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Dangerous Theism

July 12, 2010

It has come to my attention that over 99% of the population of the history of the world have been theists.  A theist is a person who believes in the existence of God or at least a god.  We are naturally religious people.  In fact, I think it is fair to say that human beings will worship something even if that something has been created by their own hands (just check out Jeremiah 10).  Even in the supposed contemporary age of atheism and agnosticism some quote stats that claim that 90% of Americans still believe God exists. 

Apparently theism is nothing to sneeze at but it is also not all that impressive since just about everyone in the world has been a theist.  We typically see it as a victory when someone claims to believe in the existence of God.  However, I would suggest to you that it can be a dangerous trap because it is very possible to be a theist and not be a Christian.  It is extremely possible that we buy into the existence of God without giving undying allegiance to Jesus.  Could it be that much of our society has dined at the table of theism thinking that it will suffice in terms of their spiritual appetite?  Could it be that for many theism simply eases their spiritual conscience enough to lead them to falsely believe that they do not also need to be a disciple of Jesus Christ?  I am afraid that many theists will be going to hell because belief in the existence of God doesn’t atone for sins, brings us into a relationship with God, or transform our lives.  Only Jesus can do this. 

The church must beware of this snare.  We can easily get into ruts in which we talk about “God” without hardly speaking about Jesus.  The problem with this is that the word “god” doesn’t always mean the God of Jesus Christ.  In some ways, I hear believers talk about spiritual experience in which they have almost bypassed Jesus to encounter our Creator.  We can’t forget that “no one comes to the Father except through [Jesus]” (John 14:6; emphasis added).   When we come to the Father it is through the name and ministry of Jesus and it would be good for us to acknowledge such.  I emphasize this because at times I sense that Jesus has become to us one part of our relationship with God.  It is as if God has given us many resources through which we can “enhance” our lives and Jesus is simply one of them:  grace, forgiveness, righteousness, calling, hope, and Jesus.  It is vital that we see that Jesus is the dispenser of all these things and that they are not found a part from him.  Jesus is not one among many resources in our relationship to God, but rather He is the fount of all things and through him we have all things.  Jesus is grace, righteousness, calling, and hope. 

Not only does a subtle theism without Christ exist amongst Christians, but it weakens our objective:  to make disciples of all nations.  Make disciples of who?  Of Jesus of course.  We are to make students who imitate Jesus.  The world is not drawn to a bland theism.  They have been their and done that with 99.9% of the human race claiming theism.   Also, atheism is not our greatest enemy because even if it can be overcome, there is still the necessity of Jesus.  The world needs to see the vivid wisdom of God lived out.  The world needs to see the eyes of love and hear the voice of truth.  The world needs to feel the hammering of the nails in his hands, see the blood spilling from his body, hear the insults flung his way, and experience this him hanging and lifted up.  The world needs to encounter Jesus for he is all of these things and so much more.  He said to lift him up and he would draw all men to himself.  The Father loves the Son.  The Son glorifies the Father.  There is no competition between the two.  In fact, it pleased God to save the world through Jesus and to make Jesus the place we encounter Him (1 Cor. 1:21). This is the plan of God that Jesus would be supreme in all things (Col. 1:18).

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Kyle Heine permalink
    July 12, 2010 5:30 pm

    Thinking on this, I must admit I’ve probably been more at ease talking about God with non-believers/seekers than I have been Jesus. Consciously, I know Jesus is central to everything in our faith; that even the Old testament is about Jesus. But, I still may have reluctance at times to speak His name.

    Thanks for making me think!

    • July 13, 2010 8:56 am

      Your thought about the ease of talking about God instead of Jesus to non-beleivers is a GREAT point!

  2. Lee permalink
    July 12, 2010 6:50 pm

    I am sure that it goes without saying, but we need not forget that Jesus was and is God incarnate.

  3. Robert Cozart permalink
    July 13, 2010 2:19 am

    It has been my experience with people in my short time of ministry that they understand the concept of there being a God, or a least a higher power. He is so far off, in there opinion, how would or why would he want to have a relationship with me.

    As I read and study scripture, that is exactly what Jesus wants from us as believers, a relationship. If we will let the scripture sink in and us become a sponge and absorb as much as we can fathom, our relationship with Christ will become stronger.

    Nathan, I am so glad that you pointed out about making disciples after Christ, so many times this is an area I think the church forgets about. Christ is the center of everything, and why the church and believers exists, is because of Jesus.

  4. Tony C. permalink
    July 14, 2010 9:10 am

    Your point about “victory” when we see that someone claims the existence the God is well taken. The guys that get the headlines are the guys with the worldview as opposed to the bibical worldview and accordingly the Jesus worldview. Change MY heart , oh God.
    – “I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one fewer god than you do.” –Stephen F. Roberts.

  5. Richard S. permalink
    July 15, 2010 4:35 pm

    I believe it should be call meism

  6. Bob permalink
    July 16, 2010 8:08 am

    we can’t speak to the Father without first being cleansed by Jesus
    thanks brother

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