Of all the statistics we hear on America, few likely are more inaccurate than the one that claims around 70% of Americans are Christians. Sure, that’s what they said, but the term is so loosely used, it can mean about anything. One of the most unfortunate identities of Christian, and about the most far off, are those who simply have a belief in God. There are many, and it seems to be ever-growing, who do not even believe the Bible, or not all of it, or have severely misinterpreted it. (Or they do not believe it to be true, or choose to willingly ignore parts of it anyway.) Rather, this group in “Christianity” rests on their belief in a god they are rather unfamiliar with.
Often, their beliefs involve a Creation-Evolution mix- A god created us and then stepped back and let things happen. He is not really involved in things. Yet when they are in a bind, they put their trust in this god to see them through trouble.
You have probably noticed that I have not been capitalizing "god". This is because the god they identify with is very different from who God truly is. This group really has no way to determine what their god is because they are unwilling to accept the Bible. Doing so would subject them to it.
But apart from the Bible, God’s Word, god can be whoever they want to make him. This is why you can ask someone if they believe in God, and while it may be a start, it may also mean very little. James put it this way: “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” (James 2:19). So you have monotheistic beliefs? Well good for you. Demons, who used to dwell with God as angels before they were cast out of Heaven, also know they he exists. They believe He exists; they even tremble at the thought. But guess where they are? Hell. Where is their eternal home? The Lake of Fire. I don’t say this to scare, but out of love and concern. This is the reality of the situation.
When we decide to leave the Bible as our authority, what else do we rely on to know about God? “My conscience tells me there’s a God.” Funny, that’s in the Bible. “Look at nature, there has to be a God when we look at this beautiful world.” Also in the Bible.
Where else do we learn about God, about His nature and His character? Apart from His Word that He gave us, there is nothing else but ourselves. But that is what this group desires. Do you want to drink alcohol? The Bible says that’s not right. So we’ll make our god say it’s okay. Want to support/be homosexual? That goes against the Bible, so our god will be cool with that. Have sex before marriage? Be deceptive? The list could go on. If they don’t like it, they’ll deny the Bible and make their own rules. All while keeping a belief in “god”. How convenient.
This is exactly what Israel did in Numbers 25. God had just gotten finished protecting them from Balaam, who was trying to curse them. God actually turned the curses into blessings. He said that no one from the outside could touch them. But do you know who could? Themselves. God’s protection only goes so far. Instead, Israel runs after Baal-Peor, the Canaanite god of fertility. They resort to filthy, pagan worship.
Because it was fun. Yes, they knew God was the right way. They knew that He was the only true way. But they could worship another god, still have religion, and have fun! God said sex outside of marriage is wrong, the Canaanites and the god they created said it is a part of worship. It sounds like a much better deal going with them.
Except God’s punishment is sure. You can deny the Bible to avoid thinking about the side of God you want to ignore- His wrath, judgment, and intolerance for sin- but it is still there.
“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.” (Romans 1:22-23). This chapter speaks to atheism, but also, as we see here, to this very problem I speak of. As Paul speaks (under the inspiration of God) of God’s righteousness and man’s unrighteousness, he cannot do it without mentioning this. People, rather than accepting God as He is, change Him into an image more like themselves. Because a god that is like humans won’t hold us to higher standards. This goes against the glory of the true God. And those who do it the Bible says are fools.
Do not fall under the common error of our society of having an aura of faith while still living how you please and believing what you want. God is not to be made by man; He made man. Hence we do not dictate terms to Him, He dictates the terms to us. And I think when you dive into it, you’ll find He’s much more fair than some give Him credit.
Submit yourself to the true God, the God of the Bible. This begins by accepting His mercy and grace, and avoiding His judgment. “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:8-13). The saving from Hell comes only through placing your faith in Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection- not a general belief in god.Faith in God is not a bad thing; we should recognize that He exists. But having faith is not enough- you must PLACE your faith in Him to receive salvation and for Him to begin working on your life. I have not regretted it, and you will not either.