Last night we covered a couple of subjects. One, the origins of pride. We took a look at how pride developed in the heavenlies. Through Lucifer's preoccupation with himself, his countenance and his image and his preoccupation with self-pity and then God's wisdom in dealing with the situation in deporting Lucifer rather than destroying him. We talked about the fact that humility will always conquer her enemies or her adversaries through acts of love and through selflessness and how Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil, destroy the works of the enemy through the selflessness that He displayed - supreme act of humility and selflessness on Calvary. We also talked last night about how this poison that originated in heaven, this poison, this serpent's poison of pride was passed on to the human race and the same arguments that Lucifer used to persuade the angelic hosts of heaven that they should at least give some consideration to proclaiming themselves sovereign was the same argument that he used in the garden of Eden on Adam and Eve. Telling them that if they would only partake of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that then they would become as Gods. We read the comments of many different individuals since that time who have been perpetrating that same message on the human race, that we should reach down deep inside of us realize our divine potential, our Godlike nature, and proclaim ourselves sovereign. Of- course before we can do that with any degree of sincerely we have to first of all find some way to discard the true sovereign of the universe and deny his existence to refuse to exalt him to his proper role and posture in our own hearts. After we have denied him then we can begin to move on to the business of deifying ourselves.

I'd also like to try to get across this evening the bondage that pride represents in our lives and in that sense we are going to look in three specific areas. First of all the weight of pride; secondly the addiction of pride and thirdly the paralysis of pride. And then I want to look at some of the differences between self- love and Christian love. If we still have time after that then I would like to talk about some of the pitfalls of pride with regard particularly to leadership. If we still have time after that then we're going to talk about what we could do, or what we should do, if we have discerned that pride is a part of our own lives. How do we get rid of it and how do we not get rid of it. Some of the best known tactics for pride removal are the worst tactics of all. Short of like tossing a can of gasoline to put out a fire.

Several hundred years ago there was a warrior ruler in central Asia whose name was mock malt and he and his army lived in the city of Ghazni (which is today part of India) and he conquered at the time great portions of the country, great portions of India. One of the things that he did was move into various towns, villages and cities; then, he would destroy all of the idols that he came in contact with. Whatever they were, whatever religion, he would destroy them. One day he decided that it was time to lay siege to a major city in India at that time, the city of Gujarat and his siege went very well and finally he gained access to the city with his soldiers and he finally forced himself into the entrance of a very costly shrine of the Hindu Brahmans. And inside of this shrine there was a fifteen foot tall idol. He took a look at this idol and immediately ordered that it be destroyed. These Hindu Brahmans fell at Makmunds feet and they pled, Oh great machmund spare our God for the fortunes of this city depend upon him. Makmund gave the matter some thought about two seconds later ordered the idol destroyed. He started the whole business by striking the idol with his battleaxe. And much to his surprise and the surprise of the soldiers that were with him, the battleaxe went right through the idol because it was hollow. Out of this hollow idol poured all kinds of coins, and precious stones and gems. This idol was the receptacle of their treasury. The fortunes of this city depended on him.

This story is really similar in many ways to our situation and to the idol of self. When we confront the idol of self and we contemplate destroying that idol, casting it down, it begins to plead with us and promise us great return, great blessing if we will only let it stand.

Yet, if we will go ahead and resist those temptations and we will destroy the idol of self, then like milkmaid we are going to find that that's where the greatest rewards and the greatest blessings will be found will be in the destruction of the idol itself. Mother Basilea Schenk, this very Godly German woman whose founded the movement called the Sister's of Mary and they do a variety of things, she's written a number of books, many books and many tracts that are distributed through the outlets in Europe and the United States.

Speaking about pride, she said what we really want is for others to burn incense to our egos. They, our society, are in search of idols. Beautiful idols. We have become connoisseurs of performance. Starting with Hollywood, ending with our own peer group, at church, at school, at this school. We've become connoisseurs of performance. We're looking for people who are good at what they do, beautiful people as the Hollywood jet-set is known. I think it's interesting that we would call sports stars and movie stars idols. I think that's such a suggestive word, such a suggestive term. So accurate and appropriate when you really think about it. When we are in search of idols becoming connoisseurs of performance, idols themselves are in search of what Christopher Lash calls a relevant audience. What is a relevant audience? A relevant audience is somebody who can or some group of people who can do something for us.

