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Robert Schuller Is Against Jesus Christ
January 2006

Dr. Robert H. Schuller is the founder and senior pastor of the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California. The Hour of Power, the most widely televised one-hour church service in the world, is broadcast from his church every week to more than thirty million people in 184 countries on all seven continents. He and his wife, Arvella, started their church in 1955 at a rented drive-in theater, with only one hundred people in attendance. Today, one million people visit the Crystal Cathedral annually for regular Sunday worship, conferences, seminars, and workshops. (back inside dust jacket, Turning Hurts Into Halos, copyright 1999) [Schuller's son, Robert A. Schuller, is senior pastor as of January, 22, 2006]

I. Introduction

Schuller speaks against the word of God (see below), and when he does so, he speaks against our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (John 1:1, 14; Hebrews 4:12-13; Revelation 19:13) and leads people to eternal torment (Revelation 21:8).

Schuller declares,

I am convinced that the deepest of all human needs is salvation from sin and hell. (Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, copyright 1982, p. 14)

Sounds good (Matthew 12:34), but it is not good (Matthew 23:27-28), when it comes from the mouth of a false teacher (2 Peter 2:1) like Robert Schuller; because what Schuller means by "sin" and what Schuller means by "hell" is not what Scripture means.

Twenty years after his book, Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, Schuller preached from the pulpit of the Crystal Cathedral, and aired on the Hour of Power that same day, January 20, 2002, a message entitled, "Strength, Security and Serenity for YOU in 2002! Part II" in which he said,

The single deepest need in human existence is self-respect, self-esteem, honor and glory in personhood. (see footnote #1)

Clearly, this is a false gospel (Galatians 1:8-9, see our report on Dobson). But is Schuller contradicting himself? Not at all, he is quite consistent, because his idea of sin and hell and salvation is grossly perverted (Proverbs 14:2).

II. Hell

Schuller's definition of hell:

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. (Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, p. 14, bold added)

The Bible describes hell in no such terms, but rather as a location in which both body and soul are destroyed (Matthew 10:28) with eternal torment (e.g. Revelation 20:10) in an eternal fire, as it is written,

If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched - where 'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.' (Mark 9:45-46)

Notice in Schuller's definition that he equates "pride" with "self-repect." This is Schuller's idea of "self-esteem," pride. Schuller writes,

A person is in hell when he has lost his self-esteem. (ibid. p. 14-15)

So, "loss of pride," or in other words, loss of "self-esteem," according to Schuller, is hell. So, Schuller believes, "the deepest of all human needs is salvation from . . . hell." What this means to Schuller is, "the deepest of all human needs is salvation from . . . loss of pride."

III. Sin

For a Biblical definition of sin, please see 1 John 3:4 and 5:17. For Schuller's definition of sin, see the following. Just as his definition of hell is perverted, so is his definition of sin:

"Sin is any act or thought that robs myself or another human being of his or her self-esteem." (ibid. p. 14)

As we saw above, Schuller's idea of "self-esteem" is "pride." Therefore, according to Schuller, "Sin is any act or thought that robs myself or another human being of his or her pride." With this definition of sin, Schuller makes God into the biggest Sinner in existence, because He, more than anyone, most profoundly robs people of their pride. As it is written:

For the day of the LORD of hosts shall come upon everything proud and lofty, upon everything lifted up - and it shall be brought low. (Isaiah 2:12)

I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud. (Isaiah 13:11)

The LORD of hosts has purposed it, to bring to dishonor the pride of all glory, to bring into contempt all the honorable of the earth. (Isaiah 23:9; see also Isaiah 25:11; Zechariah 9:6; Job 40:9-14; Luke 1:51)

Moreover, the righteous want God to rob the wicked of their "self-esteem" (pride), as it is written:

May the LORD cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaks proud things. (Psalm 12:3; see also Psalm 94:2)

Let the proud be ashamed. (Psalm 119:78)

IV. Salvation

With Schuller's twisted (2 Peter 3:15) concepts of sin and hell, it follows that his teaching on salvation is also very crooked. When you take Schuller's statement above, understanding when he says, "self-esteem" he means "pride," and when he says "hell" he means "loss of pride," the reality is, this is what he means:

I am convinced that the deepest of all human needs is salvation from [robbing pride] and [loss of pride].

Schuller's salvation consists of not harming any one else's pride, and securing your own. It is no wonder he wrote "Self-love is salvation" (see footnote #2).

