Recently I talked with a young man who said he wanted to ask me some questions. I am always pleased to deal with any questions people may have, especially questions that have to do with the soul. This young man asked me:
1. “Don’t you believe that God is concerned more with what is in one’s heart than he is with what one does?”
2. “Don’t you believe that so long as one is sincere how he worships is relatively unimportant?”
3. “Don’t you believe that honesty, integrity, and good ethical living are more important to God than doctrines, worship styles, and patterns which only serve to divide religious people?”
How would you have answered this young man? It was immediately obvious to me that this man possessed the typical postmodern mindset. Postmodern man believes that there are no absolute standards of right or wrong (except, of course, the absolute statement of postmoderns that there are no absolutes), that relativism (man’s thinking) is the basis of moral and religious judgments, and that God will accept whatever man accepts.
I disagree totally with this line of reasoning. In dealing with this young man, and with others of his persuasion, I want to be gentle and kind, but at the same time I want to be firm in my conviction that one is on a slippery slope when he thinks for God.
First, God’s ways and thoughts are not our ways and thoughts (Isaiah 55:8,9). Second, while God is concerned with what is in our hearts, when our hearts are right toward God we will seek to do what God has asked us to do (Luke 6:46). Third, God has given us the revelation of His Word which we are to hear, believe, love, honor, and obey (1 Peter 1:22; 2 Thessalonians 2:10,12; Hebrews 5:9). Fourth, the worship and service to God is to be done by God’s instructions (John 4:24; 2 Timothy 1:13). Finally, I know of no scripture, either in the Old or New Testament, that suggests that sincerity is the basis of God’s acceptance of a person. A case in point is Saul of Tarsus who was sincere, but sincerely mistaken (Matthew 7:21-23). The Bible still says, “It is not in man that walks to direct his own steps” (Jeremiah 10:23), and “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end it the way of death.”
Jay Lockhart via Findlay church of Christ Sparta, TN via BULLETINDIGEST.com