Posts Tagged ‘philosophy of religion’

Why True Conviction in Christian Faith is Detested

March 6, 2017

A friend of mine (screen name “L”) recently wrote about churches drifting away (or, in some cases deliberately doing so) from the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, this is often true. What’s more, it is happening at a greater rate in this generation than ever before!

Our family left two churches over the years because we found that the pastor was drifting away from excellent Bible teaching. In one case, the pastor started to follow another pastor’s way of teaching and this caused errors (one was huge!) in the direction that he started taking the church.

2Ti 4:3

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;

2Ti 4:4

and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

I suggest reading my post entitled Syncretism Stew. An author by the name of Marsha West has created a list of denominations that have drifted their congregations away from what the disciples originally called, “The Way.”

Today, one of the most “admired” ideas is the human philosophical combination of many religions under the guise of labeling it in a term called COEXIST.

I have seen many of these stickers on the bumpers of cars here in California. It is a very nice sentiment and would be nice if sincerely followed. However, each of those religions disagrees with the teachings of the others. Therefore, each religion thinks that all the others are wrong! This is an example of where human philosophical efforts often fail. If a person doesn’t agree with all of the other religions listed on that banner, then you are often labeled as “bigoted,” “phobic” (including all the phobias being spouted around today), “crazy” or even “evil”!

Why?

Because behind the banner of “can’t we all just get along” is the premise that the claim of exclusivity of being saved by grace through Jesus Christ is bad news…rather than the Good News of salvation.

We see today how Christian faith is attacked by non-believers (often relentlessly) and the Jewish faith (which is the root of Christianity) is also highly disparaged.

Why?

Because the proponents of philosophy of religion precludes any true believer in Christ from having true conviction in their faith and replaces it with the demand for syncretism.

So, how are we supposed to know who is correct in such matters?

Good question!

That is where serious studying of the Bible comes in!

There are too many Christians who only rely on the words of others, rather than examining the Word of God and the Living Word – Jesus Christ – for themselves.

There is a verse in 2 Timothy (which is utilized by the AWANA programs for children) that tells us to “study to show thyself approved unto God – rightly dividing the word of truth.”

2Ti 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

What’s more is that we need to be diligent about it! There are so many tools that can be used to help us in our studies. I think that the commentaries of past biblical scholars (like Matthew Henry) are very helpful! Also, using a concordance in order to understand the meaning of the Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic words in the Bible helps to prevent error in private study and interpretation. For example, the word “fear” in the Bible can mean either dread of something or someone, or it can mean reverence (usually reverence for God). This is only one example. Proper context is essential in Bible study.

The book of Jude informs us that we are to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”

Jude also warns us about the syncretism stew of those who would do things to gain advantage, follow after their own lusts, and be mockers:

Jde 1:16

These are grumblers, complainers, walking according to their own lusts; and they mouth great swelling words, flattering people to gain advantage.

Jde 1:17

But you, beloved, remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Jde 1:18

how they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts.

Jde 1:19

These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.

Jude 1:19 informs us that those who do not have the Spirit (meaning the Holy Spirit of God who indwells us when we repent of our sins and ask for forgiveness at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ and then through faith, ask Him to dwell in our hearts in the form of the Holy Spirit as saved individuals) are people who are sensual persons who cause divisions. Again, this is an example of the syncretism stew that people can willingly enter, or ignorantly enter into because of their lack of knowledge about the way, the truth and the life of Jesus Christ.

Bible study is crucial, but the fellowship with other Christians in a Bible based non-denominational church is also important. If the church is Bible based, then it is less likely to fall into the syncretism stew types of errors.

The longer I study the Bible, the more I learn.  However, this side of heaven one has “never arrived” regarding the wisdom and knowledge of God.   The Bible is a miraculous book and once saved, we are forever being sanctified through the grace and mercy afforded to us by Jesus Christ.

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Faith in Jesus Christ is our response to God's elective purpose in our life. These two truths--God's initiative and man's response--co-exist throughout the Bible. The gospel is "the message of truth" because truth is its predominant characteristic. Salvation was conceived by the God of truth (Ps. 31:5); purchased by the Son, who is the truth (John 14:6); and is applied by the Spirit of truth (John 16:13). To know it is to know the truth that sets men free (John 8:32). Believers are people of the truth (John 18:37), who worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24), and who obey the Word of truth (John 17:17). People have rejected, neglected, redefined, and opposed God’s truth for centuries. Some cynically deny that truth even exists or that it can be known by men (John 18:38). Others foolishly think that denying truth will somehow make it go away. Truth determines the validity of one's belief. Believing a lie doesn't make it true. 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There is no other way to God. False religious leaders and teachers talk much about God’s love, but not His wrath and holiness; much about how deprived of good things people are, but not about their depravity; much about God’s universal fatherhood toward everyone, but not much about his unique fatherhood toward all who believe in His Son; much about what God wants to give to us, but nothing about the necessity of obedience to Him; much about health and happiness, but nothing about holiness and sacrifice. Their message is full of gaps, the greatest of which leaves out a biblical worldview of the saving gospel and replaces it with the worldview of postmodernism with its dominant ethical system of relativism. The Bible describes mankind in the end times: “always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim. 3:7). Spiritual answers cannot be deduced by human reason alone (1 Cor. 2:14). It’s not that spiritual truth is irrational or illogical, but that human wisdom is defective, because it’s tainted by man’s sinfulness, and unable to perceive the things of God. That is why the Bible is so important. It gives us the answers we can’t find on our own. It is God’s Word to mankind. Scripture is divinely revealed truth that fills the vacuum of spiritual ignorance in all of us. Post-truth is the word of the year for 2016 and also the philosophy of the day, According to the dictionary, “post-truth” means, “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” Simply put, we now live in a culture that seems to value experience and emotion more than truth. In a “post-truth” world, people make choices based on emotion and experience rather than objective fact. So in a post-truth world, truth is irrelevant. What exactly is a post-truth culture? It’s a culture where truth is no longer an objective reality. It has become subjective. It’s what’s true for me—my beliefs, my opinions, determine my truth. So in our post-truth culture, man determines truth. Man makes himself the ultimate authority. This starting point, which rejects God’s Word and the idea of moral absolutes, makes truth subjective. Truth will never go away no matter how hard one might wish. Christianity is grounded in objective truth. “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Objective truth exists because we have God’s Word. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Thy word is truth” (John 17:17), and Paul and James describe the Bible as “the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:18). The Psalmist says, “The entirety of your word is truth” (Psalm 119:160). Jesus Himself said, “For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (John 18:37). When Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me” (John 14:6), He wasn’t expressing His personal belief or opinion. He was speaking the truth, a fundamental reality that doesn’t change from person to person. It doesn’t matter if our culture thinks all roads lead to God. The truth of the matter is “no one comes to the Father but by [Jesus].” This blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell

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