I'll give you an earthly example. It's the guy, young guy, who starts going to church and at the particular church he meets a young lady who really catches his attention. So he starts to enjoy going to church. Not because he wants to please God or bring pleasure to the heart of God or to encourage the saints but because it will give him the opportunity to be with her or to see her. So he goes to Sunday morning, Sunday evening starts coming to Wednesday evening and people are beginning to think about how spiritual this fellow has suddenly become coming to every meeting that he can possibly think of. One night he arrives at a Wednesday evening prayer meeting, walks in the door, the youth group meeting hall and scans the room, does another scan, and suddenly he realizes that she's not there. And he sits down in his chair, totally depressed, there is no relevant audience there. There are some of us who just don't enjoy ourselves in certain meetings if certain people aren't there.

There are certain preachers or pastors who get depressed if certain members of the congregation go on vacation. Sometimes there are churches, small churches, neighborhood community churches that kind of struggling along and then suddenly somebody of rank or importance or position or posture starts to attend the church and suddenly the pastor really starts to work like never before at preparing the sermons because now he has a relevant audience. There are some speakers, teachers, and evangelists, authors who will refuse to take certain speaking engagements because they do no consider them to be relevant audiences. They're too small. You know it's a church that they find out has an attendance of one hundred and fifty in rural Oregon. What they're really looking for is a church of fifteen hundred in Orange County, California. That goes on all the time, happens all the time. In fact, I would say that it happens more often than it doesn't happen. I'll tell you something, how many of you know or have heard of Kevin McAlpin? I know for a fact, he's very much in demand, is one of the, I think, one of the greatest bible teachers, men of God within the body of Christ today. He's a leader's leader, a teacher's teacher. God has used him in mighty ways in the past. You know he still makes his rounds to those little, tiny insignificant churches that don't even have their own facilities, that don't have over hundred members.

You know, I think Jesus did that. I think Jesus was just as at home with a small, seemingly insignificant family that invited him to lunch as he was with the multitudes during the Sermon on the Mount. A relevant audience to Jesus was any audience that had a meaning. What are our criteria for relevant audiences? People who think we're funny, people who think we're attractive, people who praise us, people who give to us, people who are important and significant and therefore fun and worthy to be around. Idols need relevant audiences. When we find a relevant audience, it can be an individual, it can be a group, then in Christopher Lash's words, they must be cajoled, won over, seduced. We find somebody that can provide something to us. Young people can be an attractive member of the opposite sex. We look at them and we think, boy, wouldn't that be something to be going out with them. Having people really look at us and think boy are they ever lucky to have got that person. So we look at that attractive person as a relevant audience and then our next order of business is to find a way to seduce them, to win them over, in any way we can, possess them. Not in order to give to them but in order that what they are might be something that we can expropriate.

Success in our society today has to be ratified by publicity. Your ministry to be a successful ministry, it must be a publicized ministry. Because our measure of success is quantitative. The more people we have in our church, the more successful is our church. The more meetings we have on our speaking agenda, the more successful we are as a speaker, the more money we get in return for what we do, the more successful we are; the more books sell, the more of our books sell, the more successful we are. We have to be known as somebody who has attracted the masses, somebody who has won at the numbers game. Lots of people know us and know about what we do then we're successful. If only a few people know us and what we do then we're not successful. So if we're really successful it will be ratified by publicity. If your ministry is really successful, you'll be asked to be a guest on the 700 club, if you're really successful, you'll be written up in Eternity, Charisma or Christianity.If you're really successful you'll be speaking in the biggest churches around the country. That's why. The media and especially the Hollywood industry are such a powerful and potent force.

The thing that we need to know about idols is that idols are basically insecure and they're insecure because they have cut themselves off from so many. They've cut themselves off from others. They have objectified others. I'll explain that to you in a minute. And because they have cut themselves off from others and they have exalted themselves into a class by themselves, the masses, the peons are at lower level and in other places. They're fed by the masses. Because they've cut themselves off from others, therefore, they need pictures and stories and publicity to reinforce their worth and their value in their own minds. They need others to tell them that they're valuable, they need others to tell them that they are worth something because they don't know that. Let me read a quote to you from Christopher Lash's book. "The narcissist depends on others to validate his self-esteem, he cannot live without an admiring audience. His apparent freedom from family ties, and institutional constraints, does not free him to stand alone or to glory in his individuality. On the contrary, it contributes to his insecurity which he can overcome only by seeing his grandiose self, reflected in the attentions of others or by attaching himself to those who radiate celebrity, power and charisma. To the narcissist the world becomes a mirror." That can be a very, very dangerous thing.

In the nation of Germany, there is a palace in the city of Wurzum called the hall of glass, or the hall of a thousand mirrors. You can walk into this hall and whatever you do it's suddenly reflected a thousand times, you scratch your ear it happens a thousand times, you smile there are a thousand smiles, you cry there are a thousand tears. And this is how the idol derives his sense of security. From seeing his image reflected in an audience. Smiling at him, talking to him, praising him, acknowledging him. And you can see certain speakers or singers or performers when they come out before an audience, you can see them begin to work an audience and how they pick up steam and how they pick up energy as the audience begins to respond and as the audience begins to respond they gain confidence and they say to themselves, I really am important, I really am good, I really am funny, I really am beautiful. The problem in using the world as a mirror is that society today is full of cracked, and broken, and warped mirrors and the image that is reflected is going to be likewise broken and cracked distorted and warped. It's like those mirrors that you see at these carnivals that are distorted where you suddenly put on five hundred pounds and suddenly you're ten feet tall. That's what happens to us when we derive our image and our own sense of who we are in our reflection of others. We're assuming that the way they respond is an accurate reflection of who we really are but obviously that's not true. Who knows, maybe they consider us to be a relevant audience, and they're seducing us, they're telling us what we want to hear, they're massaging our ego and they're blowing up our image so that we feel good around them and perhaps they don't believe a word that they're saying to us. The problem with idols, any idol, whether they're talking about a physical idol that's made by human hands or a living idol that is made through publicity and through imagery is that idols are man-made and so is everything connected with them. Idols verbalize no external code of conduct; idols are given life by the idol maker. They are, in fact, idols, reflections of our own deficiencies. The kinds of people that our society idolizes, those people are a reflection of our own deficiencies as a collective society.

You know so often you hear interviews with entertainers, there's a program on television now, I don't know how long its been on, I've caught it a couple of times, it's called entertainment tonight I think and one of the things they do in this program is they interview various celebrities and I don't know about you but are you ever struck with the fact that these people, many of them are terribly ignorant, and terribly hollow, and superficial. They really haven't got a whole heck of a lot to say, that means anything, that's at all significant. And yet, they will be sitting back on a couch or a chair, you know, thinking that everybody is just drooling over the opportunity to hear them speak. They, when we expose ourselves to that, to those kind of people what we are; they become reflections of our own deficiencies. We're shallow, we're superficial, we're hollow, we're ignorant and they, being that, being idols to us, reflect what we want and what we really are. What kind of people do you look up to, and do you hang around with, and you respect. Your friends and your idols are a reflection of who you are.

Idols verbalize no external code of conduct, they don't make any demands on us, they don't communicate anything to us, and everything that comes out of them is only what is programmed into them. Idols are like mirages. The danger is not what they are, in and of themselves, but what they focus us away from, what they take our eyes away from and off of. Therein lies the danger. Let me read a couple of paragraphs from Chapter Nine, it's the chapter on sanctification form The God They Never Knew. "We hang on to our lives, ever so tightly, because we are afraid of what we will lose if we let go of them and this fact is in itself revealing. It shows us what we are really living for as we drool over the conscious and intangible it reveals a shortsighted propensity for immediacy. Like the children of Israel seeking a table in the wilderness. We ask can God provide flesh for his people? And we find out soon enough that God will give us our own desires and down it comes flesh, the tangible, something we can sink our teeth into, the immediate. And delighted with our circumstances, we fill ourselves with that, which will never fill us. But in time the euphoria collapses around us as we gather in our little bundles of flesh rot possessions for we discover in a short span that they are looking less real all the time. We are all in a sense like thirsty desert wanders and its natural for us to jump at the first sighting and desperately needed water. But the wise man will not run after it long, he will not fail to notice the water that he has spotted, in which he has sought to quench his thirst is keeping its fair distance no matter how much ground he covers. And yet today so many are aggravating the thirst that they seek to quench by rushing after mirages.

Jesus said "He that findeth his life shall lose it and he that loses his life for my sake shall find it." God is not attempting to strip away our dreams and ambitions all together, he is merely trying to Marshall us toward that which will really satisfy us. He encourages those who will hunger and thirst after righteousness, that they shall be filled. We hear the voice of God booming across the desert, "Oh, everyone that thirsteth come ye to the waters." The man who loses his life doesn't die in the desert chasing mirages but discovers out of the somewhat frightening trembling expiration of self, a new and inner oasis, but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst. But the water that I shall give him, shall be in him, a well of water springing up into everlasting life. Men and women who will release themselves utterly into the hand of God will discover a sense of abandonment to the things that previously occupied their hearts. There is a definite acceleration in emptiness. It is at once a feeling of near weightless relief after the pressure of managing our own affairs is dispensed with and a sense of being born up into the heavenlies where live suddenly takes on brand new perspectives. We are free from the burden of governing our own affairs that we might focus our attention on the King's business.

