Gary Ezzo

Godworth and the Self-Worth Crisis

Tape #1 -- "The Basis of Dignity"

-  The whole human dignity/human worth concept and Ezzo's explanation of it comes straight out of secular psychology, not the Bible as Ezzo claims. He has merely dressed-up this psychology in divine language.

Tape #2 -- "Self-Worth & Man's Conscience"

-  This tape reeks with religious humanism; i.e., taking the humanists self-love concepts and recasting them in Christian terminology.

-  Ezzo claims we get our value by creation and by imputation. Particularly offensive is Ezzo's claim that Christ's death speaks of our great worth to Him, as assessed by Him. This is blasphemy!

-  Ezzo's extra-Biblical explanation of the human conscience ("lower and higher conscience") is Freudian.

-  Ezzo's "Good boy, Gary" routine sounds hauntingly like Josh McDowell's rendition of God telling him, "You're special, Josh." The self-love teaching is nauseous.

Tape #3 -- "Moral Character Development"

-  Ezzo claims that the "four temperaments" used to deduce personality types is from God. Actually, they are derived from astrology, and popularized and brought into the church by Tim LaHaye.

-  Ezzo's description of how the conscience works is Freudian; he teaches the concept of "unconscious"/memory tapes playing in one's head.

Tape #4 -- "Illusiveness of Self-Esteem"

-  Ezzo spends considerable time giving the correct interpretation of what the Bible really teaches on self-love, but then Christianizes the whole secular mess to come up with his own self-love theory -- rather than calling it "feeling good about ourselves," we now have "feeling right about ourselves." Ezzo has found a "legitimate way to feel right about yourself."

-  Ezzo makes an artificial distinction between self-esteem and self-worth, expecting us to believe that self-worth is actually from God.

-  Ezzo teaches that to feel right about yourself, i.e., good self-esteem, is in reality, humility! -- if you're humble and obedient, then you can have good self-esteem. What a perversion of the English language and God's Word! To quote, "Self-esteem ... is rooted in humility and is activated by obedience ... if you want to feel good about yourself, humble yourself and obey God."

-  According to Ezzo, as long as you've got God, then you can have good self-esteem, feel good/ right about yourself, have a favorable opinion about self, etc., and its all okay. But, without God, this same self-esteem would be wrong -- Ezzo has God sanctifying self!

-  Ezzo has fallen into the same "shopping mall theology" trap as have most self-love proponents (McDowell, Swindoll, Dobson, etc.) -- 'The value of the object is what I am willing to pay for it or how precious it is to me.'

Tape #5 -- "Humanism & Self-Esteem"

-  Ezzo plays word games with us -- feeling "good" is bad, while feeling "right" is good. 'Since human worth comes from God, God-worth gives me self-esteem.' -- and he sees no contradiction is all this!

-  Ezzo teaches that the secular model of self-esteem is wrong because it is relative (i.e., no absolute standard), but he fails to see that the "religious model" he has constructed is just as relative. Except this time, the relative choice of a standard is the God-standard. It's still secular self-esteem, just dressed-up in divine language this time -- 'I can feel good about myself inside of "God's gracious plan of redemption."'

Tape #6 -- "Humanism and the Self-Esteem Curriculum"

-  Ezzo rehashes the feel "good" versus the feel "right" distinction. He also Christianizes the world's practice of "give to get" (i.e., giving or doing good for what I can expect to get out of it).

-  Ezzo teaches again that our value was the reason for God's redemption of us (rather than our great sin that required such a great price)?

Biblical Discernment Ministries - 11/95