THE FALSE GOSPEL OF
"Christian counseling" has become a very prominent feature of the Church of Jesus Christ. The fact that the general area of "counseling" is rife with the philosophies of man results in great danger that the "wisdom" of this world will infiltrate the message of the Church at the expense of the wisdom of God. A growing deception found in Christian counseling (and throughout society) is the false gospel of "self-esteem" which is incompatible with the Biblical Gospel of the Cross of Jesus Christ.
Increasingly, the counseling mentality is that "low self-esteem" is the root cause of a teenager deciding to engage in pre-marital sex or of a house-wife who is always depressed. In fact, prominent Christian personalities can be heard to claim that society's greatest problem is that of "low self-esteem", and that everything from abortion, school drop-outs, teen pregnancy to rape, robbery, and poverty can be solved if only we help people to esteem themselves more highly; to love themselves more and more; and to realize their great self-worth!
Those of us who call ourselves Bible-believing Christians must ask some crucial questions. Is mankind's problem a lack of self-esteem or is it pride, self-centeredness and rebellion? Is the answer to our problem "building self-esteem" or is it brokenness and repentance at the foot of the Cross? And how about my "self-worth"? Doesn't God's Word say that in-and-of my "self" I am worthy of eternal hell?
THE REBELLION OF SELF
The origin of the theology of "selfism" can be found in Isaiah 14:12-14 where Satan's long list of self-exalting "I will's" are recorded. Satan then took his message of "Self" to the Garden of Eden in Genesis three where, in the form of the serpent, he told Eve that she could be her own god and decide for herself what is right and wrong. Revelation 12:9 says, "...that serpent, Satan, who deceives the whole world."
Far from exalting or esteeming "self", Jesus says in Matthew 16 that we should deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow him. Jesus says in Matthew 22:34-40 that the two (not three, but two!) greatest commandments are to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus wasn't, also, giving us a third commandment to love ourselves. He was acknowledging that even in our sin nature we love ourselves already: we feed ourselves, we clothe ourselves. He is saying, "Now, go and serve other people like you are already serving yourself."
The whole Christian life is built upon dying to self and serving God and serving people. We are to get our eyes off of self and fix our "eyes on Jesus the author and perfector of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2). People-in-need must realize that they are helpless and hopeless, but, "While we were yet sinners Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) Through repentance we find forgiveness and then a life of surrender; of trusting and obeying. What we must respond to is, not any sense of our own worth, but the fact that Jesus loves us and has a purpose for our lives, and he wants to use us!
THE WORLD RELIGION
The Bible says that there is coming a one-world religion whose inspiration is the author of "Selfism". May we never take part in synthesizing the Evangelical Church into that one-world religion. First Timothy 4:1 tells us that, "In latter times some will abandon the faith and follow after seducing spirits and the doctrines of devils." And 2 Timothy 3 warns, "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves..." and chapter three goes on to list the inevitable results of a self-absorbed society.
As we counsel people in the midst of crisis or tragedy or trouble of any kind, I pray that we will give them Jesus, and him crucified; having confidence that in his word, God, "...has given us everything we need for life and godliness." (2 Peter 1:3)
Joh 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
1Pe 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
Fine Tuned Universe The Eternity Of Hell's Torments (Audio) (MP3) The 2nd death
The false gospel of self esteem has replaced the truth of our total unworthiness and has infected other "mega" church leaders with psychological heresy. A false teacher will "preach" self esteem. There are many, be aware and don't follow the "guru's"
The False Gospel of
Dr. James Dobson
Dr. James Dobson is founder and president of Focus on the Family , a media and educational organization consisting of 72 separate ministries, each dedicated to the preservation of the home. He is heard on more than four thousand radio facilities around the world and publishes 11 magazines read by 3 million people each month.
Dr. Dobson has been a licensed psychologist and marriage, family, and child counselor for 24 years. (Taken from the back inside dust jacket of Dobson's book, Solid Answers. )
During these 24 years, Dr. James C. Dobson has been propagating the gospel of self-esteem, and self-esteem is still (to this day) his "good news".