Although the process of giving ourselves wholly to God involves giving up our sin as a first step the matter by no means ends at this point there is an emptying involved that drains out all ostensible rights as well as sins. He will take loving and rightful control over every area of our lives. Mere confession of sins is not enough. He does not want us to give up our sins and keep ourselves. He wants us give up the whole package. As C. S. Lewis put it, "The Christian way is different. It's harder and easier. Christ says give me all. I don't want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work. I want you. I've come not to torment your natural self but to kill it." And not yielding up to God, what is rightfully His, Fenelon calls "sacrilegious theft". I would venture to take the issue even further in saying that holding on to our rights in effect amounts to spiritual suicide. Until we are prepared to yield to the truth completely then God will faithfully trouble us. As Malcolm Muggeridge summed things up in his book, Jesus Rediscovered, he said "God comes padding after me like a hound of heaven. His shadow falls over all of my little picnics in the sunshine. Chilling the air. Draining viand of their flavor, talk of its sparkle, desire of its zest. One shivers as the divine beast of prey gets ready for the final spring as the shadow lengthens reducing to infinite triviality all mortal hopes and desires."

What about this paradox, this business of finding our own soul, find life by losing life by losing life, by giving up our life and really finding it. The best example I can think of somebody who tries to keep his life, to hold his life and losing it is Wiley Coyote. Remember the roadrunner cartoon. My dad and I love the roadrunner Cartoons. But I have a great and overwhelming desire to see him catch the RoadRunner, and ring his little neck. Hear a little gurgling beep, beep. Here's Wiley Coyote, buying all these various devices, he's the best customer the Acme Company has. He has got the most sinister looking plans and plots and devises to some how enable him to capture this coyote. Everything from led weights dropped from the edge of a cliff to rocket propelled roller skates. But you know what I think of every time I remember that cartoon? Looking down from immense heights and seeing that little puff of smoke. We have devised all kinds of tactics and schemes and means to capture what we want out of life, to get a hold of something that we can really sink our teeth into. That we think will bring us pleasure. But what happens every time is that pleasure or that thing that we are trying to capture winds up capturing us and destroying us. In seeking to have our cake and eat it too, we lose everything. We lose perspective, we lose confidence and we lose direction. Jesus told us we would but we didn't believe Him.

The bondage of pride. What about the self that worships itself. What is the self that worships itself like? The self that worships itself produces incredible demands. We have both an image and a kingdom to maintain. The weight of pride. Do you think it's easy to be proud, do you think it's cheap? It's hard to be proud. It's hard to be selfish. It's costly to be selfish. The Bible tells us that the way of the transgressor is hard. That pride compasseth like a chain. It exacts a price; it exacts a toll of us to live a selfish life. You want to set up and run and maintain your own kingdom. Well, taking a page from Jesus notes suggests you count the costs first. If you've got the wherewithal to maintain your own kingdom. It takes a lot of doing to maintain an image and a kingdom at the same time. Which is what the self that worships itself has to do. First of all the image. In order to perfect and to polish the part that he has devised for himself, the selfish gazes at his own reflection, not so much in admiration as in unremitting search for flaws, signs of fatigue, decay. It's so sad, you see the beautiful people of this world spending hours looking at themselves in the mirror. Not so much in admiration of themselves but looking to see if there's a gray hair here, or if there's a wrinkle here, or if there are bags here. Am I falling apart, what's happened to my image? Is it maintained, is it together, am I right, am I presentable, am I flawless? And life itself, for the selfish, becomes rather a work of art, always patching, and sanding, and cleaning, and polishing. It takes enormous energy. We have a booming market today. All kinds of cremes and potions and lotions that will help us all look younger. Oil of Olay, helps women all over the world. You notice something about those commercials. When's the last time you remember an Oil of Olay commercial showing an eighty-year old women. I mean they take these gals in their twenties and thirties maybe an occasional one with skin in their forties and do they take people with complexion problems who inherited bad skin or someone with a case of scoriasis or acne. Some how we'll just take a little dab of this stuff and rub it on our face you know every night. We'll have perpetual youth and perpetual flawlessness. Look, we will all rest a lot easier, it will be a tremendous weight lifted off of our shoulders if we will just accept the fact that we're going to get old, we're going to get wrinkles and our hair is going to turn grey or fall out. Even Ronald Reagan will look old one day. We're going to change. We can't be what we once were forever. People who try to hang on to that image. Boy does that take a lot of energy.

