For it is by grace you have been saved...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Truth or Fiction

One of my all time favorite Rich Mullins songs is Creed. I know that being a Baptist and being “non-Creedal” and all should make me run from those kinds of things, but I’ve always liked the historical Creeds (although not as much as I like those historical Confessions; see samples of both here). There is a great deal of truth in them and they often served their purpose in helping to preserve Orthodoxy. But I digress, this is about the song…

The song is based on the Apostles' Creed, one of the earliest and simplest confessions of Christian truth. Creedal or not, most Christians would ascribe to the truth of it. And the line of the song I like best is this:

And I believe what I believe, it’s what makes me what I am
I did not make it, no it is making me
It is the very truth of God and not the invention of any man.

The point is simple. God’s truth is truth. It is what shapes me, my life, my thoughts, my behaviors, my attitudes, etc. Not the other way around. And yet, it seems we like it the other way better. My life, my thoughts, my attitudes, etc. are what shape what I believe the truth is.

A couple days ago, Dr. Al Mohler’s blog mentioned some recent research which solidifies what others have suggested for some time. Namely, most self-professed Christians don’t even believe the truth of their own faith. According to Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life 52% of self-professed American Christians don’t believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven. The more conservative “evangelical” label doesn’t even help much. Of those “evangelicals” 37% say they don’t believe the exclusive claims of the gospel. No wonder the American church seems to struggle at times. We’re offering a Christ that we don’t even believe is necessary.

Ironically, our family was visited by some Jehovah’s Witnesses yesterday. According to another report by the Pew Forum, 80% of these folks are convinced of the exclusive claims of their faith. Reminds me of another song. Back in the day, Whiteheart sang of folks who were More Sold Out to lies than we are to the truth.

Jesus made it quite clear: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6, ESV). He also said, “Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him” (John 5:23, ESV). Seems clear to me that “all paths” don’t lead to the same place. Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone. (Someone famous came up with that one, too).

It seems apparent that our pulpits need to get back to proclaiming the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Doesn’t matter if folks like it or not, it’s the truth, not the fiction of man.

Years ago I saw the bumper sticker (ever the source of good theology) that said, “God said it, I believe it, that settles it.” Cute. However, the middle phrase is superfluous. God said it and that settles it, whether you choose to believe it or not.

The Bible – I did not make it, no it is making me. It is the very truth of God and not the invention of any man.


Applied Christianity said...

Great post. You should send it to that Christian Carnival. The submission link is on the sidebar of my blog if you need it.

Scott said...

Thanks for the encouragement!