The world is losing its way. Polls in recent months have shown that a literal belief in the Bible is declining in the United States, that there are twice as many atheists in Australia (13 per cent) as there were 20 years ago, and that almost 60 per cent of youths surveyed in Britain did not know which event was traditionally celebrated on Good Friday.
Only 30 years ago, two out of every three American adults said they accepted the Bible as the literal Word of God. Today the number is less than one in two (49 per cent). Polls among American youth also show that if the trend continues there the number will be even smaller in the next generation.
At first glance the problem seems to be that people are becoming less ‘religious’. But that may not be true. The San Francisco Chronicle reported on June 28, 1993 that more people are creating their ‘own’ religion—blending a dash of one belief with a spoonful of another, and adding it to their own recipe of ideas to create a smorgasbord of spirituality that isn’t completely worshipping anything, or going anywhere in particular.
They are simply losing their way. The problem is not new. Around 600 BC the prophet Jeremiah recorded God’s denunciation of the false prophets who were making people forget the true God, ‘as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal’ (Jeremiah 23:27).
Today it is similar. There are many false prophets around. Not just those with fatal attraction in the mould of Waco’s David Koresh or Jonestown’s Jim Jones (who led 900 of his followers to a mass suicide in Guyana in 1978), but also less prominent cult leaders and others whose teachings are contrary to what God’s Word says.
That is why creationist ministries and faithful Bible-believing Christian churches and groups are playing an increasingly important part in guiding Christians and non-Christians alike through a forest of false beliefs to the one true God—the God who created the world and all of us in it.
Ecclesiastes 12:1 says, ‘Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth …’. Thanks to evolution-inspired doubts about the truth of the Bible, many adults and youth alike are not remembering their Creator, and because of this are leading unfulfilled and uncertain lives. Some sink to cynicism, thinking that in skepticism there is safety. But skeptics, tragically, can be easily self-deceived. Most won’t question evolution or why there is such a paucity of fossil or biological evidence for it.
As people lose their way in life they cause others to lose their way too.
For example, a clergyman who trained priests in Britain was sacked from his post in August after admitting he did not believe in God. As director of post-ordination training, the cleric would have been a sad influence on those he trained. Unbelief is a poor teacher.
Likewise, a certain church in New York has introduced what have been described as ‘New Age gimmicks’ to entertain its congregation. It even holds the first Sunday each October as a day to welcome elephants, camels, llamas, birds, pythons and even algae to the church to be blessed as part of its ‘ecotheology’ message.
It too is losing its way.
God reminds us throughout the Bible of the importance of remembering Him as Creator, and the tragedy that abounds when people forget Him.
Author David C.C. Watson makes an excellent point in his book Myths and Miracles about the reminders of the Creator which are all around us. He says that if a star appeared only once each century the whole world would turn out to see it and be amazed. If only one tree in the world had leaves on it, people would travel from all over the world to see it. Scientists would analyse it, and university students would write Ph.D. theses about it.
But because the reminders of such miracles of original special creation are so common—millions of stars twinkle each night and millions of trees are visible each day—people forget the miracle and with it the miracle-worker.
It is essential that the goal of all Christian parents be to see that their children know that this miracle-working Creator of the whole exquisite universe we live in is the God of the Bible. And it must be the goal of every Christian to remind others that this miracle-working Creator God (as He first promised in Genesis 3:15) sent His Son Jesus Christ to earth to die for the sins of mankind so that those who believe may have eternal life with Him.