It seems everyone is concerned about his or her image. After giving a message many ask themselves how did they respond to that statement, or that message, or that look, or this or that or the other thing. Did I come off okay? Did people like it? There are speakers, Christian speakers, today, pastors who refuse to tell their congregations the truth because their afraid of what they might do to their image. Oh, we love pastor, he just doesn't ever condemn anyone and God, he's so funny. We like the image of being a nice guy or a nice gal, or being witty or funny or tolerant. There are pastors or ministers who allow their whole congregations or a large percentage of them to slip right off into the abbess because they are afraid of their image. Sometimes pastors, I've heard infinite people, like a couple of people, like a couple of guys I can think up right now, who deliver a powerful word, a piercing penetrating sermon to their congregation and worry about the effects and the follow up the whole following week. What are they going to think of it? Was I too harsh?

Can you imagine what Jesus must have felt like on that day when he starts talking about - do you really want to follow me - you need to die to yourself - you need to take up your cross and follow me - you need to eat my flesh and drink my blood. And people started looking at each other and saying "this is a hard saying and who can hear it" and from that day forward many of his disciples went back and followed him no more. To the point where he turns around to the twelve and he says, "Will you leave me also?" Can't you hear his advisors, his deacons saying, "Hey, you blew it with that message. Can you imagine what our offerings are going to be like next week? Your rating's are declining. Your program's going to be canceled. Who is going to invite you to their church? The words going to be passed, here's the guy who says that he wants you to drink his blood. Here's the guy who says take up your cross in a day where everybody's getting crucified in Israel. Who wants him around? If Jesus was one who was concerned about maintaining his image, you and I would be going to hell, forever and ever and ever. Heavy to maintain an image but it's also heavy to maintain a kingdom. As life goes on, we become ever more frantic in protecting and maintaining what is ours and we find the whole chore positively exhausting.

We have our own little turf and often it starts when we are children. You look into a little child's room and you've got this toy box absolutely full of stuff. All kinds of gadgets and toys and things and but they can't play with everything at once so they'll pick out one thing or a couple of things and they'll play with those. While they're playing with those they don't, they couldn't care less about what's in the toy box. But some friends of that child's parents come over that evening to the home for dinner and bring their little child along and they take that child into the room and say, "Oh, play with little Johnnie." And the little guest child goes over to the toy box and starts pulling things out. What happens to little Johnny? You know what I'm going to say; little Johnny freaks out. And suddenly little Johnny is no longer concerned about what he is playing with, he's concerned about the fact that his kingdom is being invaded. Somebody else is coming in and taking and playing with what is his. And he comes over and says, that's mine, that's mine. He's coming over to do battle and to protect the parameters of his kingdom. When parents allow that kind of an attitude to go unchecked, those children grow up with that attitude. That's my car, that's my house, that's my money. Don't you dare ask me for a donation, for a tithe, or an offering. That's mine and I'm tired of all of you preachers just asking for money all the time. It's mine. I earned it; I worked hard for it. You want money go earn it yourself.

There are people who write into "Save the Refugees Fund" where my wife, Lisa, works as a secretary and opens the mail. Gets several letters after each mailing saying, "I'm tired of hearing about giving to refugees. We have our own problems here at home in the United States. Why are we giving this money away to other parts of the world? This is ours, this is mine, we don't want to give anything away. And then we have people too that belong to us and reputations that belong to us. Somebody's a great faith teacher and they suddenly hear about somebody else who was preaching on the subject of faith at another church and they begin to down grade and demean that other person or that other teacher because they're moving in on their turf. I'm the one who teaches on faith in this city; I'm the one who teaches on grace. I'm the one who's the Steward of this category. Get lost. And when we see somebody coming in and making friends with somebody that we know and we like and they're spending suddenly more time with somebody else. We get uptight inside. There are people I know who are friends, single people when one of those single person's suddenly develops a relationship and gets engaged, that other friend resents it in their heart, their turf as been invaded, their kingdom has been invaded, and sometimes they'll even hate both of those people who end up getting married. That person has no right to become me and my world and my happiness and take away this person that belongs to me.

What is your kingdom? Your time? Your agenda? Nobody's going to tell me that I have to get up at such and such a time and have a quiet time, or that I have to perform this particular work duty. The weight of pride. See when we die to ourselves and we lose ourselves, when we give up our reputation then no body can ever take it from us. If I come to teach in this class here and I'm not worried from the outset particularly about what you think or how you react to my messages. Then I'm not going to be concerned when you do react negatively to something that I say or disagree with me. I don't care if you do, it doesn't bother me. But if I come concerned about my kingdom, and my image, and my reputation. Then I'm walking on eggshells all the time, I am tense inside, I have to work to make sure that everything is right, I've got to be constantly on guard, monitoring all the parameters of my kingdom to make sure that there's no intrusion and no invasion on what is mine and what belongs to me. That's takes a lot of work, that's heavy, that's the weight of pride. And the exhilaration that comes into our lives when we finally give all that up, we don't have a kingdom anymore, we don't care if people come in and play with our toys. We don't care about our image. If we get wrinkles in our face or under our eyes, it's because we're wise not because we're old. We're getting better, not worse.

