- Stanley uses 1 Corinthians 13:11 as the "proof-text" for this message, even though he readily admits that it doesn't apply! ("I want to take this verse out of context, so to speak, to apply that to our emotional lives and the effect that childish things of the past have on us today -- that is not exactly what Paul was referring to, but the truth of what I'm going to say is indeed the truth.") Stanley then defines the kind of childishness he's talking about:
"I'm talking about the things that damaged us when we were children -- that our parents placed within our lives -- damaging ideas that we live with. And when that little boy crops up, or that little girl crops up, then we've got problems ... All of us have them [these damaged childhood memories] ... Many of these attitudes that we never chose to adopt -- nobody ever said, 'Would you like to think this about yourself?' -- it's just that it was programmed into our thinking ... In fact, all of us have the little boy and the little girl still within us," which then can "act-up" beyond our control. "... the little child-likeness within us still acts out, in a mature adult body, childish attitudes that are the result of those damaging ideas that were programmed into our thinking while we were children ..."
"Often times it's not that we choose to respond that way; the little boy or the little girl comes to life and acts out this carnal, fleshly attitude, and embarrasses the adult ... More than likely if they keep reoccurring, it's the little boy or little girl within you that's trying to express himself or herself ... Who is it that's really responding? Is that a choice you've made or is that the little boy back there with damaged emotions, or little girl, who's rising to exercise their authority?"
- The thesis of Stanley's message is one based upon Freud's thoroughly discredited theory of psychic determinism:
"When you and I were born, and even before we were born, we began to be programmed, and on this 'grid system' of our mind, our parents, other people, school teachers, friends later on, and people that became a part of our life, began to make a contribution to our grid system -- that is, they began to say things about us or to us that left indelible impressions as little children.
"If our parents were godly and loving and kind, they built beautiful, beautiful truths into our 'grid system' because everything we would think from the very beginning would have to sift through that. If my parents built self-worth in me, and a sense of security, and to be somebody, and I was worth something, and that I was competent, then everything the rest of my life would sort of go through that, and I would sift all the negative and the positive through my sense of self-worth and competency -- my adequacy to face life. But if that parent built within me a sense of worthlessness -- 'you can't do that, you won't ever amount to anything,' and all the rest -- into that grid system is built that, and so all the other things the rest of my life are going to be sifted through those first-indelible impressions that were made upon my life and your life."
- Therefore, what the Bible calls sinful actions and/or sinful responses, Stanley calls uncontrollable impulses over which one has no control, and thereby, cannot be held accountable nor responsible for:
"Not a matter of sin, but a matter of pre-programmed attitude, so be very, very careful of what you say to your children ... Not really sinning, but the problem is your pre-programming of inferiority by your parents."
- Stanley offers no hope for those suffering from the effects of this so-called early childhood (or even pre-birth) pre-programming -- "You can't deny it's true, but you can deal with it." He even goes so far to say that, "if the little boy or girl within you has not been dealt with, you do not know the God of this Book!"
- Stanley claims to know "these truths" (of pre-programmed behavior for which one is not responsible) from personal experience -- Stanley himself grew up with "rejection, poor self-esteem, poor self-image, and other things that destroy a person emotionally." (Stanley claims to have grown up with a step-father who "totally rejected" him and could not accept him, which thereby led to Stanley forming a programmed opinion of God that was the same as the opinion he had of his earthly father.)
- Stanley lists seven steps in dealing with the ill-effects of childhood pre-programming: (Remember, according to Stanley, there is no cure for "these things," but one's only hope is to develop mechanisms for dealing with them.)
(a) Identify the childhood emotions, attitudes, and actions.
(b) Acknowledge its presence, its effect, and its source (your parents) in your life.
(c) Forgive those responsible -- place an empty chair in a room, visualize the responsible party sitting in the chair (remember, it can't be your fault because you've been pre-programmed), and "forgive him [your father] for programming low self-esteem into your life." (Stanley, incredibly, cautions us not to go to the person directly!) This suggested methodology is identical to that taught by the "inner healers" in the church today (David Seamands, Kevin Leman, Randy Carlson, etc.), who have derived their techniques from such anti-Christians as Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud.
(d) Forgive yourself for the expectations you placed on yourself.
(e) Accept God's acceptance of me just the way I am, because "you're programmed" and, thereby, not responsible for your actions.
(f) Believe your acceptance.
(g) Renew your mind with the Word, which is the truth that, "the little boy in me doesn't have to control me," and that "I am SOMEBODY in the eyes of God."
(h) Stanley's prayer at the end of the message is typical of the Freudianisms he has become so fond of -- "Grant them the courage to get started. Send them a friend -- a true friend who will listen to them cry, listen to them shout and hurl their attitudes of animosity and resentment, who will listen and love them right through to victory." (Freudian ventilation therapy)