America is clearly a bastion of diversity and is the world’s melting pot and while many want to proclaim that America is racist for protecting itself, there is no other place on Earth filled with such a diverse population. In America, when we say diverse, we do not just mean race or ethnicity but melting pot for all people of all backgrounds and of all religions and a recent study by the Pew Research Center found that while eighty percent of Americans say they believe in God, the idea of God is broad and rather diverse.
This article is not to point out the different beliefs in America as there are many but rather, to point out how Christians are wavering in their beliefs and their duties here below. For example, of this eighty percent that confess to believing in God, fifty-six percent say they believe in the God that is described in the Bible. Rather than focus on the other forty-four percent, let’s just focus on the Christians in this study as it’s very interesting and tells much about where we are in our faith and how we perceive God and divine His word and ultimate authority to the world and our lives.
The study finds that three-quarter of Americans believe that God is all loving, omniscient and omnipotent. The research finds that nearly all evangelicals including twenty-five percent of those polled to be nonwhite and Protestants from nearly historical all-black churches believe God as described in the Holy Bible. For these two groups, more than ninety percent believe that God is all loving, all knowing, all powerful and all present and while this should be the thought of every God-fearing Christian, the study finds that only six out of ten Catholics and mainline Protestants believe the same but these two groups also believe that God speaks directly to them.
The Bible tells us that God is love (1 John 4:8) and because God is love, we know that He is everything that love is described as in His word. For example, we are told that love is many different things including patient, kind, not envious while not boasting and rejoices in truth (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). We can from the examples of God that He was all loving while He was here on Earth and continues to be to this day as He offers salvation for all those who sin, each of us, and even to those who curse and deny His name. While it is never a good idea to rest on, Christ does offer deathbed confessions and we see this with the two thieves that hung on the sides of Christ. Although they sinned and were sentenced to death for their crimes, Christ offered them the opportunity to be saved and one took Christ at His word and was saved while the other died without eternal salvation (Luke 23:39-43).
When we talk about God being all-knowing, or omniscient, many Christians have a hard time believing that any being, even God, can be all-knowing or have all knowledge of all things. We are told that directly that God knows everything (1 John 3:20) whether it’s the biggest moment or greatest detail(s) of our lives or the least of details such as the hairs on our heads (Matthew 10:29-30). We are told that God knows all things of history even those things that are not yet done and He will do all things at His pleasure (Isaiah 46:9-10). While scripture is clear on this, too many Christians say that God cannot be all-knowing; therefore, they limit God and His abilities to do all He says He can do.
God’s word tells us that God is able to do all things which only makes sense as He is all knowing and sovereign so He would have to be all powerful. He has the power of all things and over all things and is capable to do all things but what God will not do is make you do something. Think about it for a moment. While God controls your health and is able to take it away at any time, He allows us to come to Him or not. Although God does not force Himself upon any one of us, He is present in all things and there is no better example than creation itself as God’s beauty is all around us. If you believe in the green movement and try to be environmental friendly, you may say that God’s carbon data, or footprint, is great as He is all around.
When God said let there be light, it was so (Genesis 1:3) and when He demanded that the waters be gathered together in one place, it was so (Genesis 1:9). Here we see that God is able to do all things as He made all things but He is present in all things. This is who God is and this is what God does and while the Bible is clear on the abilities and characteristics of God, not all believers take his word to heart and the Pew study is evidence of this. If you do not believe in polls, just look around at the actions of believers and how they treat one another.
The purpose of this article is not to show that we have differing views as believers but rather, show that many of the very ones who are instructed to take up God’s word and spread it drop the ball. God instrucst us to keep His word holy but yet, many of us believers do not. In fact, we deny the reality of God’s word and state that much of it is allegorical or it is out of date. When I hear such statements, I cannot help but wonder how these people came to such conclusions especially when they claim that Christ is their Lord and Savior so how could His holy word not be taken literal and applied as such?
Proverbs 7:1 reads “My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee” and this reading cross-references several other pieces of scripture including Proverbs 4:21 “Do not lose sight of them; keep them with your heart.” We, as Christians, accept Christ as our Lord and Savior which means we also must accept God’s word as God’s literal word. While there are different places when Jesus does use parables to give us a better understanding, He did not inspire great men and women to keep and write His word so that His children, years later, would forget about it and not use it as the final authority in their lives.