Proud people are exhausted people; they are tired because they have to work so hard. That's the weight of pride. They carry this heavy weight on them through their whole lives. And this is the weight that Jesus wants to come into our lives and take from us. He wants to relieve us of the heavy weight and the bondage of pride. Set us free. And he the Son sets free is free indeed. Today, the emphasis is on role or game playing and as I mentioned to you last night on solitary gratification. And this emphasis on role-playing or game-playing and solitary gratification has produced some grave problems in our society. I'm going to get to these two in a minute.

What we're doing today, is we set ourselves up as God's, king self. And then we look at others and we begin to consider what benefit they are to us. Remember what the advice Robert Ringer gave us last night. We want to harvest others and the benefits and the values that they can provide for us. So what we do, we look at others, we surround ourselves with others, and we objectify them. We look at them as objects and we want them to begin to feed us. All of these people that have come into our lives are objects. But in doing this, in objectifying everyone else, what we do is we put distance between other people and ourselves. We're saying today. You're the most important. Think of yourself, number one. Let everyone else serve you. You can't worry about other people; you've got to think of yourself. In that attitude, we objectify others, we cut ourselves off from others, we put distance between others and ourselves and what it produces is loneliness. We don't want to show any need for intimacy, we don't want to show any need, period. We don't want to show above all else vulnerability. We want to present an image that we are strong warriors. That we are not vulnerable. That we have no needs. That we can handle it on our own. That we can meet our own needs. We don't need anybody else and we will allow others into our lives only when we see some benefit in doing so. Everybody else in the world is an object. There is a big thing in society today, don't show vulnerability, don't show need. But this even starts and a very young age today. I was astonished a couple of years ago to see this sort of a teaching and this sort of mentality or attitude being conveyed or transmitted through Sesame Street. I think that parents who let their children watch that program and other programs like it just any time they want are very foolish because there are some very, very dangerous concepts that come through that program sometimes.

They have for example: Remember the story of sleeping beauty? She went and pricked her finger on a spinning wheel needle and she fell into a long sleep. Then a prince finally comes and she's lying there in this castle asleep and she kisses her and then she wakes up. Not on Sesame Street. He kisses her and falls asleep too. You know the beauty and the beast? There's a princess who comes up to a frog, kisses the frog and the frog becomes a handsome prince and they live happily ever after. Not on Sesame Street. She kisses a frog and she becomes a frog. So the moral is, watch out, don't kiss frogs. Don't show any intimacy. Be careful. Something bad might happen to you.

Let me read something to you. Then I'll make some comments on it. "The self as subject. The subject of the attention of all of the objects." The self as subject, frantically tries to gain control over others, the object. In order to build its own self as subject. As more and more people have their "consciousness" raised, that is as they are "liberated" from objecthood and become take on the role as subjects. The competition becomes fierce. Furthermore the new enlightened role of subject carries with it the almost unbearable memory of having been an exploited object in the past. This plus the threat that the same thing might possibly happen in the future raises to a high pitch the need to be a dominate subject. Intimate personal relationships become extremely dangerous. If you show weakness, such as a need for love, you can get slaughtered. If you withdraw to a machine-like, emotion free competence and develop complete identity with career, then you are isolated and starved for intimacy and love and a lonely, death-like living is inescapable. We see that happen in society today. We have all these human potential movements. Consciousness raising seminars. I'll show you something interesting. You see in the cover of this book, inside the numeral one. What animal is standing there? It's a turtle. All though this book, there are pictures of this turtle and that's you, the reader. And a turtle, what is a turtle? A turtle is a shuck. That's what you are. You're a shuck, you're all shucks. Unless you look out for number one, unless you stop letting people take advantage of you and you start winning through intimidation. So, you're a turtle, you're a shuck, if you're an object. If you are letting somebody else use you, you're a turtle; you're a tortoise. And what you need, is you need somebody to come and teach you how to be a tough turtle, how to become a subject and how to harvest others instead of allowing them to exploit you. So, what happens is that these objects start looking at their posture to this subject and they say, "Hey, I'm a shuck", forget this. No longer am I going to be a shuck, I'm going to become a subject and I'm going to have objects around me. So, we have the women's lib movement. You're a housewife taking care of your husband and kids. You're a shuck. Submission to authority and a husband. You know; he goes out there and has a career and all you do is change dirty diapers.