He has somewhat backed off of such blantant evil language (see 2 Timothy 3:1-2), but not because he doesn't believe it. As he has written,

I must admit that I am not totally happy with that word, "Self-esteem." Years ago I tried the word, "Self-Love." I found the pervasiveness of a negative self-image so saturated the minds of persons that most people couldn't handle that term "Self-Love." I have tried others, "Self-Worth," "Self-Dignity," "Self-Value," "Human Dignity," "Positive Self-Image," "Ego-Needs," "Human Pride," and none are perfect. (Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, p. 15)

Not when you are a deceiver, no, none are perfect. But for those who are not simple minded (Romans 16:18), these words are good enough to reveal Schuller is indeed about promoting self pride, the same kind of thing that condemned the devil (1 Timothy 3:6).

V. Pride

Schuller claims,

Self-esteem then, or "pride in being a human being," is the single greatest need facing the human race today. (ibid. p. 19)

God declares men to be proud (Psalm 10:4; Romans 1:30). There is no need for it. Moreover, pride is sin (Proverbs 21:4; Habakkuk 2:4). We do not need more sin.

Pride is not a virtue, as Schuller promotes it to be. Pride is of the world (1 John 2:16). It is hated by God (Proverbs 6:16-17; 8:13; Amos 6:8). Those who are proud are not to be respected (Psalm 40:4). Pride defiles (Mark 7:22), deceives (Obadiah 1:3), brings a curse (Psalm 119:21) destruction (Proverbs 15:25; 16:18; Malachi 4:1), and condemnation (Psalm 31:23; 1 Timothy 3:6). Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to God (Proverbs 16:5), and the Lord opposes those who are proud (James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5). In light of this Word, it is evident Schuller brings in destructive heresies (2 Peter 2:1).

On July 5, 2005 Schuller preached from the pulpit of the Crystal Cathedral, and aired on the Hour of Power that same day, a message entitled, "Making America More Beautiful." He said,

If you've been reading our books, listening to our messages, or following our teaching, you know that one of the most fundamental things we teach is that you have to believe in yourself and be proud of who you are. If you don't believe in yourself, and if you're not proud of who you are, you are not dreaming the powerful, positive big dreams to help other people around you. (see footnote #3)

Schuller thinks pride helps "people around you." Scripture says it brings nothing but strife, as it is written,

By pride comes nothing but strife. (Proverbs 13:10; see also 28:25)

Schuller asks,

Can you imagine any condition more tragic than to live life and eternity in shame? (Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, p. 15)

This is exactly what Schuller is getting people to do by encouraging them to be proud, as it is written,

When pride comes, then comes shame. (Proverbs 11:2)

A man's pride will bring him low. (Proverbs 29:23)

Schuller whitewashes pride by calling the pride he promotes a "healthy pride." In complete opposition to the word of God he claims pride is not sin. For example, in his January 20, 2002 sermon Schuller preached,

To be human means you and I need glory. You and I need honor. You and I need dignity. You and I need a healthy pride. You and I need a reverence for self.

The Christian faith often times has not given a true and honest portrait of this truth. Too often the emphasis is that pride is always a sin. But I don't think it is a sin when I'm proud of this church, I'm proud of my friends, I'm proud of this ministry. I'm proud of who I am. I am not ashamed. Be proud of who you are. (bold in original; see also footnote #4)

Scripture says pride is sin, as it is written,

A haughty look, a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked are sin. (Proverbs 21:4).

VI. Worship of Self

As "reverence for self" well implies, Schuller is into self-worship. In Schuller's perversion of "the Lord's prayer" (Matthew 6:9; Luke 11:2), Schuller solidifies that his self-esteem teaching is truly the worship of self. Schuller writes,

"Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name," declares that we - human beings - are premium persons, not peasants or pawns. For we are children of God. We are members of the royal family! (Self-Esteem: The New Reformation, p. 63)

At the end of the chapter Schuller concludes:

When we are adopted as children of God, the core of our life changes from shame - to self-esteem.
And we can pray, "Our Father in heaven, honorable is our name."
So, the foundation is laid for us to feel good about ourselves! The stage is set for important divine marching orders! (ibid. p. 69, italics in original)

When Jesus tells us to pray, "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name," He is instructing us in the worship of God. Schuller perverts this into the worship of self.

