Christ-Esteem vs. Self-Esteem
Removing the Seeds of Self-Deification
C. S. Lewis, on the error of "self-love":
"No sooner do we believe that God loves us
than there is an impulse to believe that He does so,
not because He is Love, but because we are intrinsically lovable"
Introduction (Lessons from Creation - Zoo analogies):
Many of the animals I once cared for, back when I was a zookeeper, had a destructively distorted WORLDVIEW (inaccurate view of reality). Yes, I know that animals don't have any conscious view of God, but please don't forget that many people do not "know" God either. Such people have a very limited perspective on life and relationships.
I remember a powerful male gorilla, Scottie, who would duck down and cover his head, whenever a male zookeeper used a broom. Yet, in all the years Scottie was at that particular zoo, no man had ever hit him with a broom. So, why did Scottie believe that men were likely to hurt him? He believed it, and reacted to his belief as if it were truth, because he had been mistreated by male zookeepers way back when he was a young gorilla at another zoo. Decades later, Scottie, still had difficulty trusting male keepers.
I also remember one of my leopards, a huge black panther, named Ali, who hated people with a vicious rage. Whenever a person came near his cage, Ali would charge the bars, crashing into the hard metal, growling and spitting with bitterness. Why? All of us loved him, fed him, cleaned up after him, and had never abused him. Then I found out how he had been raised at a different zoo. He was pushed, poked, shocked, shot with BB guns, and hosed with water to make him move from cage to cage. He learned and deeply believed that all humans were cruel and dangerous creatures, and that his only way to survive was to be as mean and macho as he could possibly be.
So, I determined to prove to Ali, that at least one human was his friend. It took me over a year of patient, step by step efforts, but he eventually came to trust me. In fact, he trusted me so much that he would come into the cage and lean his body gently against the bars, so I could rub his stomach! His perception of me, life, and himself had been changed, yet the process took many months of sensitive, loving, often frustrating work.
These examples help to explain some of why it has been so easy for Lucifer to slip age-old, new age extremes about self-esteem and self-love into the Church? Part of the reason has been the failure of conservative pastors and teachers to present a biblically balanced message. The unbalanced, less than biblical teaching on self-perception left a partial vacuum of knowledge into which Satan's extreme alternatives to reality very easily flowed. Conservative pastors over emphasized one truth, that our past hurts and traumas don't have to force our futures. Such pastors focused on the good news, that repenting from our own "natural", sinful responses to life's hurts is the primary key to overcoming them and living a victorious life. But, they neglected to also emphasize the other side of reality. It is also truth that deeply hurtful experiences leave lasting memories and distorted beliefs about God, others, and self, which are extremely difficult to unlearn. These twisted beliefs about reality are a part of the roots, which produce much of the dysfunctional fruit in our lives, families, churches, and the world, to the dishonor of God's image.
Truly "biblical" counselors don't just tell people to suck it up and glorify God. We, through the actions of a whole church family, must prove to our new brothers and sisters that they are loved, in spite of their sin. We are the face of our Father to the lost and lonely in this painfully dangerous world. We are the arms that our Lord Jesus wants to use to touch and hug the ones who come for help. We must speak the truth in love. This means that truth must be wrapped in obvious, self-sacrificial care, or it can hurt instead of heal.
[Please note: This workshop does not imply that any Christian counselor or pastor deliberately promotes false teaching. In fact, it is assumed that most sincerely believe their teachings are correct. However, sincerity is not a biblical criteria for evaluating the Truth (Joh 14:6; 7:17; Col 2:8). Remember, Satan often uses truth - just a little distorted, in order to deceive even the well-meaning (Gen. 3). In the past, I also once taught many of the errors regarding selfism, until a brother loved me enough to challenge me to thoroughly examine my views according to systematic exegesis of Scripture (Acts 17:11).]