Come on, think about it ladies, is that fair, is that what you really want for the rest of your life? Of-course not. You want to be a menial, subservient? No. You want to serve your husband? No. So you go, and you confront your husband, and you tell him that things are going to change around here. That you are just as important as he is and that you have just as much right to a career as he does and you have just as much right to come home kick of your shoes read the evening newspaper and watch TV from now on he's going to fix dinner. If he doesn't like it, he doesn't have to eat does he? But there's going to be a new arrangement because I am now going to stand up for who I am, I am going to allow all the potential within me to flourish and to blossom and it sure hasn't blossomed in this marriage and if you don't like the new arrangement then we break the agreement and I go my own way and you go yours - best of luck to you.

Same thing with employer-employee. Any kind of relationship you want to look at. That's what's happening today. And this book, Learning Through Intimidation, basically tells you that if your employer is telling you what to do, can you imagine that, and isn't paying you what you know you are really worth then what you need to do is walk into his office, forget this appointment business, that's demeaning, walk into his office and say, 'Look, I'm worth this and I want to be doing this and not that and if you don't like it you know what you can do.' And I won't repeat what he says in the book. So, we've got all these objects now. You know the people who attend these seminars, they are people, they are objects. All of these people who are starting to attend seminars, and they're getting they're consciousness raised, and they are all realizing their a bunch of shucks and they don't want to be shucks anymore. They want to be subjects and so as I read to you the competition is getting fierce. There are less and less objects around so things are getting more and more nasty, more and more violent, people are getting harder and harder. No more vulnerability, don't show signs of intimacy because as soon as you do, you're going to be exploited, you're going to get used. All of this sounds so right.

There's so much about these seminars and this whole movement that sounds so good and Christian's are being swept into this movement because it appeals to our self. Jesus came to this earth and he said, "No. The greatest of all will be the servant of all." You serve and if nobody responds, they don't respond. Agape love. No strings attached. Unconditional love. That's what Christianity is. It's unconditional love. We give without expecting anything in return. Women don't like the idea in marriage of being a help mate today. They bag marriage. That's the answer. Exit the situation. We're working with people who are unpleasant and demanding, our answer is to get out of the situation. Whether it's parents, or employer, or whatever the relationship. And the reason is because we're saying to ourselves, we are the most important factor in the circumstance, the context here. We're number one and if we're not getting what we want we'll go somewhere else where we can get it. And God says to us, "No. You don't give up on any relationship. I can show you how to win over any situation. I'm not going to let any temptation come upon you that's too much for you to bear." We need to find ways. Husbands to wives. Wives to husbands. Children to parents. Parents to children. Employees to employer. Employer to employees. Friend to friend. We have to find ways that we can serve each other. Unreservedly. And if we expire in the process of seeing that somebody else makes it and that somebody else is a success, so be it. I don't have to succeed according to the world's standards. And I need to be willing to say, I set down my ministry and I set down my reputation and I set down my schedule and my way of life if I need to in order to see my children or my wife become the maximum they can possible become in God. So what. How can I lose with an attitude like that? How can I do anything except for gain? We don't want to serve others. We want everyone to serve us. It's pride and it's selfishness and we're told that if we really love ourselves that we're going to find ways that we can get to where we want to go. So we move through life and we cut a swath, there are human beings lying on both sides of the road, bruised and broken that we have just moved right through in order to get what we want. Oh, the addiction of pride.

There's this narcotic of recognition; we've got to have a fix. And we're caught in this paradox of having to have the recognition and the attention and at the same time we have this longing to outgrow our dependents upon others. We want to say to these people, we don't need you. We're independent but we've got to have the recognition at the same time. And this attitude today is demonstrated by our voracious appetites but our fleeting commitments. We want delivery without demands. So a college age girl and a college age guy decide to go to a dorm room and have sex for the night because they both sort of mutually agree that they are both going to get something out of it and so neither one will be exploited. We want delivery, I want you to come, I want you to give me your body but I don't want any demands. I don't want any kind of permanent relationships, don't ask me to make any commitments. Isn't that the way society is turning out today? We need the affection, we need the recognition, we need the attention but we don't want to admit our dependency upon anyone or anything. Voracious appetites but fleeting commitment. We become trapped in a manipulative, discarding routine. Totally unsatisfying but we are hooked in a lifestyle.

