Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Monvee: “You Don’t Just Become Holier...You Become “You-ier!” ”

"The Me I Want To Be" is a book and teaching program written by John Ortberg for Monvee.  Monvee, a program that bills itself as "the future of spiritual formation" is a product designed to help people "experience handcrafted spiritual growth," but which dangerously teaches and promotes occultic mantra meditation practices.  And sadly, it also encourages people to continue in narcissistic self-centeredness, with teaching like this:
"You don't just become holier...you become 'you-ier'!
Well, besides being a little cheesy, this nugget of man-made wisdom from Monvee is in direct opposition to what the Scripture tells us about the self, which is that:
We must die to self (1 Cor 15:31)
We must crucify the flesh (Gal 5:24)
We must decrease and Christ must increase (John 3:30)
Monvee promises an individualized self-evaluation for the purpose of crafting a "personalized Spiritual Formation plan" for each participant.  But really, by the time we truly come to Christ, aren't we just done with "self?" I know I was.  I was done with the navel-gazing, the constant fixation on my wants, my fears, my desires, my issues, my goals, my likes, my dislikes, my wounds, my plans, my dreams, my......well, you get the idea.  By the time God reached down and mercifully saved me, I was completely done with "me" - and that's saying a lot for someone as narcissistically self-absorbed as I was.

And is it just "me," or does anyone else notice anything strange about the cover of John Ortberg's book, supposedly a Christian book?  Well, we can all see a nice big ME, front and center, right?  But what (or should I say, Who?) is conspicuously absent from this book cover?  It's Christ....our Lord and Savior, who brought us a salvation so magnificent, so profound, that even the angels long to look into its mysteries (1 Peter 1:10-12).

Sadly, John Ortberg has brought us just another ear-tickling message designed to cater to our pampered, self-indulgent flesh.  I don't know about anyone else, but like one of my favorite bands (MercyMe), I'm weary of "self."  Go ahead, feel free to sing along - the lyrics are below.

"So Long, Self" - by MercyMe

Well if I come across a little bit distant / It's just because I am / Things just seem to feel a little bit different / You understand / Believe it or not but life is not apparently / About me anyways / But I have met the One who really is worthy / So let me say

So long self
Well it's been fun, but I have found somebody else
So long self
There's just no room for two
So you are gonna have to move
So long self
Don't take this wrong but you are wrong for me, farewell
Oh well, goodbye, don't cry
So long self

Stop right there because I know what you're thinking / But no we can't be friends / And even though I know your heart is breaking / This has to end / And come to think of it the blame for all of this / Simply falls on me / For wanting something more in life than all of this / Can't you see

Don't feel so bad  / There'll be better days  / Don't go away mad (but by all means) / Just go away, go away

 Additional Resources 

Monvee—The New Evangelicalism about Me: A Review of John Ortberg's The Me I Want to Be

Spiritual Growth? There's An App For That

Monvee: The New Evangelicalism About Me - A Review of John Ortberg's "The Me I Want To Be" 

Monvee: Mysticism For The Masses

On The "Faith" of Mother Teresa: John Ortberg Strikes Out

John Ortberg Quotes Thomas Merton