The phrase "I'm so proud of you," is very commonly used, but most of us don't stop to consider what the Bible says about it. Our society typically views a parent being proud of their child as "good," but in fact, the Bible teaches us that is evil. In this teaching, we'll go over the Biblical details of pride, and why such simple phrases can blind people and lead them to the wide gates of hell.
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
pride (n): a high opinion of one's own superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, accomplishments, rank or elevation in office
(See 'pride', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved Oct 17, 2017 [webstersdictionary1828.com])
In 2014, a Gallup poll was taken in which they asked residents of each individual State in the U.S. if they thought they lived in the "best" state. The poll was called, "Which U.S. states have the most pride?" They were specifically asked if "their state was the very best or one of the best places to live."
Putting aside the fact that there is no definition of what "the best" means, the news article concludes that the "best places to live" are the ones who voted themselves to be the best, but in reality, all this poll showed is which states are the most sinful in pride. In fact, the states with lower percentages could be considered more humble than those with higher percentages.
The Bible tells those who are born again that we ought not to think of ourselves better than others:
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
vainglory (n): excited by one's own performances; empty pride
(See 'vainglory', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved Oct 19, 2017 [webstersdictionary1828.com])
"Citizens by birth or choice of a common country, that country has a right to concentrate your affections. The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity,
must always exalt the just pride of patriotismmore than any appellation derived from local discriminations."
-George Washington, quoted by James K. Polk, Messages and Papers of the Presidents, Wildside Press, 2009, p. 2460, ISBN: 9781434451552
However, the Bible says:
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
haughty (adj): proud and disdainful [i.e. to deem others worthless or unworthy of notice]; having a high opinion of one's self
(See 'haughty', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved Oct 17, 2017 [webstersdictionary1828.com])
Often, Americans look around them at how much stuff they have, how much technology, how much food, and think that through their acquisition of material goods, they have become superior to everyone else, but the Lord Jesus Christ has said:
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Don't misunderstand; Christ is not saying they have lost their eyesight, nor is He saying they don't have clothes or money. He's saying in their spirits, hearts, and minds, they are the most lowly, wretched creatures, but because they have lots of material things, they think nothing is wrong with them; their wealth allows them to fulfill the lusts of their flesh which also helps distract them from the truth. (In that sense, you could even say that true humility is acknowledging the truth, and pride is a denial of the truth.)
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things.
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
(Read "Is Repentance Part of Salvation?" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
Without humility, a man cannot be saved because pride is the opposite of humility, and through pride, men end up in hell. The Bible also tells us that God does not use the prideful of heart for His purposes:
For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.
-1 Corinthians 1:26-29
glory (v): to boast or be proud of
(See 'glory', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved Oct 19, 2017 [webstersdictionary1828.com])
But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
-1 Corinthians 1:30-31
(Read "False Converts & Eternal Security" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.
poor (adj): having little; destitute of value, worth, or importance
contrite (adj): worn, bruised, broken, humbled, sincerely affected by a sense of guilt
(See 'poor' & 'contrite', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved Oct 19, 2017 [webstersdictionary1828.com])
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
-2 Timothy 4:3-4
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
But Hezekiah rendered not again according to the benefit done unto him; for his heart was lifted up: therefore there was wrath upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem. Notwithstanding Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the wrath of the LORD came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah.
-2 Chronicles 32:25-26
For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, [i.e. the aforementioned rich men] whom the LORD abhorreth. The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them even be taken in their pride: and for cursing and lying which they speak.
For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked... They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment.
When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom.
Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.
Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom.
Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments.
In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them.
Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.
Thus saith the LORD, After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem. This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing.
We have heard the pride of Moab, (he is exceeding proud) his loftiness, and his arrogancy, and his pride, and the haughtiness of his heart.
lofty (adj): proud, elevated in high places
(See 'lofty', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved Oct 26, 2017, [webstersdictionary1828.com])
But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardened in pride, he was deposed from his kingly throne, and they took his glory from him: And he was driven from the sons of men; and his heart was made like the beasts, and his dwelling was with the wild asses: they fed him with grass like oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven; till he knew that the most high God ruled in the kingdom of men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will.
And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
-1 John 2:16
Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.
An high look, and a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked, is sin.
But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
Jeremiah preached the Word of God to Jerusalem and made it very simple for them to understand:
Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the LORD hath spoken.
O love the LORD, all ye his saints: for the LORD preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.
Let me not be ashamed, O LORD; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave. Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.
If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me.
Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:
-2 Timothy 4:14
And there shall be, like people, like priest: and I will punish them for their ways, and reward them their doings.
But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;
-2 Peter 2:12-13
One of the most common places I've seen prideful hearts are in the church buildings of America, more specifically in the pastors and elders of the church buildings. There are a number of times I've stood against the pastors and rebuked them for their wrongdoings, and many times I've received reactions of surprise and shock that I would dare question a pastor because, after all, most church-goers are so deep into the sin of respecting persons, they will worship anyone with a pastoral title.
(Read "Why Are Christians Respecting Persons?" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
For example, Rick Warren, a wolf in disguise, teaches that shame comes from the devil:
"Satan uses hurt and he uses pain in your life to deceive you... if he can get you angry,
-Rick Warren, "Learning My True Identity In Christ," Saddleback Church, Oct 13, 2014, retrieved Jan 13, 2016, [youtube.com/watch?v=AolN3_JldmI]; Read "Wolves in Costume: Rick Warren" here at creationliberty.com for more details.
