What We Believe Matters

What we believe matters: Parents of a young man shared their feelings on the spirituality of their son when asked if he had any religious beliefs. “We don’t care what he believes, just so he believes in something,” they said confidently. Please indulge me, because I take great issue with that statement.

We don’t care what he believes

The parents don’t realize that their statement is, according to this writer, deadly. It implies that either there is no God, who establishes what is true and what is false, or that God simply doesn’t care because all religions are alike and none of them are any more significant than the others. What we believe matters!

Throughout the time of human history there has always been religion of some form or fashion. It’s the way we are wired. Man, being made in the image of God, is hardwired for worship. But worship of what?

God determines what’s true, what we believe matters

Karl Marx, an atheist, the author of the Communist Manifesto, wrote, “Religion is the opiate of the masses.” He understood man’s inclination to embrace religion, but his idea was not complete because it left out the reality of truth. Marx should have said “false religion is the opiate of the masses.”

The almighty creator God of the universe determines what is and what is not true. We live in a post-truth world, where “truth” is relative and there is no absolute truth. It’s inconvenient. People worship what they want to worship; what makes them feel good.

One of the weaknesses of the evangelical church is the emphasis on having a great praise band entertaining the audience, complete with a light show. Or its pastors who our preaching a prosperity gospel, telling us that if we have enough belief or faith things will turn out fine.

Truth fades as man worships himself

Not to belabor the point, but the church, by demand of its congregations, often drifts father away from the truth as time goes by. Here in America, we are numbed by the entertainment industry and social media. As truth fades, it’s all focused on us.

Since the earliest days, man, in his desire for worship, chose to worship himself, wealth, power, celebrity. All of these are false gods. We do, however, compromise at times by telling others, “what is true for you may not be true for me.” The statement is illogical.

We turn our back on God and truth

We don’t necessarily want to follow the path that God has laid out for us. Adam and Eve went against God in the Garden of Eden by eating the fruit God had forbidden them to eat. We supersize the free-will that God gave us by turning away from Him and rejecting his mercy and love. Call it pride, arrogance or just stupidity, but we chose to focus inward rather than outward.

Nothing has changed really. In so much of the world people live under a dictator, mainly because they have no will to fight against repression. Authoritarian rule is all they know. Even in free countries, authoritarianism is on the rise.

People seem to like a strong leader, just as the Israelites chose Saul for a king, rather than the judges that God had installed. Like all authoritarians through history, Saul fell.

There are plenty of things to worship. The truth has always been before us.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

God’s truth is absolute

God’s truth is the narrow path, because it is absolute. Everything to the right and to the left is false, which is why Jesus said:

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:6-7

What is true is revealed through God’s word. The Bible tells us the truth. Through its 66 books, the contiguous story is told. If you want the truth, it’s there for you. You are also free to reject it.