If you asked the average person on the street whether God exists and who He is, what do you think you would learn?
Two researchers asked 3000 teenagers that question. In their book: Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers, Christian Smith and Melinda Lundquist Denton describe their findings as “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism” (MTD) which is characterized by following 5 beliefs:
- A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.
- God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.
- The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.
- God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when god is needed to resolve a problem.
- Good people go to heaven when they die.
Does that sound familiar? Perhaps you’ve heard a version of this “creed” from your neighbor, child or coworker? While MTD certainly reflects the politically correct view of religion propagated by the media, the more scary question is what if it also reflects the comforting religion preached on Sunday mornings in our churches?
Moralistic Therapeutic Deism is a far cry from the gospel the Apostle Paul articulates in Romans. In Romans 1:18-32, Paul contends that God is a personal God; that there is a right and wrong and ignoring what God says about right and wrong has serious eternal consequences.
Before Paul discusses the good news of the gospel, he spends 3 chapters on God’s wrath and refutes every tenant of MTD.
For more detail and explanation, please listen to the podcast.