The First Baptist Church in Beckley, West Virgina, organized a conference to help young girls build self-esteem in defiance of a beauty culture which fixates upon superficial features. (Snip) “Their belly may not be completely flat today, or ever, and that’s OK, because God created us in His image, so…deal with it, you’re perfect.” Certainly, girls and young women ought to be encouraged to look beyond the superficial. That said, should any self-evaluation result in the conclusion that you are perfect? Promoting self-esteem has become a primary goal of education and community activities involving children.
I dont disagree with #1, but at the same time am reminded of something a priest and mentor once told me. He said perfection is the work of God minus the work of man. Thus, the scraggliest old tree in the woods is perfect, and the most manicured Christmas tree is less so. The distinction has more spiritual than practical significance, but it is something to ponder.
I hope they teach them what Peter wrote: ´´Do not let your adornment be merely outward--arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel -- rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.´´
If fairly portrayed in the article, the message just isn´t Christian: "(A perfect) God made me, so I must be perfect." According to basic traditional Christian theology, that´s leaving out a pretty important concept, something that came between God´s creation that he declared "good," and every person as she/he exists now - a little thing called sin that spoiled everything (and everyone), and from which redemption is possible in Christ.
The trouble is that the western church has largely forsaken the traditional Christian message for a Christianized version of therapism, self-improvement, and self-help that amounts to little more than worldliness with a God-talking twist and a Bible verse slapped on it, and sold as relevant Christian faith that really makes a difference (often, also sold as completely different from that stodgy, old-fashioned, boring, small church you remember from your childhood).
When done well, it works, attracting people in considerable numbers (if that is the point), but it the end it bastardizes the gospel.
There are a lot of people in terrible shape, obese with tons of health problems at 45, because they totally let themselves go when they were younger. And they often mentally justify their condition using this same logic -- that this is how God ´´made them´´.
Yes, we need to downplay the obsession of this society of physical attractiveness as an ends to a means. But we do still need to emphasize healthy living for the health benefits of it. Otherwise, we aren´t helping our kids at all.
Self esteem has nothing to do with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Scripture says: I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
I didn´t see anywhere in the description of the program that they were promoting "self-esteem." The woman interviewed says "One goal of the Christian-based conference is to assure girls that beauty is not in the eye of the beholder but in the “eye of the Creator." Looking to God as the judge of your beauty sounds fairly counter-cultural to me.
Have any of you been around young girls lately? They´re obsessed with appearance. They´re bombarded with messages urging them to look like whatever size zero actress happens to be in the gossip pages that week. Honestly, it was pretty bad when I was a kid that age 40+ years ago, but I see my teenage daughter struggling with this and it´s heartbreaking. The average age girls begin to diet is between 8-10. No matter what "healthy behavior" girls practice, they probably won´t look like the airbrushed images they see. I see nothing wrong with teaching that God has a whole different idea about beauty than does the world around them.
The self-esteem movement started in California, I´m pretty sure, about 20 years ago. My mother-in-law was heavily involved. She is a space cadet. It was utter nonsense back then as I suspect it is today.
I thought it had died. If there is anything to it at all, it should come from the parents. If it doesn´t, it likely doesn´t work. Parents, and the lack thereof, is the biggest problem we face, running just ahead of the idiots who work for and run the government.
Self-esteem is a term used in psychology to reflect a person´s overall emotional evaluation of his or her own worth. It is a judgment of oneself as well as an attitude toward the self. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs (for example, "I am competent," "I am worthy") and emotions such as triumph, despair, pride and shame. [snip] Synonyms or near-synonyms of self-esteem include: self-worth, self-regard, self-respect, and self-integrity.
Sounds well-intentioned. But it also sounds like the organizers of this conference need to consult with the authoritative teaching office of their church before the next one. What this article reports is in conflict with some key parts of what the Christian faiths have traditionally taught (probably their own Baptist tenets, too).
Self-esteem is a politically-correct euphemism for self-righteousness, which is a favorite way arrogance disguises itself to look harmless (when it is really among the deadliest indulgences a human heart can find).
A healthy ego is a humble ego -- neither condemning nor exalting itself or others, and not denying the damage caused by human sin, but joyfully leaving all judgment in Christ´s hands.
Reply 19 - Posted by:
Grant Hodges, 8/20/2013 11:17:48 AM (No. 9482577)
Any actual Bible scholar knows that self esteem is an alien doctrine to the Church. Shame on those who think themselves well-informed about Christianity but do not know this. Scripture says "esteem other better than ourselves", and that we are born in sin. To say anything otherwise is to set oneself up as a judge of God and Scripture.
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