by Jon Orcutt
How come they taught me ideas that were discarded even by evolutionists years ago? Why did they not let me consider the evidence put forward by creationists? The way I conduct my life is very dependent on my beliefs about origins. Why did they not allow me to hear all the information? Is that not what education is all about?
Do you share these sentiments about your education? The educator who raised the above questions hit upon a very important point: The way you conduct your life is very dependent on your beliefs about origins. Take, for example, the powerful and influential self-esteem movement, which is so prevalent in both the government educational system and even the evangelical church in America and around the world.
The self-esteem movement in brief holds that self-esteem, (a favorable estimation of one’s self worth), is achieved by the accumulation of “things” or qualities which are valued by others, such as wealth, status, popularity, romance and academic or athletic recognition. It contends that this unfulfilled need for self-esteem underlies every act. If this be the case, then proper self-esteem is the secret to a happy life, and it is the solution to such problems as psychological depression, an aimless culture and the unfathomable violence that pervades our classrooms and our society at large. Is the answer found in attending a training seminar on how to recognize your true worth by writing essays on why you do or do not like yourself, or acting out the skit, “A Pat on the Back,” or learning how to “feel good” about yourself? According to some “experts”, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” According to the best-selling book Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, “Self-esteem is the single greatest need facing the human race today.”(p.19) A leading Christian psychologist writes, “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… I have no doubt that this is their greatest need.” (James Dobson, What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew About Women,Wheaton: Tyndale House, 1975, p. 35).
The core flaw in this cult of the self is found in its several various names: self-esteem, self-worth, self-image, and self-love. There is an unbiblical preoccupation and absorption with self. In simple terms, the self-esteem movement idolizes self. Self has the pre-eminence. The Bible says that Christ, our Creator, is to have the pre-eminence (Colossians 1:18). He, Christ, is the one to be esteemed, loved and counted worthy of worship and praise. Fulfillment and purpose is in living your life in loving worship and service to your Creator and Redeemer. As you marry, work, and worship, all is done to the redounding glory of the triune God revealed in the holy Bible. Compared to Christ, wealth, fame, status, high position and power are counted as loss, as rubbish or dung. In direct contrast, the self-esteem movement teaches that worth is found in a survival-of-the-fittest acquisition of wealth, status, position, fame and power. However, man’s worth is not because he evolved to be superior to some lower form of life, but because he is the creation and image-bearer of his God. Genesis 1:27 says: “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God, He created him: male and female He created them.” Worth is to be found in Christlikeness, and that involves not only loving God, but also loving and esteeming others better than yourself. We love ourselves too much as it is!
The cult of “self” pursues at a maddening pace the idols of this world. The net effect is a culture of self-absorption, depression, broken families, and unparalleled violence and crime. The antidote is to esteem only the Lamb of God Who is worthy to receive praise, honor and glory.
Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!”
Revelation 5:11-12 ESV