One thing I have noticed amongst many Pentecostal/ Charismatic churches of late, is their propensity towards pampering and self-indulgence. Women’s ministries and outreaches are geared around ‘pampering women into the Kingdom.’ I recently met a beautiful woman at work who is not a Christian, but is just starting to seek God. A friend of hers is Pentecostal and attends one of the local mega-churches. This mega-church is doing an ‘outreach’ for women, but it is in the form of confidence building classes. My friend from work has now been attending these classes for about eight weeks, and she absolutely loves them. Joyce Meyer resources are used and my friend is learning how to love and believe in herself. I recently had a conversation with her regarding the classes, and I asked her what she’d learnt about Jesus. She said that she had been told that Jesus loves her and that makes her very happy. Okay. So I persisted. ‘But have they shared the gospel with you? Have they told you about Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, and how you are separated from Him because of your sin? Have they told you that you must repent?’ She looked at me like I am an idiot and said, “No, they haven’t. I don’t really understand that stuff anyway. I just want to learn how to love myself.’ So for eight weeks my work mate has been physically attending the church, sitting through two hour classes, and yet has NOT been given the gospel! She is instead having her confidence built through mantra of, ‘You’re a strong, independent woman,’ ‘You’re beautiful and have value,’ You can achieve anything you want.’ And while these things may be helping my friend with her self-esteem, they are not bringing her any closer to God.
I have presented my work mate with the gospel. The true, saving gospel which is centred on Christ, and His saving work, not on our self-esteem. This notion of self-esteem is alien to me. The more we are told that we are worthy, we are valuable, and, we can achieve anything we want, the further from God’s truth we are being taken. Unless we understand how truly depraved we are, unless we understand that we are unable to save ourselves, and unless we understand that we NEED a Saviour, we will die in our sins. If we had it in us to save ourselves, we would. But we don’t. The Bible is very clear on our true state without God.
Genesis 6:5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
Psalm 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Psalm 58:3 The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray from birth, speaking lies.
Ephesians 2:1-3 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived …
John 3:19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
Romans 3:10-11 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.
Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
Proverbs 14:12 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.
Romans 8:7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.
Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
Isaiah 64:6 We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
Matthew 7:17-18 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.
Titus 3:3 For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another.
1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
My work mate needs Jesus, and building her confidence and self-esteem will take her no closer to the Lord than she currently is. She needs to know that she is totally depraved, as we all are. We are born depraved. The Bible teaches that as a result of man’s fall every part of him (his mind, will, emotions and flesh) is totally corrupted. In other words, we are so affected by sin that it is in every part of us. Everything we do is affected by sin that is so much a part of us. My workmate needs to hear this until she has a true picture of her true state before the Lord. I am so disappointed that this mega-church has had her presence and attention for eight weeks and has squandered it with a worldly message that will not help her in the light of eternity. She can get the self-esteem message from any women’s magazine or cosmetic commercial. She shouldn’t be hearing it from people claiming to be a church. That is maddening. I will continue declaring the gospel to my work-mate and praying that the Lord will reveal His truth to her. Only then will she see that Christ alone is worthy; the only real message she needs to hear.