Blasphemy of the Self-Esteem Teachers*

"Honor ... or esteem ... all the honor and esteem is given to Him. ... In complete humility, we are to cast ourselves on our face. ... All the honor, all the esteem, is His for what He's done. Need I say, there's no place here for self-worth and self-esteem? There's a tragedy of immeasurable magnitude that we have people who claim to belong to the living God; we have churches that claim to be Bible believing churches, that are robbing God of that which alone belongs to Him. All the esteem, all the honor, is His for the work of salvation.

"What blasphemy is being promoted from within the church today! -- that people find a way to say 'You want to know how valuable I am? You want to know how much worth I have? You want to know what gives me self-esteem? God thought I was valuable enough to die for.' That's blasphemy. That's robbing God of that which is His alone. Whether the men preaching it belong to the living God or not, I do not know, and it's not necessary for me to know. God knows. But I tell you what is being preached by these men is blasphemy. In heaven itself, all the host of heaven, including the redeemed, declare that all the honor, all the esteem, all the credit goes to God only, and anyone who would try to divert some of that glory, honor, and esteem to man is robbing God and is guilty of blasphemy. [Some of the men documented to be teaching this "blasphemy" are Charles Stanley, Chuck Swindoll, Josh McDowell, Gary Ezzo, John MacArthur, David Hocking, Dennis Rainey, and John Stott.]

"We need to be clear on this which is at the heart of Biblical Christianity -- the salvation of the lost soul. And that which is the foundation and heart of Biblical Christianity is under attack. And the Church is asleep! -- anyone saying, 'My! You have established my worth; You have given me a real sense of self-esteem.' When we move to heaven and find out all the host of heaven -- angels and redeemed alike -- are on their face before God declaring that He is the only One to be esteemed we say, 'How did the paganism of this world, the worship of the Canaanite people (to draw the analogy) so grip the hearts of the people who have declared themselves to be the people of God?' What a tragedy. All the honor, all the esteem, goes to the One who alone is worthy -- because salvation comes from our God on the throne and from the Lamb. There is no mercy if it had to do with my worth. It is not of grace if it had to do with my value.

"But, oh it's hard, for us as sinners, to declare ourselves worthless, without value, and cast ourselves on God's mercy and grace. In heaven there's no question. The whole host is there. Can you imagine me strutting forth ... and saying, 'Oh yes, we ascribe all the glory to God, and do you realize my worth? Have you esteemed me properly? I want you to know, I'm filled with thoughts of myself. I've got a good self-image as we gather here before the throne.' Everybody else on their face before the throne and me strutting around worth something, full of a good self-image and self-esteem?

"There won't be anybody in heaven doing that. And I fear that many of those doing it on earth aren't going to be there. We're at the heart of what Biblical Christianity is. We're not dealing with a side issue. We're talking about, according to verse 10 [Rev. 7:10], the salvation that comes from our God. Can you not have this straight and be a child of God? It ought to be a tremendous concern to all of us in the Church of Jesus Christ today."

* Taken from a commentary on Revelation 7:11,12, preached 11/29/92 (Gil Rugh). 

Biblical Discernment Ministries - 11/92