One of the worst things one can be accused of in our society is Intolerance. We are constantly told to be tolerant and open-minded in all things. If something works for you, that’s great, but something different may work for me. Everything is considered right in its own way. To be intolerant of anything is being narrow-minded and bigoted.
Many people, therefore, think that 2 Peter 2 should not be in the Bible. The chapter is too intolerant, too judgmental and too condemnatory. However, the chapter is there for good reason.
Has anyone ever told you that your faith is a “crutch?” Perhaps they’ve said that belief in God is a crutch for weak people who don’t have the strength to take responsibility for their own lives.
This idea that Christian faith is a psychological crutch for needy people is a popular one.
These skeptics say that God is merely a psychological projection: he doesn’t actually exist in any factual sense, but exists only in the minds of his followers, who have created God out of their own need – a need for a father figure or a need to give significance to their existence.
The most famous proponent of this view was Sigmund Freud who theorized that your view of God springs from your view of your father.
Is Christianity true or is it just a fanciful myth or mental projection? Does Christianity stand up to scrutiny or are we all simply implicit in a universal God delusion? How do we know that certain hard doctrines, like the doctrine that Jesus is going to return to judge the world, are true?
Fake news websites deliberately publish hoaxes and propaganda, using social media. Fake news websites seek to mislead readers for financial or other gain. Is the truth about Jesus fake news that Christians believe to make them feel better?
In my first year of proper work after Bible college, I saved like mad and bought a ticket to Thailand for my summer holiday. I had no accommodation, no plan and very little money – yet it was a great holiday.
In Thailand, I was amazed to find all kinds of very fashionable branded clothing, like Puma, Adidas, Nike and Ray Ban, for very, very cheap – a fraction of the normal cost.
The problem was that the articles were not genuine and not authentic, they were counterfeit. The T-shirt or sunglasses may look good initially, but usually you soon discover that the product is inferior, substandard, deficient and second-rate.
The same is true when it comes to religion.
The Bible tells us about Jesus, about his life, death, resurrection, ascension into heaven, heavenly rule and promised return. It tells us that by trusting in Jesus we are forgiven of our sin and declared right with God. It’s this gospel or momentous news about Jesus that saves us and it’s this gospel that keeps us growing as Christians.
We never move beyond the gospel of Jesus: the gospel is the genuine article.
Here’s the challenge for 2017: will you grow as a Christian and be effective and fruitful?
Your Christian growth will positively influence your relationship with God, your home life, your work life, your social life and your church life.
The problem is that this is what some Christians think: “God has saved me and given me all I need; so, I don’t have to make any real effort in anything. I’ll live a mediocre Christian life and take the route of least resistance.” The catchphrase, “Let go and let God”, epitomizes this way of thinking.
2 Peter 1:5 says that is not a Christian attitude. The Christian’s life is a life of “making every effort”.