What People Believe
In this post-Christian era there’s a veritable soup of alternative philosophies to choose from. Pseudo-religious and pseudo-scientific beliefs abound. Open any women’s magazine or local newspaper and you’ll find a plethora of new age beliefs that promise to stimulate one’s love-life and cure all kinds of ills. The modern world, it seems, has not eliminated the need for many to seek spiritual solutions to their problems.
Other philosophies that effect our day-to-day lives are somewhat less esoteric: scientific rationalism, secular humanism, materialism, nationalism, hedonism, romanticism, fatalism and post-modernism... Whether we realise it or not, these belief systems constitute the philosophical framework that shapes our modern world. Whilst these beliefs are often at odds with the teachings of the Bible, believers can be swept along with the currents of belief that ebb and flow around them. Some never seem to question the beliefs that they’ve derived from the world. This blending and diluting of beliefs is what missiologists call syncretism.
A biblical world-view requires that we diligently question all assumptions, judge every belief by God’s standard of truth and seek the spiritual renewal of our minds as we walk with Jesus Christ. Then we can engage the world and it’s beliefs with faith and wisdom.
Interestingly, when it comes to miracles and the supernatural, our African brethren are miles ahead. In fact, many tribal cultures around the world hold to a spiritual world-view and see evidence of the spiritual realm in their day-to-day lives. For them to believe that a powerful God would perform miracles is not the huge leap of faith that it is for those raised in a climate of scientific rationalism and religious scepticism. Could this be why miracles seem less common in developed countries than in the developing world? ‘Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of this world to be rich in faith?’ James 2:5
If you have a story of how God has worked in your life, please share it with us!
Thursday, November 9, 2006 printer friendly version | 8336 reads
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