Success is the name of the game today, not only out there in the world, but inside the church as well. Humility is out and self-esteem is in, even though we are urged in Scripture, "Let each esteem others better then themselves" (Philippians 2:3 KJV). It used to be common knowledge that the besetting sin of the human race was pride. Now, however, we are being told that our problem is not that we think too highly of ourselves, but too lowly, that we all have a bad self-image, and that our greatest need is to build up our self-esteem. Though Peter wrote, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time" (1 Peter 5:6), we are being urged to "visualize" ourselves into success. Paul's inspired declaration that Christ "emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant . . . [and] humbled Himself by becoming obedient to . . . death on a cross (Philippians 2:7, 8) is now explained by Robert Schuller, in the context of today's success-oriented world, to mean:
Jesus knew his worth, his success fed his self-esteem...he suffered the cross to sanctify his self-esteem. And he bore the cross to sanctify your self esteem.
And the cross will sanctify the ego trip [emphasis in the original]!
Success and self-esteem have become so important in the church that they seem to overshadow everything else.
from pages 14- 15, The Seduction of Christianity