What Do You Believe?

Posted by Susan On March 23, 2018 ADD COMMENTS

“Ours is a great age of faith, but not in Christ… Our problem is not a lack of faith, but too much false faith.”   -R.J. Rushdoony

Recently, a lot of my friends have battled cancer. One of them was in Stage 4 and eternity seemed imminent for her. Though she’d grown up in a Christian home, there didn’t seem to be any evidence of Christian faith in her life, so in conversation I was very, very relieved to hear her say emphatically, “We have to have faith…!”

That wasn’t a phrase she typically used, so to hear her say it definitely caught my attention! “Yes!” I thought, as in my mind I fist-pumped both my arms, “This is awesome!” But just as quickly, my heart took a dive when she continued “…We just have to believe in ourselves!!”

And, alas, there was the rub. Her faith in man– not in God– was forming a humanist worldview, where man was at the center. “Man” was her god, and held the final authority–had the last word– on everything, and that’s exactly how she was living her life. The trouble is, trusting in man is really nothing more than worship of the creature instead of the Creator that Romans 1:25 warns us about, and yet this is the very idea that forms the humanistic faith that dominates our culture right now– both in and out of church.

Faith forms the individual’s worldview, and worldview in turn dictates how faith is applied. You might be hearing some “anti-faith” claims in our culture today, but don’t let it fool you. The fact is, everybody has “faith.” The big question is, faith in who?

The greatest conflict we’re facing in the culture today is the clash of opposing worldviews. An “anthropocentric” (i.e. man-centered) faith believes that man holds ultimate authority, and it has declared all out war against a firm “Theocentric” (i.e. God-centered) faith that believes God holds ultimate authority. Do you understand the foolishness of such a battle? It’s like the half-inch fetus in utero– still in the process of being shaped and formed, still so far from what it will ultimately be– challenging the wisdom of its mother and disqualifying her because she isn’t the same shape and size as he currently is. Yet even in its futility, it’s the battle over who has the final word on anything. It’s not new, of course. It’s always been, and always will be until Jesus comes back to claim His final victory.

Consider how this is affecting the current evangelical Christian culture. Even in our churches, “faith” is far too often misrepresented as though we were the center of it all. Yet much of what we see in the evangelical Christian culture today is not true faith at all, but “moralistic therapeutic deism” –belief in a God who exists solely to satisfy our own desires and keep us in a perpetual state of being happy. But that’s not the God of the Bible.

Erroneously, we’ve been convinced that the individual only has to repeat the magic words “I believe” in order to win a ticket to everlasting happiness. But as R.C. Sproul once said, “It’s one thing to believe in God. It’s quite another to believe God.” For instance, I could say, “I believe in unicorns,” and while one reader would assume I am imagining a pink and purple pony with a rainbow horn, another might assume that since the Bible refers to unicorns several times, I must be thinking of something closer to a rhinoceros. To believe in something is not nearly as important as what we believe about it.

The “believing” and “confessing” that Romans 10:9 and Acts 16:31 speak of have to do with what we believe about God. Our “confession” is the belief that directs the way we live our lives. The liturgy in our church each Sunday includes our “Confession”– a time when we sing together The Apostles’ Creed. It begins when the pastor asks, “Christian, what do you believe?” I love it! It’s a wonderful constant reminder of exactly what it is we believe about God that is life-changing as we embrace it! When an individual “confesses” that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father, it will, without a doubt, be evident in that individual’s life, because he will live what he believes.

It’s not enough to merely believe there is a God. Believing that there’s a God will make you a theist, but not necessarily a Christian. As we know, demons also believe… and tremble! (James 2:19). It is absolutely important to know what we believe about God. Is what we believe Biblical? Or is what we believe humanistic? Oprah Winfrey claims she believes in God– and she believes we are Him. I mean Her. (Are you confused yet?)

And here’s the really big problem: without firm training in Biblical doctrine–in what we believe– American evangelicals today have largely created a comfortable and politically correct mix of the two opposing belief systems, which has contributed significantly to the current chaos in our culture. Far too often, evangelical Christians end up compartmentalizing their lives so that their Christian faith only applies to some areas of life (church, missions, their private devotional life…) but not others (work, school, business, social issues, relationships…)  A truly Biblical worldview moves faith out of  compartments into an all-encompassing system of belief that dictates how life is lived out in every part of it, with no exceptions.

Right now, the battle between these two opposing belief systems is raging fiercely around us with intensity, yet evangelical Christians are often quite happy with mixing the two, pleased with their own progressive ideas… or at least practicing a passive acquiescence because they “don’t want to judge”… or meekly turning a blind eye to the things that are an offense to God, claiming, “It’s their life, they can choose how they want to live it.”

Unfortunately, in this last generation we are guilty of rejecting solid Biblical Worldview training, and because of it we have miserably failed at being prepared, by and large, for the current cultural war that is being waged against the Christian faith. Unfortunately, our lack of preparedness is the result of focusing too much on “What do we do?” while neglecting, “What do we believe?”


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