Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The New, but Old Deist

Some Christians are Deists who would claim that they are not. What is a deist? It is a term that started to really gain steam post-Enlightenment period. Deists were people who believed in God, but did not believe that God could play a role in the created order. He was outside of time and did not enter into time. He was much like a clockmaker who creates the clock and then lets it run. God has set the world into motion, now we are left to figure it out and fix it, if it can be fixed. That, in a general explanation, is Deism.

Now how is that still practiced today by Christians? Well, first, the traditional Deism mentioned above is still very alive. Many Christians who are connected to science (not all) still maintain a very deists view of God. But there is a very new type of deists in today's church. It is not that new, but it has a new package. This person is one who cuts out all the passages of Scripture that doesn't match with his/her worldview. This is exactly what Deists of the Enlightenment period did too. Thomas Jefferson created his own Bible (Jeffersonian Bible) that eliminated all the miracles of Jesus and the New Testament because it didn't align with his scientific belief. Why did he believe he had the authority to do this? Because the Bible didn't align with him in certain places, so he just took out those places.

Many are still in the habit of this practice today. Many skip or ignore completely chunks of Scripture, even entire books of the Bible because they don't like what they say. They would rather hang on to one or two verses that affirm their worldview than the entirety of Scripture and full counsel of God. As much as they would deny this charge, they are indeed modern Deists. You simply cannot make the Bible what you want it to be because it doesn't fit your worldview. You must either call it a lie and turn from it or you must heed its words, all of its words, if you indeed intend to call yourself an orthodox Christian.

Do some examination of your own heart in this matter. You may find, as I did, we all have some Deist habits.

What are some ways you have seen this type of Deism displayed? Why do you think we are so willing to ignore passages of Scripture that don't align with our worldview?

1 comment:

  1. I think the most frequent example I see are the "biggies" Flood, Jonah, Jesus sweating blood in the garden etc.

    The older I get, I recognize the places where I used to do this. Romans 9:11, Ephesians 1:5 and 1:11, just to name a few.

    I think the natural thing to do when we read things we don't understand, is to try to explain them away. In Thomas Jefferson's case, he just straight chopped the Bible up. LOL Haha, what a heretic! I guess that is the down side to being really smart. You think your smarter than God. I do NOT have that problem.