We set forth the propositions of our study in order to challenge the thinking of those who have turned away from faith in the God who can create. If we remind ourselves that we believe in a God who can and did create, then we are reaffirming our faith. If our world view is based solidly on the Bible, then our study in these matters will be both refreshing and reassuring. However, if we discover in our world view points that contradict any truth of the word of God, then this study must be an opportunity to restore our faith to the foundation of the word of God. Therefore, we would be negligent in our responsibility as Christians if we did not continually allow ourselves to be challenged in these matters. We must continually challenge ourselves in these matters in view of the following moral decline that once led to the termination of an entire civilization by the One who created the world:
“… because even though they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful. But they became vain in their imaginations and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools” (Rm 1:21,22).
We live in such a world today. It is quite discomforting to realize that history is indeed repeating itself. We live in a world where the scientific world does not glorify God as a God of creation. Belief in an impotent God has actually become a central point in the world view of many who would consider themselves to be Christians. There is a reason today why many “Christians” do not live in gratitude of a creative God who was incarnate in the flesh of man. If one does not appreciate the extreme journey of the God of creation who came forth from existence in spirit into the flesh of man, whom He created for redemptive purposes, then there is little encouragement on the part of man to live in gratitude for that which was accomplished on a cross.
Because society often accepts unquestionably the pronouncements of the modern-day scientific world, the citizens of society often establish their moral codes of conduct on the foundation of the philosophical conclusions of science. Subsequently, Paul wrote to the Roman disciples, “their imaginations and their foolish hearts” become darkened to the righteousness of God. They profess to be wise in their own thinking, but actually they have become foolish by rejecting the fact that the world is the result of a creating God. We must not forget that it was God who said that the scientist who does not believe in God is actually a fool: “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Ps 14:1)
Therefore, we would ask why such antagonistic beliefs against true Bible faith are now propagated around the world against the faith of those who seek to remain with the Bible as their foundation for faith? The apostle Paul gave a simple answer: “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped [narcissism] and served the creature [man] rather than the Creator” (Rm 1:25). When the standard of God is removed from the center of reference of our world view, it is then that men “suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Rm 1:18). It is then that we become the center of reference to our own “faith.” We subsequently exalt our own knowledge over the truth of the Bible. We establish our own religiosity that is based on our own desires. When the moral values of our narcissistic religiosity does not conform to the majority, then we change our moral values.
In our humanistic narcissism, we lead ourselves to exclude the knowledge of God as we exalt our own knowledge. This is the world in which we now live. We live in a world where narcissistic scientists have bowed down to the god of science, believing that science has the answers for all situations of life. When this science god has created within us the fear of infecting our own selves, then it has accomplished the task of attacking the very behavioral nature of Christianity, that we consider one another by not forsaking being together with one another (Hb 10:24,25). If a Christian exalts this science god in his own world view, then the gospel that brings us together into a common fellowship no longer plays the primary role of motivation of our lives.
The text of Romans 1:18-32 was written in order to remind us all of an era in history when humanity became evil. It became evil through narcissistic religiosity, that is, giving up a knowledge of the one true and living God in order to worship gods that they had created after their own imaginations (Rm 1:25,28,29. Romans 1 is a literary picture of the sociological conditions that led to the demise of a world civilization several millennia in the past.
Romans 1 was God’s dissertation about the depraved social conditions of a world civilization that existed before the flood of Noah’s day—which in a state of denial the unbelieving world today declares to be a fable. The main points of Romans 1, therefore, are God’s justification for wiping away that civilization of humanity, as well as Israel of old when the people forsook the standard of the word of God in order to establish their own moral standards (Hs 4:6).
We would certainly be naive Bible believers if we did not understand that our present world is headed in the same direction. We must not forget that individual societies within the whole world civilization do not become morally better because they believe more in the Bible. They become morally worse because they have rejected the Bible and the God who is identified therein. Gods are created by religionists around the world, but these gods must not be confused with the God of the Bible. When all the societies of the world digress together into moral degradation, it is then that we become as the world civilization that existed at the time of Noah (See Gn 6:5).
[Next in series: May 29]