Popularity today can be purchased at too high a price. Jesus said, "Woe unto you when all men speak well of you." And then there's the paralysis of pride; we become frozen in our reactions. We can't apologize, we can't say I love you, we can't say we're wrong. We are strong. We are right. We are omnipotent, and we are omniscient. Gods don't make mistakes. Gods don't ask for forgiveness. All they do is receive praise. We think we are in total control but we're not. We've lost control of ourselves and we have become fools. You know what I mean. You get into a conversation with somebody and you make some kind of a dogmatic statement publicly in a group of people and subsequent to that somebody else proves you absolutely and utterly wrong and you know you are wrong in your own mind but you refuse to budge from your position. Or you have an argument. Oh, I admit that I've had arguments with my wife, twice, a few more times, of course, most of the time the reason you have had the argument is because both parties think they are right.

And so what happens, often times after arguments, between whatever relationship it might happen to be, you end up not talking to one another. One goes one way and the other goes another way. Many times both parties are thinking to themselves, "Boy, I hope the other person comes to me cause I sure don't like this but I am not going to be the first to go to them because I am right and they're wrong" That is the paralysis of pride. We get paralyzed in situations that are uncomfortable, that are wrong and we think we're invincible that we're so strong that we've got total control over ourselves and yet we get paralyzed in foolish positions. Where we totally lose control over our actions, over our time and over our behavior. I am sure these things never happen to you. And even after we make fools out of ourselves through this paralysis of pride, still Satan cries to us, justify yourselves. Remember what happened to former president, Nixon? There are these tapes with his own voice on them. Making clear statements. I mean all the evidence is there and even after all of this evidence still to this day refusing to say, I was wrong. And Satan has spoke to him and said, justify yourself to the end. And we end up a victim of Satan, whose come to steal, and kill, and to destroy and that's exactly what he does to us with pride.

The Bible says in Psalms 73:6 that pride compasseth like a chain. Have you ever felt that feeling, where your pride is just compassed you around like a chain and is just squeezing the breathe out of you. Isn't that a horrible feeling? The egotist, the selfist asks no favors because it shows need and he might be refused. He asks no questions because what is there that he doesn't know that is worth knowing. He doesn't express opinion because it might be criticized. Sometimes we think that proud people are the loud and obnoxious one's. The one's who are always asking questions, the one's who are out in front, and we think that all of these quiet ones are they the people who have all knowledge. I always find it amusing in confronting people like that in YWAM schools because here they are of their own free will most of the time attending a school and we generally attend schools because we think we might be able to learn. And yet they come to school and they already have all knowledge. It is really a curious thing. The quiet ones who don't ask any questions because it might be criticized, the paralysis of pride. Don't ask favors because it shows me that it might be refused; don't ask questions because they already know everything there is to know. It doesn't matter what kind of temperament you have, whether you are outgoing or inward; you can still be full of pride.

Ralph or Rudolph Wurlitzer, in his book, or in his novel, entitled "Nog" put it this way, a rather artistic description, the egomaniacal, experience, devouring, imperial, self regresses into a grandiose, narcissist, infantile, empty self. A dark wet hole where everything finds it way sooner or later. I remain near the entrance handling goods as they are shoved in, listening and nodding, I have been slowly dissolving into this cavity." Pretty graphic description of selfishness. Proverbs 29:3. That's not the right scripture. I don't know, maybe this would serve somebody here tonight. Proverbs 29:23: "A man's pride shall bring him low, but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit." Revelation 3:17: interesting passage, one the paralysis of pride, "So then because thou art lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth." Because thou sayest I am rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing and knowest not that thou are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked." Regardless of how skillful we are at excusing or disguising blemishes of character today, the time will come when our veils fall away, and we will be seen as we truly are, you can count on it and it will probably be before judgement day. We'll just close this evening and tomorrow we're going to look at Christian love versus self-love, some pitfalls of pride in regard to leadership and I'm going to share with you something that you may find very useful.

Father, we're so thankful that when we're in your presence that we find rest unto our souls, that your ego is never making demands on us. It's so pleasant, so relaxing to be with you because you're so real and you're so loving and you're so giving. Lord, we want to be that way around others. Lord, I pray that you help each one of us, Lord, to develop qualities of life that will make people relax in our presence, be glad to be around us, because we think no ..Oh, Lord only you can bring about these changes in our lives, you're the only one and it's to you, the Holy Spirit that we turn in our need. We ask dear Lord to break down the weight, the addiction and the paralysis of pride. Break down the walls. Show us Lord, we don't need to make ..that you'll free us from the weight that so easily encumbers us. That you'll break those chains that encompass us and set us free. We want to be free. And I pray Lord that those who are holding on so tightly to themselves, to their own reputations, God give them to courage, give them the courage to be consumed by the divine flame. In Jesus Name.