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Paul J. Bucknell
Faith & Faithfulness | Hebrews 11 | Counterfeit Faith | Righteous live by Faith | God's Faithfulness | Words of Faith | Cultivating Faith | God's Extreme Faithfulness | Faithfulness in Temptation | Testimonies on Faithfulness
If faith is what empowers and guides a Christian, we should expect to find a counterfeit form of this faith that the evil one uses to confuse him. The world's version of faith can be recognized by different coats that it wears. However its deceptive heart is essentially the same throughout the generations of human mankind. We need to ask two questions.
Biblical faith shapes the lives of God's people. Faith is not the end but the means. God is the end. Faith allows man's soul to come in contact with God in Christ. From this heavenly faith, his earthly life is changed.
The world believes faith shapes their lives too, but they have something else in mind. Rooted in humanism, their faith is dependent upon what they can dream up. Their faith is limited to man himself. This faith never goes beyond himself. Even their devoted religions and philosophies are but reflections of their own heart. Because of this, his announced life's goals is to reach 'himself.' They need to work harder at dreaming, being more inspired, etc. so that their faith might develop to its full potential.
Today the breeding of confidence in man is more structured than ever. This means we have yet to see the world's worst. Just like the schools of Al-Qaida have produced thousands of men who are willing to kill themselves so they could kill others, so our educational systems are breeding humanists. They do this both through destroying allegiance to their parents and by emphasizing self-esteem and selfconfidence. Advances in medicine, science and knowledge have regularly deceived man so that now he is inflated into a balloon of pride. Man is more confident than ever that he can handle whatever comes. We wish that man would humble himself a bit and stare at the mess that we are now standing in.
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We only have to view the horizon of history to see some of the greatest 'reaches' of man. For example, the world's idealized utopias are but secular versions of heaven. They build upon many biblical principles but substitute man for God. God is stripped along with His holiness. Mao killed literal millions; Stalin did too. The Cambodia Fields are still redstained by ruthless murders. Why? All to accomplish an ideal of man's.
Their faith is in their selves. This idea has been popularized by 'having confidence in oneself' or even the distorted version of 'self esteem.' They believe just so they believe something, it can be done. This self-faith provides the needed positive orientation to be accomplished in life. They are happy to focus on what can be done rather than what cannot be done. They defy fear by substituting a blind confidence in themselves. We might ask, "What is wrong with this?" Let's go to the next point.
Man and his goals haven't changed but only accelerated. Indeed the modern tools we now possess for travel, information, processing and technology are simply amazing. We see this human potential revealed thousands of years ago in Genesis 11:6-7,
And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they all have the same language. And this is what they began to do, and now nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them."
Man will naturally think that they can do well. And to some degree that is true. God said 'nothing which they purpose to do will be impossible for them." One might wonder why did God have to hold back this progress? It was not because God was threatened. We read from Daniel 12:4 that the end of time will amass great amounts of knowledge. He will allow this knowledge to increase but at His time. When He allows it, then man will reach a point where his pride will keep him from seeing God and being restrained from their evil. God held back man so that the world would be preserved longer for man will literally destroy himself. Two main problems are inherent in the humanism model from of old.
Their vision is astray.
They sought things that were a mere shadow of what God desires. They are chasing after a picture of a flower rather than holding and treasuring a genuine one in their hands. Man's utopias are but fully secularized versions of biblical faith. They do this by stripping God out of the equation. Biblical faith brings courage and vision because God is doing something special. Their focus and glory is in God. Man's worldly faith accentuates his own works, accomplishments and goals. It will end where it began - in the dust. Satan tempts man with having all the treasures without the submission of their hearts and wills to their creator. Satan is himself selfdeceived and still believes his version is better.s
Their method is corrupt.
The other problem mentioned is that these men were evil. They not only sought things that did not please God, but their ways of accomplishing these things were evil in themselves. Human cloning, stealing of brain cells from infants, 'freedom to spread evil information such as pornography, the usury of credit card companies, the calling of gambling gaming are just a few of the steps of evil that are commonly accepted today. If given the chance, the secular touch always turns into terror. Every great communism utopia in the 20th century ended in mass graves. Hitler's millennium dreams used extermination camps to implement their plans. The plan came before man.
The world's faith is in corrupt man. Sinful man has sinful plans which will end in corruptness.
Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted:
(C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988