Outline / Contents
I. ........ Personal Testimony of 10 yrs in the New Age Movement:
II. ...... To Answer Any Question, Always Start With God's Word.
III. ..... What Did Men Of God Teach For The Past 2,000 Years?
IV. ..... What Is The Origin Of This Self-Focused Deception?
V. ....... What Is The Heart & Soul of New Age Philosophy?
VI. ...... How Did Selfism Infect The Church?
VII. ..... Do The Numbers Really Add Up? (Statistical Evidence Says No)
VIII...... How Bad is it getting?
IX. ...... As The New World Turns: Where is it heading?
X. ....... What Can We Do?
I. Personal Testimony of 10 yrs in the New Age Movement:
Having spent over a decade studying and living new age philosophy, it is not surprising to see its core concepts now invading the church. Many "Christian" counselors & teachers are unwittingly promoting new age beliefs, thinly veiled in an insidious shroud of Christian terminology. The deception begins by teaching that we are not as bad as the Bible says, and so we need to increase self-esteem and self-love. It continues with a focus on self-actualization, culminating in the subtle lure of self-deification. Like a virus of the soul, this ancient lie is perhaps the most virulent infection within the Body of Christ today. The increasingly neo-gnostic character of modern psychotherapeutic theory is producing a fuzzy world-view of spiritual relativity, cut loose from the anchor of God's objective, absolute Truth. Virtual spiritual reality has replaced actual spiritual reality as the politically correct religion of the day.
Please, please examine this issue prayerfully and carefully. Remember Paul's prophetic warnings in 2 Corinthians 10-11; Colossians 2:8 and 2 Timothy 3-4.
II. To Answer Any Question, Always Start With God's Word.
- How should we view ourselves?
Certainly we are to build up and esteem one another (Eph 4:29; Philip 2:3), especially our children (Eph 6:4). We are never to tear someone down, even when constructive correction is necessary. But we are to build them up in Christ-esteem, not self-esteem.
Example: "Wow Katie, God sure has given you an awesome talent as an artist. What a great opportunity to glorify Him, bless others, and enjoy serving Him."
What about attractive people who are insecure about their looks? Or how about highly intelligent folks who are afraid of failing? Yes, it is true that we often need a more accurate perception of who we are in relation to God and others. We regularly need a clearer picture of our use or misuse of God-given abilities that are designed for His glory and the benefit of our neighbor.
Gal 5:16-24 Two fruits, means two roots (flesh or Spirit) - (self or Jesus).
Eph 5:29 Experiment: The all you can eat restaurant.
Mat 6:33-34 Priorities of love.
Mat 22:36-40 Noncircumstantial J.O.Y. (John 14:27; 15:10-13)
Luke 9:23-26 Paradox of life = loose psyche.
Luke 14:26 How to view ourselves in the light of His glory. (cf, Joh 12:25; Rom 12:1-3; Gal 6:3; 2 Cor 3:5; Pro 25:27; 26:12; 27:2).
1 Joh 2:16 Three branches of the desire to please self.
1 Joh 4:18 Mature agape cast out the fear of self not being entertained, comfortable, and esteemed.
The light of God's character allows us to see ourselves accurately. And such a clear perspective does not lead to increased self-esteem, but rather Christ-esteem. Remember Job in Job 42, and Isaiah in Isa 6? We need a better "God-Image" not a higher Self-Image (Romans 8:29; 2 Cor 3:17-18).
We All Inherently Love Self More Than God And Neighbor
Think about it. Is a two year old child difficult to deal with because he doesn't love himself enough, or because he loves himself more than everyone else? How about when we go to an all you can eat restaurant, what do we do? We actively love ourselves and work hard to get pleasure! We hate pain, not ourselves. Why do we get mad when our air conditioner breaks? We love ourselves!
Why are we afraid to tell others about Jesus?? We sinfully want to be esteemed, and thus fear rejection.
Why was I suicidal for most of my youth? I wanted to get away from pain in order to please self, even though I knew suicide would offend God and hurt my family. I refused to let God's unselfish love live through me for others.
