What do you believe about God? Salvation? Sin? Ethics? And the Bible?
According to a recent survey conducted by LifeWay Research based on interviews with 3,000 people, American evangelicals are “deeply confused” about many basic Bible doctrines.
Their conclusion, that is “overall, US adults appear to have a superficial attachment to well-known Christian beliefs.” While the majority believed that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, 6 in 10 Americans think that “religious belief is a matter of personal opinion [and] not about objective truth.”
♦A majority of US adults (59%) believe the Holy Spirit is a force and not a personal being.
♦58% don’t see regular church attendance as important.
♦69% are not bothered by “small sins” as being condemned by God.
♦51% agreed that God accepts the worship of all religions.
♦ Incredibly 78% believed that Jesus was a created being.
The problem, cites the survey, is the impact of “relativism” on religion. In a post written 4 years ago, we had this to say about this issue.
Today’s culture, however, looks at truth as being “relative.” It says, “What is truth for me, may not be truth for you. And what truth is for you, may not be truth for me” This philosophy can be summed up in two words: “No Absolutes!”
This philosophy spouts off phrases like “It doesn’t matter what you believe (or do) as long as you’re honest and sincere.” “It says there are no absolute truths in life.” Of course, this is ridiculous. That statement in itself is an absolute.
Yesterday’s post focused on 2 Peter 1:3, where the apostle affirmed that we have been given “all things that pertain to life and godliness.” All things. Period. The Bible has not changed. Culture has changed. Churches have changed. Customs have changed. But God’s Word remains the same. True. Authentic. And inspired.
Paul penned in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work,”
The apostle affirmed that the Scripture is inspired. Not inspired in the sense of an “ah-ha” moment. Or a stroke of genius. But in a divine sense. The word “inspired” literally means “God-breathed.” The Scripture asserts that it’s origin is not from a human source, but that “holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21). God revealed His Word to guide you. Direct you. And help you.
Regarding those beliefs cited above, here’s what the Bible says.
God’s Word is Truth. It is objective. Settled. Certain. And unchanging. It is not a matter of personal opinion. (Jn. 17:17; Ps 119:89; Matt 7:21; Prov 14:12).
Jesus was not a created being. Jesus is the Christ. The son of God. Deity. (Jn 1:1-14).
The Holy Spirit is a person, not a force. He is identified as the third person in the God family. And the personal pronoun “he” is used to describe Him. Not “it.” (Matt 28:19; Jn. 14:26; 15:26; 16:13).
Church attendance is important. Commanded. And is not to be forsaken (Heb. 10:24-27).
There are no “big sins” and “little sins.” All sin is an affront to God. And is equally condemned in the Bible (Jas 2:8-13; Gal 5:19-21).
God has revealed the kind of worship that is pleasing to Him. Not all worship is acceptable before God (Jn 4:23-24; Matt 15:8-9).
This survey not only reveals the divided state of religion in our country, but reminds all of us to base our beliefs upon the Truth of God’s Word.
What do you believe? Can your beliefs be verified in the Bible?
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman