Lies #1 and #7?
Lies That Go Unchallenged
Lie #1 - We have the freedom of choice to be who we want and to do what we want.
Underlying World View: Individuals are responsible to no higher authority, and are free to pursue their own destinies as long as they don’t hurt others.
When moral guidelines are not based on the holy character of our Creator, we think that we are free to set our own agendas. Apart from our inherent selfishness, this credo gains much of its seductive and deceptive power from the kernel of truth that it distorts. God does want each of us to survive and thrive by doing what is most fulfilling to us. As Jesus put it, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). The problem lies not with our desire for deeply fulfilled and satisfying lives, but in our failure to understand that God has placed our true desires deep in our hearts. Following the guidelines that our Creator established for us leads to our true fulfillment and happiness, but as philosopher Robert George states the secular belief, “Moral rights cannot come as a divine gift because there is no divine giver.”
To combat these lies, we need to articulate a Christian worldview that stands squarely against the cult of autonomous individualism. We were created for perfection, intended to be like God and to worship him forever, yet we have disobeyed the just laws of this all-loving Creator and have paid the consequences in our fallen nature. He has redeemed us at the cost of his own life, and when people speak of “rights,” we need to recognize that everything we are and have is God’s gift to us. The more important issue is our obligation to be reconciled to God in order to become all that we were meant to be as individuals.
- What are the right and wrong ways to think of individual rights?
- What does God’s authority have to do with our rights?
Lie #7 - God accepts us as we are, and there are many ways to him.
Underlying World View: God is an impersonal evolving force, and we become emanations of that God as we fulfill our own self-appointed destinies that contain no ultimate judgment.
The New Age concept of God is certainly not one of absolutes. God can be perceived as being at the root or destination of our desires for such intangible objectives as universal freedom, economic and intellectual advancement, or a vague harmony with the universe and one another. Thus, we partake of God and become God. Though there are many varieties of New Age belief and practice, they tend to share an inclusive approach that features many roads as leading to the same God—a God who is not historical or personal, absolute or discriminating.
The culture has accepted the financial success of evangelical Christianity, saying that it’s okay to be a Christian as long as you see it as a consumer choice—one option among many on the menu. Image over substance can also be seen in today’s church, where marketing and cultural accommodation override doctrinal content. We have reached the state of early Christian days, when there was great ignorance of the Christian faith. In these times of great opportunity, this spiritual dimension allows us to make a stronger case for our faith. Let us speak and live persuasively in order to attract others to the wonderful news of liberation in Jesus Christ. We must let his light illumine and expose the darkness all around us.
- What is wrong with society’s view of God?
- What can we do to challenge these ideas in a positive way?