In John 3:30, please listen to John the Baptist, "He [Jesus] must increase, but I must decrease". Folks, even the desire to be esteemed is rooted in sinful pride. There are two extremes of pride: an inflated ego, or a depressed ego which is sad because others don't pay attention. True humility desires all esteem (glory) to go to Jesus Christ, alone! If you still doubt God's opposition to today's cult of selfism, please read Rev 12:11 and compare the martyr's self-sacrificial love with the prevailing attitudes of today. [Also, Joh 3:30; Mat 22:36-40; Col 1:27-2:10; Gal 6:3; Rom 12:3; Philip 2:3; Eph 5:29]
A Prophetic Warning - 2 Tim 3-4
[see also 2 Cor 10:3-5; 11:1-15; Eph 6; 2 The 2]
Teachers of the psyche with feel good philosophies
This is spiritual war, not Disney World.
And the Battleground is the is the psyche (our beliefs about God, self, others, happiness).
God's Authority Overrules Man's Majority.... even man's academic elite.
God's Way is a person, not a program..... Himself in Christ as Lord.
III. What Did Men Of God Teach For The Past 2,000 Years?
WILLIAM CAREY (father of foreign missions) on his grave.
"A wretched, poor & helpless worm, on Thy kind arms I fall".
JOHN NEWTON "Amazing grace, ... that saved a wretch like me."
MARTIN LUTHER "God does not love us because we are valuable; we are valuable because God loves us". (Christianity Today, 5 May 78, p.35)
CHARLES SPURGEON in SPURGEON'S EXPOSITORY ENCYCLOPEDIA Vol. I p. 458, equated the beatitude of "poor in spirit" to be "... an absence of self-esteem".
RICHARD BAXTER in the 17th century classic SAINT'S EVERLASTING REST p. 315 says, "A proud mind is high in conceit, self-esteem, and carnal aspiring; a humble mind is high indeed in God's esteem, and in holy aspiring".
A. W. PINK in AN EXPOSITION OF THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT p. 424 says, "Man must be humbled into the dust before he will, as a beggar, betake himself to the Redeemer,.... be emptied of self-righteousness, self-esteem...."
STEPHEN CHARNOCK in THE WORKS OF STEPHEN CHARNOCK p. 21, wrote, "Self-esteem, ...is denying ... subjection to God."
* Why is it that terms like self-esteem, self-worth, self-love, etc., were consistently used in a NEGATIVE manner by those who led the Body of Christ through great revivals? When did the use of such terms change 180 degrees? Who led this change, and how did it occur? These questions are crucial, yet few Christian proponents of self-etc. have answered them.
IV. What Is The Origin Of This Self-Focused Deception?
An Age Old Lie - Gen. 3; Isa 14; Eze 28; Isa 53:6 .....
** The core beliefs of all non-biblical religions, philosophies & psychotherapies parallel the ancient, original lie of Lucifer in the garden of Eden. All of the major founding theorists of modern psychology were opposed to biblical Christianity and wide-open to Eastern and/or humanistic philosophies (see examples below).
V. What Is The Heart & Soul of New Age Philosophy?
(Gnostic evolution of consciousness):
Authority = (Epistemology) Ultimately self through reason or new revelation.
(intuition, subjective experience, philosophy, or pseudo-science)
"Did God Really Say. . . ?" It questions God's authority. Self (man) becomes judge of God (autonomy). Idolatry (God as you understand him to be). Then integrate the world's expert knowledge (gnosis) regarding abundant soul life. [God's Truth: John 14:6; 17:17; Col 2:8; 2 Tim 3:16-17; 1 Cor 4:6; .....]
Purpose = Self-fulfillment ... self-esteem ... self-actualization ... self-deification.
"What about your needs?" Desire theology, turning the focus from God to pleasing self, thus inflaming the lusts for pleasure (especially esteem). Attractive yet deceptive bait, with hidden hooks. Goal of happiness supersedes holiness. [God's Truth: Rom 8:28-29; Gal 5:16-24; Jam 1:1-15; 1 John 2:6; Prov 14:12]
Problem = Ignorance of one's true Self, which is One with All (Monism).
