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Monday, June 30, 2008

What Do You Believe?

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, a think tank that studies statistics concerning faith in America, released a survey this week that stated 92% of Americans believe in God or a universal spirit (on a weird note, this includes one in every five atheists... huh?). And before we get too excited about this statistic, the study also demonstrated that the majority of Americans, including religiously conservative Americans, have a very non-exclusive attitude when it comes to which faith is true or which faith is false. In fact, 70% (!) believe that many religions can lead to eternal salvation and three quarters of those surveyed believe there are many ways (all valid, I assume) to interpret the teachings of their religion. And now that stat that made me lose sleep... 588 Missouri Synod Lutherans were surveyed, and 78% of them believed that many religions can lead to eternal life!

Folks, this is not okay. There are not many ways to be saved. There is one Way, one Truth, one Life and that is faith in Jesus alone! Jesus is pretty clear on this (John 14:6). Most people in our country probably think that they can be saved by being a good person. But no one can live up to the standard that God has set out because we are all sinners. Some people will try another religion. But this is pointless as there is no other god in existence and all those other religions ultimately force you to do the work to save yourself. But God is good to us, He gives Jesus to die as a sacrifice for our sins. Our sins are washed away in the blood of the Lamb. As far as the east is from the west, so far has God removed our sins from us in Jesus. (Psalm 103:12).

This is the way, and the only way, God has chosen to carry out his saving work. And no matter how exclusivist this may sound and as close-minded as the world may color this assertion, it is true. We must understand, by saying this we are not trying to be "right" or "better" than anyone else or any other religion. No, we are delivering the Good News of what God has done for us in Jesus.

Such statistics make me more and more convinced that we need to be learning what we believe and why we believe it. I can't urge you enough to consider joining our Sunday morning study where we are examining what we believe as Christians and why it matters. If you were to be asked the question, "Why do Christians think that they are the only ones going to heaven?" how would you respond? If this question is hard to answer for you, I really think that our class will help you. Not only will it strengthen your faith, it will help you share your faith more openly and confidently with your inquisitive neighbors. Please join us on Sunday's at 9:15am so we can learn together what we believe and why we believe it.

Pastor Bob

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Faith Lutheran Church • 123 Park Lane • Moorpark, CA 93021 • (805) 532 1049 • Send Email