I would like to speak with you today about a matter that I feel is critical. What we will discuss in this week's article is very important! When it comes to the experience and expression of faith in our country today, many people wonder why things are the way they are. Even over the last 20 years, the church's life in America has changed so dramatically, that it has left many bewildered and confused.
To understand what has happened, a bit of history needs to be explained. We must go back to 1846. Around 1846-1851 a philosophy crystallized through the efforts of a man named George Jacob Holyoake.
The term “secularism” was first used by Holyoake to explain a philosophy that preached the separation of religion from governing bodies, law, and political decisions, as well as the equality of religious practices under the law.
As this secular theory began to percolate and circulate, science and geology began to develop as well, with an anti-biblical approach to those disciplines. Many people of faith were left scrambling and confused about the assault upon their faith.
Jump forward about 100 years to the 1960s. It was during these years that aberrant religious and political modernism experienced an explosion of influence. Out of those days has grown an unusual expression of religion, which predominates today....even in many churches. It is called...Secular theology. This brand of theology holds that biblical theism has lost credibility as a valid conception of God's nature.
Secular theology has sought to redefine Christianity so that the core concepts of belief and faith might be preserved in the face of what secularists believe to be overwhelming evidence contrary to God's biblically understood existence. Secular theology rejects the concept of a personal God as found in the Bible. It also rejects the local church and instead stresses personal awareness of God and the value of Christian virtues (though we don’t necessarily practice them). Secular theology embraces the status of Jesus Christ, Christology, and Christian eschatology as Christian mythology without basis in historical events.
Richard Dawkins, the prominent atheist and scientist, has admitted that he is a “secular Christian” because he hankers after the nostalgia and traditions of the church. Speaking at the Hay Festival (2014), the evolutionary biologist claimed that although he does not believe in the supernatural elements of the Christian church, he still values the ceremonial side of religion.
“I would describe myself as a secular Christian in the same sense as secular Jews have a feeling for nostalgia and ceremonies,” said Dawkins. "But I am a secular Christian if you want to call me that.”
There is a nuance to this liberal unsaved “secular Christian,” like Dawkins…it is the secular believer..... Many Christians today have been sucked up into this vortex of theological and practical aberrancy. What is a secular believer? Are you one? Here is a ten-question test to see! This quiz was discovered on the following website: https://josephmattera.org/10-signs-you-are-a-secular-believer/
1. You make major decisions without first determining God's will and direction. Many believers are functional atheists because they make major decisions, such as marriage, moving to another region, changing jobs, or changing churches, without hearing from God, getting input from spiritual leadership, or searching the Scriptures.
2. You care more about what others think of you than what God thinks about you. In this "selfie" secular age, appearance, status, and popularity with friends are sometimes pursued more than understanding the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom (Prov. 9:10). When we care more about what people think of us than respecting the ways of God, then we are secular.
3. You are led by money, not by the Holy Spirit. Whenever you prioritize money over God's will, you are secular. This is one reason why many so-called believers work so many hours; then, they rarely have time to participate in a faith community. Jesus said that if we "seek first His Kingdom, then all the other needful things we seek will be given to us" (Matt. 6:33).
4. You do not practice biblical financial stewardship. It is sad that many in the body of Christ do not believe that their money belongs to God. They live as if they are the ones in charge of their lives, money, and wealth. Even those who tithe should understand that God claims ownership of one hundred percent of their money, not just the ten percent. When you spend your money as if it were your own, then you are not practicing biblical stewardship. You are acting like a secular believer and not like a true Christian.
5. If You attend church services (most secular believers reject “organized religion”) primarily to socialize....or out of habit, duty, love of nostalgia, or fear of what others would think of you if you didn’t go to church. Secular believers' primary motivation to attend church services is to meet their friends, while biblical Christ followers' primary motivation is to meet God in the context of communing with the saints and hearing what the Spirit is saying to the church.
6. You mimic (or at least don’t challenge) the values of popular culture. Secular believers espouse the world's values when it comes to dating, pre-marital sex, dress, popular music, language, etc.
7. God is merely a part of your life. True Christ followers do not make God a mere part of their lives. Christ is their life! (Col. 3:1-4).
8. You don't have a lifestyle of seeking God. Secular believers may say a quick prayer here and there, usually to bless their secular lifestyle, but they do not consistently seek God's face in prayer or pour over the Scriptures.
9. Your life does not impact others for the gospel. Secular believers are so subsumed with this world they do not have a sense of eternity. Sadly, many times unsaved family members, friends, and co-workers are not able to notice the difference between a believer and an unbeliever.
10. You are not making disciples. Secular believers do not have a burden to win others to Christ. There are many people in the body of Christ today who have been saved for many years and have not invested their lives in making even one disciple. If you are not presently mentoring and helping somebody mature in Christ, then you are willfully disobeying the Great Commission Jesus commanded (Matt. 28:19).
Are you a secular believer? This is a shameful way to live a Christian life. This way of life is not that of a believer with a biblical worldview who is truly following Jesus Christ!