"It's not your fault." This fallacy assumes the old self is not as bad as God says. Victim of circumstances. Sin is given only lip service, if addressed at all. Lack of knowledge (education) is the etiology. Past circumstances are seen as causative factors, not just temptations. The "innocent" child within was not loved enough, and thus doesn't love and esteem himself enough.
[God's Truth: Biblical counselors recognize the reality of child abuse, etc.. But the answer for the abused, beyond mere escape, is to respond in the Spirit of Christ's fruit (Gal 5:16-25) and be transformed into the image and character of Christ. Gen. 3; 4:6-7; Rom 1-7; Isa 59:2; 53:6 ...... Remember to discern between cause - symptom - temptation. ]
Plan = Enlightenment (luciferic revelation ... evolution of consciousness).
"You can do it, if you just learn how." A program/religion replaces the Person of Jesus through the Holy Spirit. The focus is on changing feelings rather than heart attitudes and actions, through a false, generic "faith". The object of faith is irrelevant. Any old higher power will do. Especially higher self or the "power within" all people. Some focus on a system of works (self-righteousness). [God's Truth: John 15:5; Philip 4:13; Joh 3:30; Gal 2:20; Eph 4:22-24; 5:17-18; Gal 5:16-25]
VI. How Did Selfism Infect The Church?
Serpent - Tower of Babel - Israel - Eastern Religions - Philosophy - Founders of Psych -
[Depth Psych ... Behaviorism ... Humanistic Psych. ... Transpersonal Psychology]
Darwin According to, A HISTORY OF MODERN PSYCHOLOGY, by Schultz.
Darwin's theories were "a major force in shaping modern psychology" (toward an evolutionary paradigm - recapitulation of the psychological pool)
Freud Anti-Christian; deliberate alternative to Christianity (revenge for his dad). Unconscious iceberg of self-pleasing drives that must be fulfilled.
Jung Received messages from a spirit he called "Philemon". Collective pool of knowledge connecting all people.
Maslow Helped found the New Age, Esalen Institute. Human potential movement.
Hierarchy of heretical self-centered principles. "Need" theology.
Rogers Unconditional positive regard replaced biblical concept of love. Eventually practiced necromancy.
Fromm Wrote anti-Christian books like And You Shall Be Like Gods & Man For Himself.
Twisted Mat 22:36-40 into the false need to increase self-love.
Kubler-Ross Grief "specialist" for "death and dying". Deeply involved in new age philosophy.
[On the above foundation of anti-Christian philosophies, many Christian counselors have unwittingly built their models of counseling: Truth mixed with the leaven of man's theories]
JAMES DOBSON (Popular Christian author, psychologist, and radio host)
To his credit, Jim Dobson proclaims the inerrancy of Scripture, creation not evolution, the reality of sin, and the good news of eternal life through Christ. The organization he founded, Focus on the Family, has been instrumental in the fight against abortion and family dissolution. In genuine loving concern, he has sought to pull away the veil of deception that hides the truth about "alternative" lifestyles. Certainly, the Lord in His sovereign oversight has used Jim Dobson to reach the souls of literally thousands of hurting people, with a great deal of biblical truth.
[No matter how much I praise Jim for his wonderful character and works, as soon as I say I believe he is wrong in some of his teaching, many people literally go ballistic. They become irrationally defensive and start using words like, "intolerant", "negative", "divisive", "critical", and "unloving". But I believe that true love cares enough to point out error to a brother, so that only our Father's truth remains.]
I chose to highlight Dr. James Dobson's promotion of self-esteem, because he is perhaps the most followed of any "Christian" teacher. The magazine, CHRISTIANITY TODAY said:
"Criticisms of James Dobson's work are hard to find, largely because popular Christian writers and broadcasters, despite their influence, are rarely accorded a thoughtful critique". (Christianity Today, April 22, 1988 p.22).
