Knowing who you are
Sat May 25, 2013
by Jeremy Pace
Resurgence roundup, 5/24/13
Fri May 24, 2013
The places grace empowers us
Thu May 23, 2013
by Justin Holcomb
‘Each next risk is the biggest one’: James MacDonald talks with Mark Driscoll
Wed May 22, 2013
by Mark Driscoll
Tue May 21, 2013
by Amanda Edmondson
Positive Atheism? Why Christians Should Believe in Less
Seeing is believing. That’s what they say anyway.
But the Bible says hearing is believing (Romans 10:17).
Our culture is inundated with images, and we simply listen too much to what those images say. The problem is, all of these messages preoccupy us with things that don’t matter.
On the other hand, God’s word wakes us up to reality that we have bigger problems. All of us are under judgment for falling short of the glory of God. It’s time we stopped believing all the wrong things and believe just one thing: the gospel.
First-Century Christian “Atheists”
First century Christians in Rome were considered atheists. How so? Rome was a culture with gods literally on every street corner. The pantheon of gods was encouraged because idolatry sells. False religion taps into people’s fears and insecurities; emotions that offer great business opportunities. Savvy opportunists have a way of harnessing people’s latent idolatry and answering it with goods and services guaranteeing safety, comfort, and control to anxious consumers. Hmmm... sounds familiar.
When we walk by sight instead of faith, we take matters into our own hands and fashion idols that promise safety and control.
Once Christianity gained traction in the Roman empire, more people began refusing to believe that all the deaf, mute, and blind idols of their culture could deliver what they really needed. Instead, they worshipped Jesus alone.
Believing in Seeing Breeds Idolatry
First-century Christians saw a very different set of problems than the current Western world. They faced threat of famine, no medical technology, and political enemies, just to name a few. Sometimes our biggest concerns are soaring gas prices and an expanding waistline. Whatever the problem, context, or time, the human heart will always respond. Instead of believing that God is ultimately good and in control, we often get things exactly opposite. Instead of walking by faith that God works out all things for good, we walk by sight instead of faith. By doing this, we take matters into our own hands and fashion idols that promise safety and control.
Seeing Is Not Always Believing
All of our sight-driven fear has obscured what God has said. Our spectacle-oriented culture traps us into running the hamster wheel of unattainable success, health, and popularity. Very few of us become movie stars, astronauts, heads of state, or pro athletes. If we’re honest, in the end, we all are subject to entropy. Wrinkles and love-handles happen. We get sick and ultimately die.
It’s time we stopped believing all the wrong things and believe just one thing: the gospel.
But, the spectacle of “Entertainment Tonight,” what you see in the mirror, or what’s written in your medical chart is not the last word. Jesus resurrected. Death is not the last word. Not only that, God is reconciling all things (Colossians 1:20). There will come a day when there is no crime, poverty, natural disaster, sickness, broken relationships, or disease.
Whatever hardship you are facing, if you are in Christ, it’s not the last word! While there is no guarantee of the good life now, it’s time we believed less of what we see (and the superstitious baggage that comes with that believing) and more of what we have heard proclaimed: God saves sinners and he is reconciling the world to himself!