Yesterday was the last Sunday of the church year, the Sunday of the Fulfillment. At our church we are blessed with pastors who unashamedly preach God's Word in Law and Gospel, and administer the Sacraments rightly. Psychobabble and "visionary" purpose driven techniques are not given any credence. In our pastor's sermon he quoted Ronald Allen's "The Majesty of Man", where he stated:
"Speaking of self-esteem as man's greatest need is (something like) an observer at a funeral parlor remarking 'How wonderfully lifelike' as he views the corpse. We need to face the issue squarely: Dead people need life, not make-up. Fallen people need redemption, not self-esteem. Jesus did not come to earth to make dead people feel better."
Self esteem gets us in to trouble. Self esteem was, at its root, the cause of the violence in sports this weekend. People are overwhelmingly egocentric and so attuned to being "disrespected", that our own sense of importance overcomes all else. Now, Who was it that said to turn the other cheek?
It's not surprising what happened the other night. Nothing really ought to shock us. This is a fallen world. Just like me, the participants in Friday nights melee don't need more self esteem, they need to fall on their knees, humbling themselves before God, asking forgiveness in repentence. One could only pray for this to happen. Hopefully we won't see what I fear- fingerpointing, lawyering, the blame game, the spinning, until someone tries to convince us that what we really saw happening on television wasn't really what went down.