One of my neighbors has a sign in their yard that is creating discussion among those of us who regularly walk past it. The sign represents what most of our culture now believes. Interestingly, it represents what a LOT of people in our churches also believe.
It can be a frustration for some of us who teach biblical truth, which is “ancient” thinking. I spent some time thinking about the more current “belief” statements listed on the sign. Why are so many Christians these days struggling to fully believe the word of God? Why are so many doubting Scripture in light of popular beliefs?
Are you sure you believe everything the Bible says is still true today?
R.C. Sproul was an American preacher who passed away in 2017. He was speaking about the struggles people have with their faith when he said, “The issue of faith is not so much whether we believe in God, but whether we believe the God we believe in.”
If you aren’t sure what you believe, consider asking yourself if you believe what your God has said. Do you still believe the Bible is pure truth?
What did the neighborhood sign say?
The neighborhood sign identifies what most people believe in our country. The sign reflects the beliefs of the vast majority of those under forty. The sign reads:
BLACK LIVES MATTER
NO HUMAN IS ILLEGAL
LOVE IS LOVE
WOMEN’S RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS
SCIENCE IS REAL
WATER IS LIFE
INJUSTICE ANYWHERE IS A THREAT TO JUSTICE EVERYWHERE
Every one of those beliefs sounds like something all people should believe. And that is the problem.
Why should anyone, especially a Christian, take issue with a sign like that?
I thought a lot about that as I walked. The problem with signs like these is not that they speak lies. Instead, these signs speak only partial truth, usually for a political purpose. The danger of statements like these is they only reveal one layer of thinking. Partial truth is truth minus the consequences.
What should Christians believe?
EVERY LIFE MATTERS TO GOD.
John 3:16 begins with the words “For God so loved the world.” Every life matters to God, but in the same breath we must say, “Not every life is acceptable to God.” God gave his Son for everyone, but only some give their lives back to God.
ALL HUMANS BREAK LAWS BY MAKING ILLEGAL CHOICES.
Romans 3:23 is clear truth: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Another great truth of Scripture is that human beings needed laws and ultimately needed a Savior because they couldn’t keep the laws that were given.
GOD IS LOVE (1 John 4:8).
God’s love is the only perfect love. Christians should believe that love is defined accurately by God because his character is love. If God’s laws label certain expressions of human love or lust as wrong, then it is the humans and their emotions that are wrong.
WOMEN’S RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS, BUT WOMEN DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT TO DO WRONG JUST BECAUSE IT’S THEIR PREFERENCE.
Politically, this belief statement is a contradiction of the first. Do people really believe that every life matters? Do some lives matter more than others? God loves the world and all of us have rights, including the right to choose wrong.
SCIENCE IS REAL IF THOSE WHO DEAL WITH CREATION ACKNOWLEDGE THE CREATOR.
“In the beginning God . . . .” Nothing existed apart from what God created. Nothing exists today that God has not allowed. This world had a beginning and will have an end because God has ordained that. Science is a study of the creation but will never fully comprehend or explain the Creator.
WATER IS ESSENTIAL TO HUMAN LIFE, BUT JESUS IS ESSENTIAL TO ETERNAL LIFE.
He told the woman at the well, “But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14).
INJUSTICE IS A THREAT. SO IS PARTIAL TRUTH.
Our culture feels entitled to live according to personal values and beliefs, but our evening news is a good indicator of why people need higher standards than human standards. We all know John 3:16, but John 3:17 is equally important. This world will never be just; that’s why God sent his Son (John 3:16). Verse 17 says, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”
How can Christians bring unity to our divided culture?
Christians, myself included, need to focus on John 3:17 with an enormous sense of humility. If Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world, we shouldn’t condemn the world either. There was a lot of “condemnation” of that rainbow-colored “belief” sign in our neighbor’s yard. Instead, maybe we should be looking at the common ground.
Almost all people want our culture to feel kinder, more compassionate, fairer, more educated, more understanding, and a LOT LESS divided. People want to feel safe and want their children to be safe at school. Almost all people are looking for more happiness, joy, and peace with one another.
Most people would like the values of Christianity, even if they don’t acknowledge them as the values of Christ. Christians are the minority opinion now, but we have a lot in common with most people. Let’s start there and earn the privilege to invite them toward God’s standards of truth. Common ground is a good beginning. So often, Jesus started there.
John Henry Newman spoke words of wisdom saying, “We can believe what we choose. We are answerable for what we choose to believe.” R. C. Sproul’s words are worth considering again: “The issue of faith is not so much whether we believe in God, but whether we believe the God we believe in.”
When you aren’t sure what you believe, believe the God you believe in. He is sovereign because he is perfect. God isn’t as trendy right now as we would wish, but his ancient truth is also eternal. Trust that God’s word is full truth and provides the additional layer of consequence to the partial truth our culture is preaching.
I’ve often said, “If it isn’t fully true, it can’t be of God.”
We know what to believe when we know Whom to believe.