In the day we live in, the "we" being first world America, we are blessed to be free. Freedom from unjust punishment, freedom from oppression and freedom to worship. We withing the 21st century are also free from countless diseases that have crippled whole societies, and still do in poorer nations. The way we have done so is through "inoculation".
It is I believe a common grace given to us by God. It is He that has allowed medicine to make the quantum leaps that it has and in turn allowed us to all but exterminate diseases like polio, rubella, measles, and scarlet fever.
Here in the States we are required to vaccinate our children if we want to enroll them in public school. Most of society frowns upon parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated. Epithets are slung at such parent, judgmental words like; "unloving" "irresponsible" or "ignorant".
But this blog will not be dealing with the pros or cons of vaccinating our children from physical disease, but to warn how we who claim to love our children are inoculating them in a way that will kill them.
What? Vaccines are meant to save lives and improve the quality of life, how can the inoculations we are giving our children be so deadly and what are they so I can avoid them?
The inoculation I speak of is in the drug class called "Self". This certain brand of drug comes in many forms, like "Self-Worth" and "Self-Esteem". It is a vaccine that has been around since the serpent first uttered the words "did God truly say?" From that moment with each successive generation we have injected this potent strain of "Self" into ourselves and our children, and the human race has paid a heavy price.
We feed ourselves and our children positive platitudes that are meant to encourage but in the end lead to men and women who see no need for a Savior.
Tell me, have you not heard or said things like, "oh you are really a good person, you just made a mistake." Or, "who cares what people think, be yourself." And who hasn't heard this one, "As long as it makes you happy that's all that matters." "Believe in yourself and you can do anything." And to be more contemporary, "Haters going to hate" (I still don't really know what that means.)
After all that you may ask, "ok, so how is believing in ones self wrong? And what exactly are we supposedly vaccinating ourselves from?
Good question, let me answer the second question briefly and then get to the first question.
As we grow ever more secure in ourselves our self-esteem becomes the foundation of our daily lives. We are already self absorbed by nature, but the more we deceive ourselves we are essentially protecting ourselves from the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Or in other words as we grow more selfish we are building up a defense against the one and only thing that can save us.
It is happening in the physical realm. Scientists and doctors are discovering that because of the increased use and need for antibiotics (mainly because of increased STD's) we are actually creating "Super Bugs". These super bugs are bacteria that have mutated and are no longer susceptible to the effects of antibiotics.
And so it is with the spiritual realm. As we grown in self-love we are creating a nature within ourselves that becomes immune to the effects of the Gospel.
In his book "The Vanishing Conscience" on page 80, John MacArthur writes "for years, educational experts, psychologists and a growing number of Christian leaders have championed self-esteem as panacea (cure) for all sorts of human miseries." He continues by pointing out what these experts think the cure for the human ailment consists of, "According to the purveyors of this doctrine, if people feel good about themselves they will behave better..."
The belief goes that people are basically good and that all the bad that happens must be caused by external forces. Therefore, to save humanity all we need to do is build up self-esteem, educated people better, give people access to medical care and raise them out of their economic plights (that sounds an awful like our current administration).
Any Christian with an ounce of discernment and a little awareness of their sinfulness should beg to differ with such ways of thinking. Scripture is very explicit about the condition of man, and it is not a picture that paints us in a flattering light.
Yet, for those who may not see anything wrong with what those "experts" say is the cure for humanities ailments let me remind you of Scriptures take on the topic.
Rom 5:18-19- We, through Adam, are born sinners and under condemnation which makes us unable to...
-Do anything good; Gen 6:5, Job 15:14-16, Psalm 143:2, John 3:19, Romans 3:9-12
-Believe in God (or come to Him); John 6:44, John 6:65, John 8:43-45
-Understand the truth; John 14:17, 1Cor 2:14
We are also shown that we are...
-Dead in sins; Eph 2:1-3, Gen 2:16-17, John 3:5-7
-Blind and Corrupted in heart; Gen 6:5, Jer 17:9, Mark 7:21-23, John 3:19-21. Eph 4:17-19
-Have free will according to our nature, but our nature is wholly evil; Job 14:4, Mat 7:16-18, Matt 12:33, Mark 7:21-23
So tell me, just by looking at these few passages of Scripture, should we find anything that is worthy of our self-esteem? It is human nature to love self, that is what sin is, the rebellion against God's Law and the establishment of our own.
And this is were the danger comes in with self-esteem. MacAthur continues on pg 102 in which he quotes a non-Christian Jewish scholar that says "...The most destructive of all (speaking of consequences), those who believe people are basically good conclude that people do not need to feel accountable of their behavior to God and to religion, only to themselves."
Does that not describe the state of our society? How often is that phrase stated? Maybe not in those exact words, but maybe more along the lines of "what I believe is good for me, what you believe is good for you."
The more people grow in self-love the more they will fight the truth that they are in need of a Savior, but it is not a hopeless condition. In my next post I will attempt to show that this is one inoculation that can be reversed.
In all thing be the glory to God
John the Lesser.