I am into Sundays sermon preparation, this week the text, Colossians 2:6-23, includes “hollow and deceptive philosophy”. No title yet but the germ of an idea – well many germs actually.
One thought to cross my mind was about the type of religion that modern Christianity espouses, ideas such as “God helps those who help themselves” etc., at which point I remembered the research below as reported on this website and many others.
When Christian Smith and his fellow researchers with the National Study of Youth and Religion at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill took a close look at the religious beliefs held by American teenagers, they found that the faith held and described by most adolescents came down to something the researchers identified as “Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.”
As described by Smith and his team, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism consists of beliefs like these:
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.”
Is this what you think the Gospel is? Where might you differ in your own definition? Is there anything heretical about the five points above?