A few years ago, sociologist Christian Smith completed a five year study of teen spirituality in America. From the study, he concluded the dominant view of spirituality among today’s teens is what he calls Moralistic, Therapeutic Deism. There are five main points.
1. God created the world.
2. God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other as taught in the Bible and most world religions.
3. The central goal of life is to be happy and feel good about yourself.
4. God does not need to be particularly involved in your life except when needed to resolve a problem.
5. Good people go to heaven when they die.
Some have made the case that that view of spirituality- Moralistic, Therapeutic Deism- is not just for the young people, it is taking hold across the generations. Basically, the idea is: God is nice. We are nice, so we should all be nice.
It sounds like a good way to live life, but here is the problem for the Christian Church: Jesus is not a necessary part of that version of spirituality. You don’t need Jesus to subscribe to Moralistic, Therapeutic Deism.
This Sunday, we’re studying the opening chapter of Paul’s letter to the Colossians, and what we read is a corrective to our tendency to drift away from a Christ-centered faith. Why is Jesus indispensable? Why can’t we live without him? Why is any spirituality apart from him bankrupt? Those are the questions we’ll be wrestling with.
See you Sunday,