In the book of Galatians, we see how Paul dealt with anyone who would propagate a false gospel. In Galatians 1:8-9, Paul writes,
But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.
What false gospel was Paul dealing with in Galatians? It was a perversion of the true gospel (Galatians 1:7, "pervert the gospel of Christ"). It was Jesus plus the law, Christ plus circumcision. Paul pointed out that following such a gospel would actually separate them from Christ. In other words, it would damn their soul (Galatians 1:6; 5:2, 4). Dr. Dobson's gospel is just as damning, and even more erroneous.
The Galatian heresy did not redefine the basic problem of mankind (which is sin, Romans 3:10-18). All this heresy taught was that the law must be kept. Faith was still to be placed upon Christ, but the law also must be kept to be found righteous before God. Dobson's false gospel actually redefines man's basic problem into a problem of low self-esteem, and then gives the answer to this basic problem -- high self-esteem. It is all in intense deceit, because he speaks of sin and Christ also. But, nonetheless, it boils down to a perverted gospel.
If you are familiar with Dobson's teaching, you would know that Dobson's basic tenet is this low self-esteem/high self-esteem dilemma and answer. He has propagated this "gospel" at least since the publishing of his book in 1974, Hide or Seek, How To Build Self-Esteem in Your Child . Note how Dobson redefines man's basic problem into "low self-esteem". With emphasis (the three last sentences being written in italics), he writes,
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 is not something humans are free to take or leave. We must have it, and when it is unattainable, everybody suffers. (p. 21)
There you have Dobson's definition of the problem of mankind. All these problems, according to Dobson, exist because of a shortage of "personal worth". This is Dobson's fiction. The truth is, the reason all these problems exist is because " they did not like to retain God in their knowledge " (Romans 1:28). Therefore,
God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness [mental illness, neuroticism]; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud [high self-esteem], boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving [hatred], unforgiving, unmerciful ; [alcoholics (drunkards) and drug abusers] (Romans 1:28-31).
Thus, we have "social disorder" because men have refused to "glorify Him as God, nor were thankful" (Romans 1:21). In other words, all these things are a result of sin (Romans 3:23), not because "the keys of self-esteem are . . . out of reach"!
So, we have Dobson's gospel which begins with the problem of low self-esteem. His answer ("good news") is, of course, high self- esteem. As he writes in this same book (Hide or Seek),
The heart of this book, then, is devoted to a description of ten comprehensive 'strategies' for building self-esteem, . . . (p. 21)
There we have the gospel of Dr. James Dobson in a nutshell. Man's problem? Low-self esteem. The answer? High self-esteem. Compare this with the true gospel. Man's problem? Sin. The answer? Jesus Christ.
If there was any question as to whether self-esteem was really Dobson's "good news" and his core doctrine, note what Dobson wrote in his book, What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Women,
Joyce Landorf, the gifted authoress of His Stubborn Love, recently asked people to answer the following question: What would you change about women in general if you could wave some magic wand? My answer, which is now published with the other replies in her book The Fragrance of Beauty, is quoted below: If I could write a prescription for the women of the world, I would provide each one of them with a healthy dose of self-esteem and personal worth (taken three times a day until the symptoms disappear). I have no doubt that this is their greatest need. (p. 35)
Dobson has "no doubt that this is their greatest need."! Who is Mr. Dobson speaking of? Christians? Non-Christians? He says, ". . . the women of the world,". What is the greatest need for ANY woman? The Lord Jesus Christ! It is NOT ". . . a healthy dose of self-esteem and personal worth . . ."! This is another gospel (Galatians 1:8-9).
Dr. Dobson is a deceiver, and has deceived the masses. The above is actually only the tip of the iceberg of the false teaching of "America's foremost family counselor". Psychological deceit pervades his writings and material. Several have documented some of this fallacy, yet most refuse to identify the man for what he really is -- a false teacher (2 Peter 2:1-3).
We are to note, rebuke and oppose false teachings.
Rom 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
2 Thess 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
3:14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.
Jude 1:3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
The fear of man and political correctness saturates the "Christianity" of today.
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Fine Tuned Universe The Eternity Of Hell's Torments (Audio) (MP3) The 2nd death