Maybe the reason for this lack of "thoughtful critique" is due to the fact that people tend to fall into the "I am of Apollos - I am of Cephas" mindset (1 Cor 1:12). By nature we all are tempted to think of leaders we respect as being above serious error. True love is not blind, but natural human admiration often sees through colored glasses. Our perceptual filters are bent toward personal bias, and only the coherent light of God's inerrant Word can reveal the flaws.
The central focus in many of Jim Dobson's writings is the belief that low self-esteem is the cause (etiology) of the world's problems. This unbiblical theology for progressive sanctification is apparently the core of his family counseling message. For example:
In HIDE & SEEK, he gives a long and detailed description of Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who murdered President Kennedy. He describes how Oswald's mother and his wife failed to build his self-esteem. He says this caused Oswald's actions. He fails to make the crucial distinction between temptations, causes, and symptoms. Parents and spouses who are insensitive and demeaning can become strong sources of temptation, but they cannot force someone to commit murder. Many other men and women have endured hurtful and even abusive family members, without reacting in bitter, violent rage.
Finally on p. 59 Dobson concludes with: "Thus, much of the rebellion, discontent, and hostility of the teen-age years emanates from overwhelming, uncontrollable feelings of inferiority and inadequacy which rarely find verbal expression."
Is this what God's Word says is the cause of murder? Did Cain kill Abel because of his "low self-esteem"? In his book WHAT WIVES WISH THEIR HUSBANDS KNEW ABOUT WOMEN, p. 24, he says: "...low self-esteem is a threat to the entire human family, affecting children, adolescents, the elderly, all socioeconomic levels of society, and each race and ethnic culture."
(p. 35) "women of the world. . . a healthy dose of self-esteem and personal worth. . . . I have no doubt that this is their greatest need."
Again in HIDE & SEEK, p. 20-21 he says: "The matter of personal worth is not only the concern of those who lack it. In a real sense, the health of an entire society depends on the ease with which its individual members can gain personal acceptance. Thus, whenever the keys to self-esteem are seemingly out of reach for a large percentage of the people, as in twentieth century America, then widespread "mental illness", neuroticism, hatred, alcoholism, drug abuse, violence, and social disorder will certainly occur. Personal worth, ... we must have it...." [Emphasis his]
On p. 152 in HIDE & SEEK, Dobson goes even further"
"You see, damage to the ego (loss of self-worth) actually equals or exceeds the pain of physical discomfort in intensity.... So painful is its effect that our entire emotional apparatus is designed to protect us from its oppression. In other words, a sizable proportion of all human activity is devoted to the task of shielding us from the inner pain of inferiority. I believe this to the most dominant force in life, even exceeding the power of sex and its influence." [Emphasis his]
I agree with Dobson that this fallen World is driven by a desire to be highly esteemed (remember Eve; and the tower of Babel). But the question that Dobson's psychologized perspective never answers or even asks is: Is this obsessive drive, a God "designed" need, or is it the fruit of sinful pride? Dr. Dobson is the leading representative among many NEW teachers, who claim to be experts on the soul. According to 2 Tim 3-4, these teachers of the soul (Gk. = psychologists) have been raised up to scratch our itching ears and make us feel good about SELF. The list includes the following, plus many others.
