Science in Christian Perspective
P. D. Marquart, M.D.
From JASA 10 (December 1958): 19.
There is so much being written in liberal circles about self -acceptance, self -realization and self-actualization that we should consider where we stand on these matters among born-again Christians, from a truly Biblical viewpoint At first thought, we remember that the concept of "self" is not in high esteem in our group. The self is something that ought to be crucified. It is the "I" that has been crucified with Christ. However, "nevertheless I live" (Gal. 2:20). When we search for the meaning of "crucified" we find that it could be "rendered inoperative." In a very real sense, the self cannot be killed off, for it is the core of personality. The Bible word for the inner self or "heart," when it is used in a psychic sense. The human heart is bad enough, even in the regenerate person, but we are not told to destroy it. It is rather the "self-life" that ought to die in the course of our Christian life, the activities of the natural self. Too often we merely talk about crucifying the self and continue to walk in our self-centered way, which is the expression of this offensive "selflife." We read the Epistles, which are filled with specific instructions on how to render the self-life inoperative. We decide that we should do something about these matters and then we decide that we will attend to the matter tomorrow.
Moreover, a love and cherishing of our bodily selves is condoned and given as an illustration in Ephesians 5:29. Self-realization through Christ is implied in many passages where promises are given as motivaions for the Christian life. For instance, the beatitudes in Matt. 5. are promises of happiness and blessedness, if we do certain things. These promises are available to us now, as well as in the Kingdom.
As to self-acceptance, it becomes apparent that one particular failure in the area of self-acceptance is spoiling the Christian lives of many and making them neurotic. I mean the failure of a child of God to forgive himself after he has sinned and then has applied I John 1;9. Of course, confessing will do him no good if he still is unregenerate. Christ does not wash the f eet of those who do not belong to His sheep fold. For the sheep however, the Word of God should be strong authority so that he may know that he is forgiven, regardless how he feels about it. Claiming the promise of I John 1:9 and stepping upon it, thanking the Lord for it, is all that is necessary to know we are forgiven. To keep on refusing to accept the self as forgiven cannot please the Lord, for it is a failure to believe what He says. If others have been injured, the sinning saint should confess his faults "one to another" (James 5:16). This is a secondary and a social matter, for it is "against Thee and Thee only have I sinned" (Ps. 51:4). When these things are done, then we should start "forgetting the things which are behind." (Phil. 3:13). Too many Christians fail to forget or they forget their sms before the remedy has been applied, and that leads to repression and neurotic symptoms. Perhaps Matt. 5:16 is the best Scriptural answer.