About the Editor
Elder Brian Moore is the editor and author of many of the articles published in the Old Line Messenger. He was ordained by the presbytery in August of 2001. He is a member of Sulphur Springs Primitive Baptist Church of Kelsa, Virginia. The Sulphur Springs church is a member of the Mates Creek Association.
Elder Moore's calling to the ministry was proceeded by his great uncle Elder Johnny Blackburn and his great grandfather, Elder Andy Blackburn. He currently is married to his beautiful wife Tonya and is the proud poppa of twins Haylee Grace and Cannan Gage he is employed as a high school government teacher, football, basketball and tennis coach
Moralistic Therapeutic Deism
A study conducted a few years ago at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, among 3,000 students, took a close look at the religious beliefs and practices of American teenagers. The study determined that the faith held by most of America’s up and coming college students could aptly be described as Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.
The study concluded that the overwhelming majority of these students believed the following. They believed that God created the universe and that he observes and watches over human life, they believe that God wants everyone to do good and to be fair to others. The students also believed that the central goal in life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself. The study also showed that students strongly believed that it was not particularly necessary to have God involved in ones life unless God was needed for something. Finally, the study indicated that the vast majority of students believe that “good people go to heaven when they die.”
In my opinion there are several things that can be gleaned from this information. But at this time I only wish to show the overwhelming contradictions of these views with the bible. The bible teaches us that God created the universe and we understand that God, through divine providence, does indeed interfere with his creation. How else could we explain the inspiration that was necessary for our written word? In 2nd Peter 1:21 we read “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” This verse clearly shows the intervention of God, which destroys the myth of deism that God winds the world up like a clock and then sits back and observes.
The second erroneous view held by the students is that God wants every one to be good. First of all it is important to understand that the God of the bible does not want for anything, God, the creator of the universe is sitting on a heavenly throne, wanting and wishing that puny man would do anything. The students in this survey are under the assumption that everyone has the ability to choose good over evil. The bible on the other hand teaches us that “there are none good no not one!” If that alone is not enough the scriptures abound with evidences of mans depravity. For example, in Romans 8:7 we read, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” In this verse we learn that the carnal mind of man, by nature, is not subject to the law of God, the scripture goes on to inform us that not only is this the case but furthermore it cannot be subject to the law of God. In other words the mind of mankind, by nature, is an enemy of God. How could something that is an enemy of God possibly do good? In Ephesians 2:1 we are told “1And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;” In this verse the word dead, really means DEAD, as in without life, how then can a spiritually dead creature perform a “good act?” Although, there are numerous other scriptures that disprove this notion, I will move on to the next error in this malady of new religion.
The third error of those sharing this viewpoint is that the central goal in life is to be happy and feel good about oneself. This idea is rooted in humanism and is a product of the “me” generation. The bible teaches us to treat others as we would be treated, but this teaching falls on deaf ears when shared with the religion of the day. Whether it be some self help guru telling someone how to “find the god within them,” a copy of SELF magazine, or the never ending attempt to gain praise from their peers, the partakers of the religion of the day, are obsessed with vanity. This notion that all that matters in life, is to feel good and happy about who you are, is nothing short of selfishness and is not what one would call a desirable trait. Furthermore the entire idea is completely void of the teachings of the bible. The modern religionist says’ “if it feels good to me, then it is fine.” These ideas have led many to incorporate worldly pleasures into the church, all at the expense of sound doctrine, practice and teachings.
The fourth error that is held by the survey takers is that the need for God was only essential if one stood in need of something. In others words, it is rather antiquated and out dated to go around talking about God, especially when you could be doing something that made you feel good about yourself. For these students the only time that God should be engaged is when you have a wish, desire or prayer that needs answered. In their world, God is a servant; He sits on his throne and eagerly awaits their beck and call. This false notion can be attributed to a failing and false ministry. There have always been wolves in sheeps clothing, however it seems that there are many more today than ever before. These false teachers have hijacked the pulpits of churches throughout the world, they teach a weak and trying god, they place man at the center of the universe and their god on the periphery. By constantly painting this god as helpless, they have created a generation of persons that have no respect for their god. In turn, when one no longer respects God they will eventually find that they no longer respect the WORD of God. This explains the mindset held by this generation.