ROBERT SCHULLER: "I contend that this unfulfilled need for self-esteem underlies every act" (p.15). "Self-esteem is . . . the single, greatest need facing the human race today" (p.19). (SELF-ESTEEM: THE NEW REFORMATION. Waco: Word Books, 1982) Schuller openly carries this new theology to its unavoidable, logical conclusions: "Once a person believes he is an 'unworthy sinner', it is doubtful if he can honestly accept the saving grace God offers in Christ" (p.98). "...the sacred right of every person to self-esteem" (p.38) "It all rises from one foundation: the dignity of the person who was create in the image of God." (Robert Schuller in Craig Ellison, Your Better Self, 1982, p. 194)
WAYNE COLWELL: professor at Rosemead School of Psychology, "Depression always has a loss of self-esteem in the foreground.... Be slow to direct a depressed person to the Scriptures... no preaching. I would recommend a recess from church if there is preaching done in the church." (The Journal of Pastoral Practice, Vol. 5, No. 4, p. 78)
WALTER TROBISCH: "Self love is thus the prerequisite and the criterion for our conduct towards our neighbor... without self-love there can be no love for others.... You cannot love neighbor, you cannot love god unless you first love yourself" (p.11) "I wonder whether one of the deepest roots of the abortion problem does not lie here. . . . Can an expectant mother who wishes to abort her child really love herself" (p.33 LOVE YOURSELF, Inter-Varsity, 1976)
BRUCE NARRAMORE: "Under the influence of humanistic psychologists like Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow, many of us Christians have begun to see our need for self-love and self-esteem.... this is a good and necessary focus" (You're Someone Special, Zondervan, 1978, p.22)
RAPHA HOSPITAL & ROBERT McGEE: "...self-worth, the feeling of significance is crucial to man's emotional, spiritual, and social stability, and is the driving element within the human spirit. Understanding this single need opens the door to understanding our actions and attitudes" (Search for Significance, p.14-15)
LARRY CRABB: [As he explains why he bases his theory of sanctification on the beliefs of humanistic philosopher Abraham Maslow] Crabb says, "People have one basic personal need which requires two kinds of input for its satisfaction. The most basic need is a sense of personal worth, an acceptance of oneself as a whole, real person." (p.61) Then on p.79 he says: "The essential factor in Maslow's theory is that people are not motivated to meet the 'higher' needs until the 'lower' or more basic ones are met." And on p. 80 Crabb says, "...the last need of self-actualization allows for a non-egocentric other-centered motivation to give rather than to get." (Effective Biblical Counseling, Zondervan, 1977,) Finally on p.81 Crabb says: "In order to be well-adjusted, you must reach the stage of self-actualization"
But does Crabb's "need" theology fit the Word of God? Luk 10:42 "But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her."
Another "Christian" author echoes the logical, yet heretical conclusion to this NEW belief: "The pattern is worked out like this: the one most basic need of man is to be loved. If a person has no self-love it will be next to impossible for that person to believe that God, or any person, really loves them. That unmet need for love eventually will drive them into ... sexual compulsiveness, ...." (Ed Hurst, HOMOSEXUALITY. p.9)
Some even go so far as to say that Jesus died for us because we were worth it. Cecil Osborne in The Art of Learning to Love Yourself, Zondervan, p.137 says: "There must be something truly wonderful about us if he (God) can love and accept us so readily". And Anthony Hoekema in The Christian Looks at Himself, Eerdmans, p.22 says: "Surely God would not give His Son for creatures He considered to be of little worth".
Yet, remember the words of Martin Luther quoted earlier: "God does not love us because we are valuable, we are valuable because God loves us". This means there is something wonderful about God, not us. He is worthy, not us. The appropriate response to the cross is not self-esteem, but worship of God!
Many others including MINIRTH, MEIRER, JOSH MCDOWELL, and other popular Christian teachers are proclaiming this new reformation of self-love and self-esteem. Where did they get these new concepts; from Scripture or from our self-obsessed culture? Paul Vitz, Prof.. at New York Univ. in his book, PSYCHOLOGY AS RELIGION: THE CULT OF SELF WORSHIP, very effectively demonstrates that the religion of our humanistic culture has infiltrated the evangelical church, like the Trojan horse of mythology.
VII. Do The Numbers Really Add Up? (Statistical Evidence Says No)
The research cited below is merely one small example of a rising mountain of evidence that stands against the modern version of selfism. Man's faddish theories come and go leaving in their destructive wake the lives of countless sheep. Yet God's Word stands forever (Isaiah 40:8). Please prayerfully examine the evidence. The desire to be esteemed is pride. Such is the very opposite of the triune God's humble character. He is the One who deflects esteem off of self and on to one another - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in pure agape love.
