Is Your Christian Faith Biblical?
Many Christians, who are not well versed in the Bible, combine elements of the Bible, church tradition, culture, other religions, and personal beliefs to create belief systems that don’t actually align with the teachings of the Lord they profess to follow. There is a recent trend in Christianity, a somewhat knee-jerk reaction to our post-modern culture’s proclivity to relativism and tolerance, that has led many Christians (and even Christian leaders) to shy away from clear teaching of the Bible. In some cases there are Christians who have questioned teachings of the Bible or even attempted to reconstruct long held Christian doctrines to fit within the confines of our country’s new cultural beliefs. For this reason I have constructed a quick test to help determine if our individual beliefs, and the beliefs of our churches, are truly in line with the Bible. Answer the yes or no questions, and then check them against the answers below.
1. Do you believe man evolved from something other than humans…a bacteria or another species of animal (IE. apes)?
2. Do you believe any of the following: that God and creation are one, that creation is a manifest part of God, that the universe is contained within God, or that God exists within creation?
3. Do you believe that all people are united to one another other and to the universe in mind, spirit, and body?
4. Do you believe the human mind has the potential to alter or override physical reality?
5. Do you believe people have the ability (independent of the work of God through the Holy Spirit) to heal illness by belief, with the mind, by touch, or by spoken word?
6. Do you believe that it is possible to believe desired outcomes into existence (IE. thinking positive thoughts will bring positive outcomes into existence)?
7. Do you believe that God accepts people into heaven based on the merits of the life they live, if they live a life of good, of love, or of good works?
8. Do you believe that the God of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Bhuddism, etc. all share the same God, and the different religions are merely God’s way of reaching different people?
9. Do you believe the Bible is the inerrant Word of God and do you place yourself, your beliefs, and your actions under the authority of the Bible?
10. Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, God Himself come to earth in human flesh, and is an equal part of the Holy Trinity?
11. Do you believe Christ physically (in the body) rose from the grave and ascended into heaven?
12. Do you believe the atoning work of the blood of Christ is mandatory for the salvation of a sinner from the wrath of God (including eternal separation from God in hell), and that faith in Christ is the only way that a person can be reconciled and placed in right standing with God?
13. Do you believe the Holy Spirit of God is exclusively granted to believers in Jesus Christ as Lord?
14. Do you believe Christ’s Church is consecrated and set apart from the world?
15. Do you believe that faith is the free, unmerited gift of God, granted to His chosen by His grace, and that while we pursue righteousness, faith is not developed by works, logical reasoning, or the convincing of man?
16. Do you believe that Christ will physically return to earth at the Day of the Lord to gather His elect, and to tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty against non-believers?
1. If you answered yes to #1, you are a believer in the scientific theory of macro-evolution. This theory is so far unproven, and in conflict with Genesis 2:7 which says, “then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.” You can learn more about science’s inability to prove macro-evolution here:
2. If you answered yes to #2, you hold some variation of the heretical views of pantheism or panentheism. These beliefs contradict Genesis 1:1 which says, “God created the heavens and the earth,” and Hebrews 11:3, which teaches, God created everything from nothing (ex nihilo). Matthew 5:48 says God is perfect and Malachi 3:6 says He does not change. The idea that God would have a portion of Himself that is corrupted by sin, wicked, and destined for destruction (Revelation 20:15) is in contradiction to the very character of God which is eternal, perfect, and holy (Deuteronomy 33:27, Isaiah 6:3).
3-6. If you answered yes to any of questions 3-6, you hold beliefs from the non-Christian religion, New Age.
3. The Bible says in Psalm 4:3 that we are not all one in body and spirit, but that “the Lord has set apart the godly for Himself,” In John 15:17 Christ says we are not of this world, just as He is not of the world. In Romans 12:2 we are instructed to not conform to the world.
4&5. Christ taught in Matthew 17:20 that with enough faith Christians will be able to move mountains. The faith He speaks of however, is not a faith in ourselves and our own abilities, but faith that God will move mountains for us. Christ Himself said that the power by which He performed His miracles was not his own, but the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:18). In Christianity we are not to depend on our own abilities, but to pray to God for the aid of His Holy Spirit.
6. If you answered yes to #6, you believe in the New Age belief in the power of positive thinking. Some feel good preachers teach that by speaking power over our circumstances we can will change into existence. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 however says, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Clearly we all know that our lives will not always be perfect, and there will be times when we will all endure suffering. So often we want God to change our circumstances and we pray that He would, but we are reluctant to accept the truth that God has placed us in our circumstances to bring about change in us. This is not meant to discount the importance of prayer, as it is paramount, but rather to bring about awareness that as followers of Christ we are not called to attempt to influence God’s will, but rather, to make it the desire of our heart to live in submission to it. Our confidence lies in the greatness of our God. We can always be confident that He will provide us exactly what we need. What we need may not be exactly what we want. In Luke 22:42 Christ demonstrates that even He lived in submission to the Father’s will when he said, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” We are to trust God’s plans for our lives and seek to align our hearts with them.
7. If you answered yes to #7 you are holding to a false doctrine of works based righteousness. This belief that a person can earn their way into heaven by their good deeds is the same belief that Christ condemned the Pharisees for. The Good News of the gospel is that we are save by our faith in Christ. Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
8. If you answered yes to #8, you hold the heresy of Universalism. This is the belief that all roads lead to God. This contradicts the words of Christ when in John 14:6 He says, “I am THE WAY, and THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Christ, here, says He is the absolute Truth, and the only way to salvation. If this sounds exclusive it is because it is. Jesus was crucified by the religious leaders of the day because He was outspoken in stating that He is God, and that He is the only way. Some people say that Christ never claimed to be God, but in John 14:8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father; that will be enough for us.” 9 Jesus replied, “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been with you all this time? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” Jesus is God. Anyone who does not know Jesus, does not know God.
9-16. If you answered yes to #9-16, you hold to sound Christian doctrines as expressed in the Holy Bible. These doctrines can be seen most clearly in the following places in the Bible: (9) 1 Timothy 3:16 (10) John 1:14 (11) Luke 24:39 (12) 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 (13) Acts 2:38 (14) 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (15) Ephesians 2:8-9, 2 Timothy 1:8-11 (16) Matthew 24:29-31, Revelation 19:20
I hope this test was helpful, and my prayer is that all of us will always continue to prayerfully and thoughtfully seek Truth and seek to grow in knowledge and relationship with our LORD. Some people fear learning more about God because they are comfortable with God in the terms by which they imagine Him, and are afraid they would uncover something that they would not like. This is understandable, but a wise man once posed the following question to me, “If you knew God better, would you love Him more, or would you love Him less?” I have found it very encouraging to ponder that question. Someday we will come face to face with God, and on that day we will see Him perfectly. Let us hope that on that day, when we know Him rightly, we will love Him more.
Chad W. Hussey is an average Jesus loving iconoclastic non-conformist neighborhood hope dealer – a husband, father, urban missionary, community group leader, Master of Divinity student at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Community Life Intern at Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, KY.