The Bible teaches us that God gives men shame, to acknowledge the truth of the guilt. The Bible also teaches us that the prideful of heart, like Rick Warren and his followers, should be ashamed of themselves.
Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause: but I will meditate in thy precepts.
But thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us.
But thou hast cast off, and put us to shame; and goest not forth with our armies.
The days of his youth hast thou shortened: thou hast covered him with shame. Selah.
-Kelly Balarie, "Shame in the Bible," A Cheerleader of Faith & Friends, Nov 11, 2014, retrieved Oct 25, 2017, [purposefulfaith.com/shame-in-the-bible]
First of all, it is important to address what the Bible says about whether or not men are "good, holy or lovable."
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
(For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
The just LORD is in the midst thereof; he will not do iniquity: every morning doth he bring his judgment to light, he faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame.
Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.
Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
-1 Corinthians 10:12
For example, in 1 Samuel 17, David's father sent him to bring food to his brothers, and when he arrived, he saw Goliath the Philistine mocking the Lord God openly. David questioned why no one was doing anything about this man to shut his mouth for defying the army which God had appointed, and then his oldest brother falsely accused him of being prideful:
And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab's anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.
-1 Samuel 17:28
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
-2 Timothy 3:1-4
highminded (adj): proud, arrogant
heady (adj): to rush forward in an enterprise without thought or deliberation; hurried on by will or passion
(See 'heady' & 'high-minded', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved Oct 26, 2017, [webstersdictionary1828.com])
For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.
-1 Corinthians 11:31-32
(Read "Unbiblical Cop-Outs: Don't Judge Me!" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
In letters, when I rebuke someone for teaching error, believing in false doctrine, or more commonly for having wickedness in their heart, I am often falsely accused of being "arrogant."
arrogant (adj): assuming; giving one's self an undue degree of importance; haughty, conceited
(See 'arrogance', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved Oct 26, 2017, [webstersdictionary1828.com])
For example, one of the articles I released in which I was most commonly accused of arrogance was, "Wolves in Costume: Amy Grant," which was about the music artist Amy Grant, exposing her false beliefs and deception in her music. (i.e. Amy Grant is not a Christian.) Amy Grant has a lot of emotionally-attached followers because of her "feel-good" songs, but when I provided direct quotations from her, along with documentation and Scripture to prove she was not of Christ, I got accused of arrogance (i.e. assumption) by those who ASSUME (via their feelings) she was a Christian without doing any research. In short, I provided Scripture and referenced quotations, and they came to me in arrogance without any Scripture or referenced quotations, and accused me of being "arrogant."
And why beholdest thou the mote [i.e. the splinter of wood] that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
It is for this reason that, for those you who are long-time listeners in our ministry, you may have noticed that I rarely, if ever, accuse anyone of being prideful. It's not that I don't see pridefulness in people all the time; I do, but I also see it in myself, which is why I can recognize it so easily in others. Just about every week, before beginning our audio teachings, you will notice that I pray the Lord Jesus Christ would take the pride from our hearts so we can understand the truth of His Word, and I don't pray that in vanity because I realize it is pride that blinds us to the truth, and we need to be humbled to live perfectly as Christ commands us.
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you... Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats? And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
When a man speaks with vile and filthy words, we know that his heart is vile and filthy. When he tells jokes about fornication and adultery, we know that he has a heart of fornication and adultery. When he lies, we know he has a lying heart. And when he reacts to Biblical rebuke and correction with false accusations of pride and arrogance, we know he has a prideful and arrogant heart.
Railing accusation is another way we can see the prideful heart of men.
rail (v): to speak accusations of fault in severe language, to use prideful language, to attempt to find some fault or blame in contempt rather than truth
(See 'rail', American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828, retrieved Oct 26, 2017, [webstersdictionary1828.com])
(Read "Christmas: The Rejection of Jesus" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
As soon as you try to tell them the truth, railing accusation comes out of their mouth, condemning you as being a "Pharisee" or a "legalist" or "unloving" or "contentious," or an assortment of other false accusations and insults. This is the prideful heart of a man trying to protect himself from being corrected in humility; the prideful heart refuses to be humbled.
Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles. Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.
(Read "What's Wrong With Christian Rock?" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: Not rendering [to pay back] evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
-1 Peter 3:8-10
But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat... Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.
-1 Corinthians 5:11-13
Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
|If you have ever seen a preacher yell, rant, and rave from the pulpit, cussing and yelling at people, you are looking at a contentious railer. Such men are deceivers and false converts who are not of Christ, and because of their pride, they make their followers two fold the child of hell than themselves. (e.g. Steven Anderson is a good example of the kind of wolf in disguise who rails from the pulpit.)|
Notice particularly the prideful heart of Steven Anderson and the lack of humility.)
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte [i.e. convert to his religion], and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day.
And the mean man shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled:
Behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, shall lop the bough with terror: and the high ones of stature shall be hewn [i.e. cut] down, and the haughty shall be humbled.
I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.
For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low:
(Read "Is Repentance Part of Salvation?" here at creationliberty.com for more details.)
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men. They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us? For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth [i.e. pridefully lifting himself to high esteem] at him. The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.