Tuesday, February 27, 2007

SELF ESTEEM GONE BAD!


Here is a good snapshot of how our young people are developing, this from wires concerning a study of narcissism among college kids;

"We need to stop endlessly repeating 'You're special' and having children repeat that back," said the study's lead author, Professor Jean Twenge of San Diego State University. "Kids are self-centered enough already."

Twenge and her colleagues, in findings to be presented at a workshop Tuesday in San Diego on the generation gap, examined the responses of 16,475 college students nationwide who completed an evaluation called the Narcissistic Personality Inventory between 1982 and 2006."

While there are some obvious positives to confidence this study gives evidence as to the damage done in relationships by those scoring high on this test. The study asserts that narcissists "are more likely to have romantic relationships that are short-lived, at risk for infidelity, lack emotional warmth, and to exhibit game-playing, dishonesty, and over-controlling and violent behaviors." We see that narcissists tend to lack empathy, react aggressively to criticism and favor self-promotion over helping others. This inevitably affects and infects a culture. The researchers are claiming that this is the result of the self esteem movement of the 1980's. It is the movement gone bad.

The greater problem as I see it, is that this has crept into our churches. We have mega churches preaching a narcissistic Gospel. Your best life now, the power of positive thinking, speaking victory into your situation etc. I could go on and on but this self esteem movement is not just affecting the culture of those who have grown up under it. This is impacting churches as people are being led astray with a false Gospel. People are residing in churches that have taught and are teaching them that they deserve to have all the earthly rewards they can get, because they deserve it. The reason these "churches" explode is that the message resonats to the way many of the attendees have been raised. They have been raised by permissive parents who have made them idols. So of course they love these narcissistic churches.

The problem for them is that the Gospel, the one Jesus preached is far different than what they are taught. Jesus said to count the cost, to follow Him would mean to be hated and persecuted. To be outcasts of the synagogue, which means social, familial and even religious ostracizing. Not the easy road preached by the false teachers of our day. Jesus also said that our life here should be about laying up treasures in Heaven, not on Earth! Again strikingly different from the heretics who promote the self exalting, self promoting Gospel.

Yes the young people, the college age are more narcissistic than ever, but the bigger news is that this trend has impacted the Church. The answer as always, is to return to the Word of God. To preach, teach and to live what is stayed, sure and absolute!

blog you later,
pastor tom
www.engagingyourworld.com