It’s critical to build our spiritual house on a strong foundation if it is to last
We live in a day where people make up their own religion. It seems silly to state our present spiritual climate in those terms, but that’s what people do, even those who say they are Christians.
For some this means looking at all religions using a personal pro and con analysis. They embrace the parts they like, adapt a few others, and reject the rest. Their religious practice emerges as a smattering of Christian thought, Jewish practice, Hindu ideals, Muslim devotion, and Buddhist discipline. Their resulting practice may be self-satisfying, but its basis is simultaneously built on everything and nothing.
Others don’t directly consider world religions; they just do what feels right. They make a personal inventory of good behaviors and bad behaviors, with everyone’s list being different. From this emerges a loose set of spiritual practices that makes them feel good and never confronts them. Often they end up doing peculiar things in the name of their religion, which in reality is an excuse to behave however they want.
Next is the group that reads religious literature, including the Bible, with a highlighter in one hand and scissors in the other. The result is a cut and paste religion, a spiritual collage of feel-good sentiment that merely reinforces their preconceived notions of whatever they want.
While each of these approaches is affirmed in today’s attitude of mystical permissiveness, they are based on nothing solid, nothing lasting, nothing of substance.
For truly meaningful spiritual significance that transcends ourselves, we must seek a reliable source that surpasses our own thoughts, preferences, and preconceived ideals. We need a greater authority.
For me that greater authority rests in the Bible, which reflects the Godhead who inspired it. I read and study the Bible, not to articulate a systematic theology but to pursue the God behind its words. To me the Bible isn’t a rulebook or even a manual; it’s a narrative resource that points me to God. I will daily strive to understand the Bible more fully, while knowing I will never achieve this lifelong goal.
The Bible is the basis for my faith, a greater authority that transcends my limited intellect and keeps me from making up my own religion and deluding myself in the process.
What is the basis for your spiritual foundation? How does the Bible fit in?
[This is from Peter DeHaan‘s June newsletter, “Spiritually Speaking.” Receive the complete newsletter each month.]