from my notebook

My head is full of thoughts, and I have to write them down.

Do We Even KNOW What We Believe…

…or are we just spouting off incoherent relativist talk? I’m speaking of recent Pew Forum survey results released today revealing that 70 percent of Americans, 57 percent of them evangelical church attenders, say they believe many religions can lead to faith. On the flip-side, 90 percent of Americans say they believe in God, while 21 Percent of professing atheists say they believe in God or a universal spirit. Excuse me, but do they understand what atheist means?

Do we know what the word “believe” means? One definition that fits best here is “to have firm faith, confidence, trust.” Somehow that definition doesn’t seem to mesh with the results of this survey. This kind of belief looks very shallow.

“What most people are saying is, ‘Hey, we don’t have a hammer-lock on God or salvation, and God’s bigger than us and we should respect that and respect other people,'” said the Rev. Tom Reese, a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University. “Some people are like butterflies that go from flower to flower, going from religion to religion — and frankly they don’t get that deep into any of them,” he said.

We can make this kind of thinking sound good and loving and accepting of others, but tolerance teaching and relativism result in shallow, wavering belief. It has no substance. Even if one sticks to his particular beliefs but says others could be right too, what happens when there is a contradiction? (John 14:6)True hope can only come from a faith with absolutes.

I am reminded of James’ message in chapter one about wavering like a wave of the sea and how a “double minded man is unstable in all his ways.”

Read more on the survey results.


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