In the January 97 issue of SBC LIFE, p. 12, there is an article entitled, SELF-ESTEEM MOVEMENT SEEN AS THE CULPRIT: "The Doctor Says, 'We Were Wrong". In this article, the author says:
"Psychologist William Coulson helped found the movement to emphasize "self-esteem" as a path to school success. Today, he travels the country confessing, 'I take responsibility. I was part of this approach which has taken over our education system. We were wrong.'
". . . What explains this turnabout? Partly, new research debunking the notion that boosting a child's image of himself brings greater competence. For instance, a recent, exhaustive review of different classroom techniques known as 'Project Follow-Through' tracked 7,000 children at 139 sites across the country and discovered that the educational models focusing on self-esteem 'resulted in lower academic scores than any other model evaluated'.
". . . Leading researchers of self-esteem like Morris Rosenburg, Thomas Moeller, and Alfie Kohn now conclude that self-esteem does little or nothing to enhance success. More darkly, pushing the concept may actually bring new problems.
"A 1996 study in Psychological Review, the Journal of the American Psychological Association, indicates that an artificial emphasis on self-regard can actually increase violence and other anti-social behavior. '. . . , violence appears to be most commonly a result of threatened egotism - that is, highly favorable views of the self that are disrupted by some person or circumstance'."
Dr. Robyn Dawes, Acting Department Head, Dept. of Social and Decision Sciences, Carnegie Mellon University, winner of the APA William James Award in 1990, in his book House of Cards: Psychology and Psychotherapy Built on Myth, 1994, published by The Free Press says:
"We also know that the credentials and experience of the psychotherapists are unrelated to patient outcomes, based on well over five hundred scientific studies of psychotherapy outcome." (p. 38)
"Psychotherapy, has often been categorized a medical procedure, but as we have seen, it lacks the scientific grounding that characterizes modern medicine." (p. 133)
"Professionals in psychology and psychotherapy clearly benefit from a New Age psychology - it brings them clients. Unfortunately, they in turn contribute to and reinforce that psychology. . . . . the professionals' 'view' has become highly compatible with the new Age view. In particular, that very egoism . . . has come to be viewed as a necessary component of 'mental health.' . . . they are highly influenced by cultural beliefs and fads: currently, the obsession with 'me.' . . . . in particular, a view that feelings and self-esteem 'cause' certain problems, in the absence of evidence." (p. 250)
VIII. How Bad is it getting?
(Countless best-selling books, selling tens of millions of copies, are now being promoted by "conservative" Christian leaders, seminaries, and counselors)
Scott Peck "Christian" psychiatrist. Phenomenally successful, The Road Less Traveled, (15 yrs on bestseller lists). Integration of psychology & eastern religion. His many new age books are very popular within mainline and evangelical denominations.
Melodie Beattie Codependent No More. Promotes God within us all. It includes a chapter called - "Have A Love Affair With Yourself", which implies Jesus' was wrong.
Laura Davis Courage To Heal, a popular abuse "recovery" text that ridicules Christianity, advocates lesbianism, and new age spirituality. Recommended by many "Christian" counselors and seminary counseling programs.
John Gray Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. Current bestseller for marriage/family relationships. Subtle promotion of pantheistic, self-deification. On the cover of Susan Shumsky's book, Divine Revelation, Gray says: "In her book she teaches how to evolve into another "Christ", and even how to become an "I AM" Self.
John Bradshaw Home Coming: Reclaiming & Championing Your Inner Child. (#1 NY. Times Bestseller) In his acknowledgments, Bradshaw thanks his "Higher Power, who showers me with blessings and grace". Yet, he says the doctrine of original sin is the most destructive teaching in our culture.
Thomas Moore Care Of The Soul. (46 weeks as a New York Times Bestseller, Jungian archetypal psychologist) The book is endorsed by Bradshaw saying, "I soulfully recommend it without reservation". Moore's book is also endorsed by one of the leading new age gurus, Sam Keen, who says: "This book just may help you give up the futile quest for salvation and get down to the possible task of taking care of your soul" (Keen is author of Hymns To An Unknown God, and a keynote speaker at the annual State of the World Forum. On p. 71 Moore claims, "Narcissism is a condition in which a person does not love himself".
