Good Without God! Really?!? (Part V)
Man has, from the very beginning, exercised his will in opposition to God, by seeking to operate outside of God’s Will. In a similar vein, mankind has used the intelligence God gifted them to devise ideas of why they believe God does not even exist and all of creation just happened. Reality? NO! Lunacy? YES!
However, my purpose here is to speak to the end result of that questioning of God – the religion of humanism and how it has crept into the Christian Church, the universal, worldwide body of believers in Jesus Christ. Within the universal Church there are numerous subsets and denominations. Just as the human body is a unified creation, made up of many different but essential elements, so the Body of Christ (the pure and true Church) holds to a set of foundational beliefs that cannot be set aside and still remain part of the Body.
“They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” [2 Thessalonians 2:10b-12]
Apostasy, as I will discuss it herein, defines the process of falling away from the Christian faith. It is a revolt against the truth of God’s word by any believer, group or church organization that has “fallen away” from the truths of Christianity as divinely revealed in the Bible.
It is as simple as that! Humanism has been a primary cause of apostasy. The false teachings of humanism began to seep into Christian thought and writings as early as Thomas Aquinas (1226-1274), and followed by the likes of René Descartes, Jeremy Bentham, Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, and John Dewey, among many others.
In my early years as an adult in the church I experienced numerous examples of people talking out of both sides of their mouth regarding what they believe and how they put it into practice. One of the primary problems that eroded the foundations of church bodies was failure of individuals to study and know the Word of God. Whether it was simply spiritual laziness, or the distractions of busy lives, or materialism or the explosion of audio and visual mediums of communications, followers of Jesus began to drift away from focus on God’s Word. Many remained faithful to church attendance (it’s a social thing), but created a segregated life of home, work and church. They found it easier to let a pastor or teacher ‘spoon-feed’ them with spiritual truth during a short service on a Sunday, than to acknowledge their personal responsibility to spend time daily exploring God’s Word for the truths He had for them. For example, the difference in a person feeling good because they know there are diamonds in a particular rock formation, versus the one having the tenacity to carefully dig into the rock and extract the diamonds.
Our God is a triune being who, from eternity past and forever, exists in fellowship. He welcomes fellowship with His children. As we grow in our love for Jesus through the Bible and the teaching of the Holy Spirit we find favor with God the Father.
Many pastors, who came up in this environment of apostasy, found that teaching bits and pieces of the Bible, eliminating those areas that were caustic to the culture, would facilitate growth in attendance and membership of their local church.
The people who have developed such a lifestyle will eventually pattern a god that fits comfortably into their lives. However, as can be seen in all congregations, they know how to “play church,” how to act and speak the part. It is possible to know someone for years and never grasp the disposition of their spiritual walk. Indeed, many aspire to and gain positions of leadership for the gratification of their ego and/or their desire to rule others.
When confronted with issues that endanger their belief system, they spout out, “Well, I believe God loves all people and would never do ‘such and such.” Or, “I think God would never support that kind of belief or action.” Or, worse yet, “Though there is nothing to support it in the Bible, I am sure Jesus would agree with this.” (See the Post on Pres. Carter) The operative word here is “I”. So to speak, people rip out the parts of the Bible that interfere with their personal beliefs or lifestyle, while building a belief system out of what little remains. You can approach the Bible with a sin-hardened lifestyle, pick out certain passages and try to prove a point. The Bible is either all true, inspired by God, or not.
The late Adrian Rogers (Pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis, TN) described the ministry of the three persons of God in this way:
- The ministry of God the Father is to rule the universe!
- The ministry of Jesus the Son, in conjunction with His Father, is to save mankind!
- The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to open blind eyes, to bring light, to bring understanding!
The person who has believed in Jesus as the Son of God, and that He died, was buried and rose from the dead, physically, and is alive today, has been redeemed and is a part of the Family of God.
“And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” [Ephesians 1:13-14]
It is this Holy Spirit, permanently resident in the believer, who teaches us the Word and provides guidance in the daily pursuit of life. Since this is built on faith in God, the humanist cries foul, and is bent to accept nothing he can’t see or prove by science.
Paul explains why it is different for the non-believer.
“But the natural, non-spiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them (of progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with them) because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated.” [1 Corinthians 2:14 Amplified Bible)
There is but a remnant in the USA of those who trust God, read, study and follow His Word, and lead a life worthy of the calling placed on them by their Master, Jesus. Large numbers professing Christianity cannot, will not, submit their entire lives to Him. The book of the Revelation, the final book in the Bible, speaks to how that turns out!