“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God” (ESV)
In the book Soul Searching, we learn about research done with 3000 young people. What they found was that many shared these basic beliefs about God:
• God wants us to be nice and fair
• The purpose of life is to be happy and feel good about yourself
• God only really needs to be involved in your life when needed to solve a problem
• Good people go to heaven when they die
The book calls this view “Moral Therapeutic Deism”… but it doesn’t totally jive with the Bible.
Now before I sound like a Bible-thumping, hard… rear, I want to say it’s awesome when people sincerely seek God. And I actually think these beliefs apply to a lot of people, not just youth.
But it makes life about us instead of God. Watch the shift that happens when I compare it to a more biblical perspective:
“God wants us to be nice and fair.” Kind of. The Bible gives us a vision of mercy, justice and love. If we leave what is “nice and fair” up to each society or individual, it’s easy for our understanding to get twisted from God’s intent.
“The purpose of life is to be happy and feel good about yourself.” Not really. Happiness comes and goes. Life’s goal is to glorify God, to experience the joy that comes from knowing him, and to follow Jesus as he renovates our relationships, communities and world.
“God only really needs to be involved in your life when needed to solve a problem.” Actually, God wants in 100%.
“Good people go to heaven when they die.” While some good people certainly go to heaven, the New Testament teaches that heaven is for those who place their faith in Jesus.
So why am I telling you this?
Because living for Moral Therapeutic Deism is selling yourself short. I realize that today’s “Up!” is a bit heavy. But it’s vital. A god who just confirms what you want is just a bigger version of yourself with the same problems.
Instead, believe big and believe bold. The holy, wise and loving God of heaven and earth wants real estate in our souls… for the healing of the world.
By Matthew Ruttan