Saturday, January 05, 2008

More Skepticism in 2008

It dawned on me sometime last year that many of the Christians I know have held superstitious and fanciful beliefs, including myself. Some superstitious beliefs I have come across include: Murphy's Law, various types of luck, traditional wedding superstitions, horoscopes, etc. The most insignificant are the colorful, harmless expressions of a paranoid schizophrenic. The worst directly conflict with biblical teaching, competing seriously for a person's faith.

In addition to superstitious beliefs, I had long held a candle for the existence of UFOs and Bigfoot, and other fanciful things like that. It's fun to believe in those things, even though there is no concrete evidence for them.

But when I realized that we Christians are so indiscriminate about what we choose to believe in, I tried to imagine what we must look like to an outsider. What I realized is that we don't look like rational people who believe in one incredible and ultimately significant thing; we look like irrational people who believe in anything and everything, never considering credibility or significance. "Faith in anything" is the belief system of a feel-good Hollywood film, not the Bible. Ephesians 4:14 says: "We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people's trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming" (NRSV).

So I hope you'll join me this year by trimming the fat off of our faith-based beliefs. Let's let our faith be in God, and maintain a skeptical eye to all else.

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