Thursday, November 7, 2013

Skin-deep Theism

A recent survey by found that 76% of Americans believes in the existence of a God.  On the surface, that statistic sounds positive: over three-fourths of our nation has the conviction that God exists.  The Bible, of course, from the first verse, assumes that God exists and goes from there to spell out the implications of that reality.

If God exists, as predicated by the Bible and, evidently, by the great majority of our fellow citizens, then we cannot really believe that He is without asking ourselves, in the infamous words of a prominent politician, “what difference does it make?”

The reality of an eternal Being, as the source of all creation including us, is an ominous fact, the proverbial “elephant in the room” that we rationally cannot simply ignore.  God’s holy standards, the Law ordained by God to govern the universe, is an eternal authority to which we will each ultimately be held to account.

Yet it is precisely at this point that the majority of Americans, including those who profess to be theists, go astray.  The same survey from also found that only 38%--exactly half of those professing a belief in God--indicated that their actions were impacted by their belief in God.  In other words, just over one-third of our population has modified their behavior in any way because of their faith.  Regardless of what they profess to believe, 62% of our population, therefore, lives as if God has no bearing on their lives.

Professing Christians, of all people, should be models of consistency in this regard.  Yet, sadly, even many church-going people seek to compartmentalize God into a corner of their lives, reserved for an hour or two on Sunday morning.  Those who live this way fail to translate their profession into the concrete actions that saving faith requires.  As James declares, “Faith without works is dead.”  Real theism will impact your lifestyle.