A Look At The Modern “Creed” of Moralistic Therapeutic Deism

19 Jun

1. “A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.” 2. “God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.” 3. “The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.” 4. “God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.” 5. “Good people go to heaven when they die.”
-Dr. Christian Smith & Melinda Denton, Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers (2005)

The research done by these two is an eye-opening look at the spiritual landscape of our country. Yet, more so, it is a startling picture of the beliefs of many who are professing Christians.  The four points above represent many people’s beliefs regarding God, a creed of sorts. Just as the early church fathers wrote the Apostle’s Creed and the Nicene Creed to define Christian Orthodoxy, recent generations have taken on this understanding of God as their creed.

However, these beliefs are not informed by the Bible. Then where did they come from? Sadly, many of these beliefs came from church leaders, teachers, professors and parents who’s understanding of God and Christianity were ripe with the American Dream that we should all have a nice house, a happy family and a job we enjoy (among other things).  Not only are these beliefs a result of American Dream philosophy and Christian theology, but they are also beliefs that create a shallow God who does not compare to the one who has revealed Himself to us in the Bible.  Neither does it truly point us to our need for a savior, nor the beautiful Gospel of the Grace of God in Jesus Christ.

Over the next few days, we will be breaking down this modern day “creed”, looking at it piece by piece to see the errors that many have come to hold regarding God, the heart of Christianity and the implications of these errors.



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