James Redfield The Celestine Prophecy. E. Kubler-Ross endorses its cover saying: "A fabulous book about experiencing life". And chapter one's focus is the evolution of our collective consciousness.
Brian Weiss, M.D. Many Lives Many Masters. (Graduate of Columbia Univ. and Yale Med. School, currently chairman of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Medical Ctr in Miami. The book is praised by the chairman of the Dept. of Psychiatry at Med. College of Wisconsin, and a former instructor at Harvard Medical School). The book's central thesis is the benefit of channeling spirit guides who proclaim such things as, "What we tell you is for now. You must now learn through your own intuition" (p.195).
Jack Canfield & Mark Hansen Chicken Soup For The Soul. (A #1 NY Times Bestseller)
These phenomenally popular authors compile writings from some of the most extreme teachers of self-exaltation and self-deification. On p. 79 in a poem by Gunther readers are encouraged to adopt a new identity: "Who are we really? the center that watches and runs the show . . . the I AM consciousness that powerful loving perfect reflection of the cosmos . . . ." And on p. 81 by Carter-Scott, we are told, "Your answers lie inside you. . . . All you need to do is look, listen, and trust".
And now there is the Chicken Soup For The Christian Soul.
IX. As The New World Turns: . . . . Where is it heading?
[Toward a generic pantheistic view of God, with a generic self-pleasing definition of love]
Journal Of Transpersonal Psychology, Vol. 25, No. 2, 1993. "The Transpersonal Movement: A History and State of the Art", pp. 135-136. "In short, during its first 25 years transpersonal psychology has become an international, interdisciplinary . . . movement."
". . . . it may in fact be true that 'The kingdom of heaven is within you (Christianity). by understanding the Self, all . . . is known (Upanishads). Look within, you are the Buddha (Buddhism). ". . . . Our world is in grave danger. But our world also rests in good hands, because ultimately, it rests in yours."
Media: Top rated TV shows and movies with new age, soul-healing themes. They offer access to God apart from the person and work of Jesus. (Example: "Touched By A False Angel of Light" 2 Cor 11:1-15)
Government: The Annual State of the World Forum, Hosted by the Gorbachev Foundation gathers major political and new age leaders hoping to form a UR to add to the UN.
Similar organizations such Lucis Trust/World Goodwill are influentially involved with UN policymakers pushing a new paradigm emphasizing new spiritual values.
(World Forum) http://www.worldforum.org/
(Lucis Trust) http://www.lucistrust.org/
(Example of popular new age self-deification movement) http://www.shareintl.org/Welcome.html
Science: Even many top physical scientists in the fields of physics, astronomy, and biology are reaching beyond objective empiricism into subjective speculation about the evolution of consciousness. Their guesses are based on unfounded extrapolations of quantum theory, chaos theory, superstring theory, information theory, etc. and they paint a picture that reflects the axioms of eastern religions. (for example: Fritjof Capra & The Tao of Physics. Physicist David Bohm & his "implicate order" substrate which is analogous to Hindu "maya". Francis Crick of DNA fame, & John Eccles - Nobel Prize recipient - a quantum consciousness advocate. Stephen Gould - punctuated evolution by some mysterious force. Lynn Margulis of the Univ. of Massachusetts & her Gaia theory of a symbiogenesis - mother nature as goddess, etc..)
X. What Can We Do?
Pray (1Thes 5:17), Evangelism, Discipleship (Mat 28:18-20) are God's Strategy
Test everything with careful, systematic exegesis of Scripture (Acts 17:11)
Study the Word (2 Tim 2:14-15; Psa 119:9-12; Psa 1)
Live the Word (Gal 5:22-24; John 13:34-35; Gal 2:20; Mat 5-7)
Share the Word (2 Tim 2:23-26; 2 Cor 10:3-5; Acts 17; 1Pet 3:15; Col 4:6)
Send letters of concern (respectfully), plus books, articles, booklets, tapes, etc. to those who unwittingly spread unbiblical teachings.