"What do I mean by sin? Answer: Any human condition or
act that robs God of glory by stripping one of his children of their
right to divine dignity. ... I can offer still another answer: `Sin is
any act or thought that robs myself or another human being of his or her
"And what is `hell'? It is the loss of pride that
naturally follows separation from God -- the ultimate and unfailing
source of our soul's sense of self-respect. `My God, my God, why hast
thou forsaken me?' was Christ's encounter with hell. In that `hellish'
death our Lord experienced the ultimate horror -- humiliation, shame,
and loss of pride as a human being. A person is in hell when he has
lost his self-esteem. Can you imagine any condition more tragic than
to live life and eternity in shame?"
"Labels such as, `evangelical,' `fundamental,' `charismatic,' `liberal'
contribute to polarization and produce a climate of implied or outspoken
distrust. Respectful dialogue becomes virtually impossible. What
we desperately need to offset this disunity and distrust is a new and
theology of communication."
"Are we aware that theology has failed to accommodate and
apply proven insights in human behavior as revealed by twentieth-century
"A widespread tension has too long existed between psychologists and
theologians. Both disciplines should be committed to the healing of the
human spirit. Both can and must learn from each other. Neither one can
claim to have 'the whole truth.' Conflict between theology and
psychology points to a need for growth and accommodation until the
contradiction in thought is reconciled on the altar of truth. What
we need is a theological restructuring which synergizes
scientific and spiritual truths as related to the human being."
"What is our Lord's
greatest passion for his church today? Believe that he wants his
followers to respect themselves as equal children of God and to treat
all other human beings with that same respect. ...
I believe we know that Jesus would say
something like this to us: '...Receive and the enjoy the fruit of
salvation: Self-esteem, self-worth. ...
"If the gospel of Jesus Christ can be proclaimed as a theology of
self-esteem, imagine the health this could generate in society!"
"Many sincere students within the larger body of believers are turned
off by a theology that offers nothing more than a classical heaven and
hell proposition. The alternative theology of mission focuses on
peace, brotherhood, and economic equality. And the tension between these
two theologies of mission is strong in the church today. Somehow a
strong fresh theology of mission must be articulated that will allow
sincere followers of both points of view to merge mind, motive,
method, and message."
[The dialectic process --
merging opposites into a new truth]
"We are born to soar. We are children of God. ... The Fatherhood of God
offers a deep spiritual cure for the inferiority complex and lays the
firm foundation for a solid spiritual self-esteem."
defines sin as `rebellion against God.'
The answer is not incorrect as much as it is shallow and insulting to the human being.
Every person deserves to be treated with dignity even if he or she is a
"The core of original sin, then is LOT: Lack Of Trust. Or, it could be considered an innate inability to adequately value ourselves. Label it a
'negative self-image,' but do not say that the central core of the human soul is wickedness.
positive Christianity does not hold to human depravity, but to human inability. I am humanly unable to correct my negative self-image
until I encounter a life-changing experience with non- judgmental
bestowed upon me by a Person whom I admire so much that to be
unconditionally accepted by him is to be born again."
"To be born again means
that we must be changed from a negative to a positive self-image--from
inferiority to self-esteem, from fear to love, from doubt to trust."
"The Cross sanctifies the ego trip. For the Cross protected our
Lord's perfect self-esteem from turning into sinful pride."
"Historical theology has too often failed to interpret repentance as a
positive creative force. ... Essentially, if Christianity is to succeed
in the next millennium, it must cease to be a negative religion and must
"Negative-thinking theologians looked at the doctrine of sin, salvation
and repentance... through distorted glasses tinted with mortification
mentality. Too many prayers of confession of sin and repentance have
been destructive to the emotional health of Christians....
I am not fully forgiven until I allow God to write his new dream
for my life on the blackboard of my mind, and I dare to believe 'I am;
therefore, I can. I am a child of God. ... God has a great plan to
"The emerging church, reformed according to the needs of
self-esteem-starved-souls under the Lordship of Christ.... will help us
to affirm the concept that 'While god's ideas may seem humanly
impossible, he will give us these ideas which will lead to glorious,
"Protestants quote their Bible, Fundamentalists declare their orthodox
theological dogmas, and we are all expected to renounce private
reflection and peacefully acquiesce to these pronouncements. And the
result is that the dignity of the person is violated by such
oppressive, intelligence- smothering forms of communication."
"Christ is the Ideal One, for he was Self-Esteem Incarnate."
"...the kingdom of
God is that invisible collection of committed Christians that transcends
cultures, ideologies... and creeds-- all bound by the golden commitment
to say nothing and do nothing that would attack the self-esteem, the
self-respect, and the dignity of any other human being, whether or not
they are committed members of the kingdom of God. The dignity of the
person then is the irreducible cell of true Christianity."
"The tragedy of Christendom today is the existence of entire
congregations of church members who are dominated by emotionally
deprived or emotionally under-developed persons. These congregations
have been accurately labeled `God's Frozen People.' ... And they do this
by exercising narrow authoritarianism in doctrines and practices and by
sowing seeds of suspicion and dissension in the religious community. ...
By contrast, strong persons--self-assured personalities, whose egos find
their nourishment in a self-esteem-generating personal relationship with
Jesus Christ--dare to face contrary opinions, diverse interpretations,
and deviations of theology without becoming disrespectful, judgmental,
or accusatory." (pp.
"The classical error of historical Christianity is that we have never
started with the value of the person. Rather, we have started from
the `unworthiness of the sinner...."