. I’ve lived a life that’s full, And traveled each, and every highway – And more, much more than this I did it my way.”
The only problem? It’s Meism. Madeleine L’Engle, calls it “serpent hissing pride.” It’s flamboyant and it will never lead you to a new life where God answers the deeper questions on which your life can be based.