I am often amazed, surprisingly so, at the re-defining of the Christian faith. There are those within the so-called evangelical world that are dissatisfied with what the Bible requires of believers. So much so, that they plainly negate what the bible teaches and re-define basic biblical concepts in-order to create what they feel is a better and improved ‘Christianity’. Here we have a prime example: Believing Is Not Enough is the name of the article. Instead of dealing with what the author of the article writes, since it’s a reiteration of the quoted content, I’ll be looking at the content he’s quoting that produced this post. The passages are taken from a book by Greg Boyd entitled Present Perfect. Greg Boyd is a proponent of Open Theism and Annihilationism. So, we are not dealing with an orthodox believer by any means, yet, a response is warranted because said article is an attack on the Christian faith.
Greg Boyd writes:
“I’ve observed that we in the West—especially Christians—tend to attach great importance to what we believe. We treat beliefs almost as though they have magical power, as though merely believing something makes it so. For instance, many assume that believing Jesus is Lord of their life magically makes him Lord. This is undoubtedly why so many evangelical churches place so much significance on getting people to believe in Jesus and why so much is made of the moment sinners raise their hand or go to the altar to profess their faith in Jesus. This one-time event, it is often assumed, makes Jesus Lord of their life forever.”
Response: Boyd says that just because we believe Jesus is Lord of our life doesn’t make him Lord. We don’t make Jesus Lord of our lives, Jesus is already Lord. There is no making Jesus anything. The only difference is that some confess Him as Lord and others do not, but confessing in the affirmative doesn’t grant Him the crown, that crown is self-appointed. The one thing Boyd correctly attacks is the idea of raising one’s hand, after a repetition of the sinner’s prayer (I assume) or going to the altar, as if that physical act seals the deal.
“The truth is, merely believing Jesus is Lord no more makes him Lord of my life than believing Kim Jong-[un] is the leader of North Korea makes me his follower. For Kim Jong-un to be my leader, I would need to submit my life to him and become a citizen of North Korea. So too, for Jesus to be my Lord, I need to submit my life to him and become a citizen of his Kingdom.”
Response: Again, we reject the idea that we can make Jesus anything, but notice the words– Merely believing. Here’s what the bible says about believing Jesus is Lord:
Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. – Romans 10:9
Oh, how difficult salvation is for some. According to Boyd we need to submit our lives to Jesus before we become citizens of his kingdom, but the bible says that all we need to do is believe in our hearts and confess with our mouths. You see, the submitting is a therefore of our believing. We believe, therefore, we will submit. We don’t submit to enter into the kingdom, that would be another gospel.
He finishes by saying:
“The important question, therefore, is not what you believe. The important question is what you decide to do, moment-by-moment, on the basis of what you believe”
Response and conclusion: The words of the Lord Jesus come to mind when he asks Peter– Who do you say that I am? Who Peter believed Jesus to be was
important essential. What we believe about the Lord Jesus Christ is everything. What you decide to do will be determined by what you believe. And, you will not decide to do the right things, moment-by-moment, if you do not believe the right things.
But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. (John 20:31)