“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.” – Mark 8:19
There is a major shift in the church these days. While the vast majority of people identify with being “Christian,” there is a new trend or shift in the wrong direction. Many are moving from a convictional faith (one that is deeply rooted in Biblical faith) to a more cultural belief in a “feels good” religion.
As Ed Stetzer so aptly put it: “The Church isn’t dying off, it’s just being more clearly defined”. The new “in” faith is best described as moral therapeutic deism, where people worship a creative god who blesses people who are good, nice and fair, and helps believers be happy and feel good about themselves. It is a naive and coldly utilitarian view of God.
This new wave of belief has given up on the truth of Scripture and has nothing to say to a fallen world.
Moralistic Therapeutic Deism consists of beliefs like these:
1. “A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.”
2. “God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.”
3. “The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.”
4. “God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.”
5. “Good people go to heaven when they die.”
That, in sum, is the creed to which much postmodern faith can be reduced. When it comes to the most crucial questions of faith and beliefs, many respond with a shrug and “whatever.” Most are incredibly inarticulate about their religious beliefs, and most are virtually unable to offer any serious theological understanding. The casual “whatever” that marks so much of the American moral and theological landscapes is a substitute for serious and responsible thinking.
The essential question of the Christian faith is found in Mark 8:19 where Jesus asked Peter: “Who do you say I am?” If Jesus is not the center of what we believe, then our faith is meaningless.
As more and more churches and their members move away from scriptural authority, the more their faith diminishes into a meaningless faith that blends with a postmodern world that is counter cultural to true Christian faith.
Where are you in your relationship with Jesus today?
By John Grant
John Grant is a former Florida State Senator and is a practicing attorney
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