VII. The Most Serious Sin

Schuller claims,

The most serious sin is the one that causes me to say, "I am unworthy. I may have no claim to divine sonship if you examine me at my worst." (ibid. p. 98)

What Schuller calls "The most serious sin," God calls truth. In other words, it is "The most serious sin," according to Schuller, to speak the truth. Because the truth is, everyone is unworthy, and everyone has no claim to divine sonship when examined at their worst (Romans 3:23). That's why salvation is "by grace through faith" (Ephesians 2:8) and "not by works" (Titus 3:5). But Schuller believes people are,

VIII. Not Bad

Schuller claims,

But our rebellion is a reaction, not our nature. By nature we are fearful, not bad. Original sin is not a mean streak; it is a nontrusting inclination.

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. If this were so, then truly, the human being is totally depraved. But positive Christianity does not hold to human depravity, but to human inability. (ibid. p. 67, bold added)

Schuller commands to not say ("do not say") what God has already said. Speaking of the human heart ("the central core of the human soul") the Lord has declared,

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. (Jeremiah 17:9; see also Romans 3:9-18)

IX. Fool Maker (Proverbs 3:35)

Schuller claims,

God's ultimate objective is to turn you and me into self-confident persons. (ibid. p. 80)

This is identical to saying, "God's ultimate objective is to turn you and me into self-confident fools," because it is the fool who is self-confident, as it is written,

A wise man fears and departs from evil, but a fool rages and is self-confident. (Proverbs 14:16)

Schuller also says,

God can only do great things through self-confident human beings. (see footnote #5)

This is identical to saying, "God can only do great things through self-confident fools." This not only blasphemes God, but exalts folly.

Being self-confident is trusting in your own heart, and Schuller doesn't shy away from using this terminology either. Schuller writes,

When Christ's mind becomes a part of your mind, you begin to become a self-trusting, self-loving, self-sharing person. (see footnote #6)

This is identical to saying, "When Christ's mind becomes a part of your mind, you begin to become a fool, . . ." By saying these things, Schuller calls Christ a fool, exalts that which defiles (Mark 7:22 "foolishness"), and encourages people to be fools, as it is written,

He who trusts in his own heart is a fool. (Proverbs 28:26)

On 01-15-00 Schuller preached,

Last week we said Possibility Living starts with self-confidence. You need to have the confidence to believe in yourself. Nothing is worse than when you lose your self-confidence. (see footnote #7)

In the light of God's truth, this is like saying, "Last week we said Possibility Living starts with being a fool. You need to have the confidence to be a fool. Nothing is worse than when you lose your foolishness."

Indeed, for the spirit that is working in Schuller (John 8:44), nothing may be worse than for someone to lose their foolish self-confident, self-trusting folly. They might just turn to God for help (Isaiah 66:2; Matthew 5:3). Schuller is being used to destroy men's souls, not to save them.



Note also from Self-Esteem: The New Reformation:

All of the problems facing the church will find healing answers if we start with and do not get distracted at any time from meeting every person's deepest need - his hunger for self-esteem, self-worth, and personal dignity. This means that human dignity becomes the ultimate human value. It is the indivisible cell, the nonnegotiable need, the uncompromising quality of humanity. A person can survive without power and pleasure, but he cannot survive if he loses all pride in being a person! So the self-esteem of every human soul must become the healthy core of our humanity-helping religion. (p. 35)

Amazing, something so spiritually important can be found nowhere in the Bible!

2. Full quote:

This book can provide answers for the clergyman. If your job is to save souls, you can do this when you liberate them from the sin of self-degradation and lift them to salvation and self-esteem. Come to the understanding that self-will is sin, self-love is salvation! (Self-love: the dynamic force of success, p. 14, copyright 1969, soft cover)

3., hard copy on file

4. Another example of the promotion of pride from Self-Esteem: The New Reformation:

Why must we spend all of our efforts to tell the whole world about Jesus Christ? Why must we spare nothing to share the good news of each person's worth? Again, we must, because we want the entire human family to become a brotherhood and so live that we are proud of ourselves. Then, and only then will the Father be glorified. (p. 141)

So, according to Schuller, the only way to glorify God is by sinning (being proud).

5. From the daily devotional, Hours of Power, under an excerpt entitled, "On God's Team,", hard copy on file.

6. From the daily devotional, Hours of Power, under an excerpt entitled, "Surrender to God's Power,", hard copy on file.

7. Possibility Living - Part V,, hard copy on file.

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