A Message from Pastor Hale
Non-believers have quite a bit of faith – in themselves. Those who seek meaning and purpose in life on their own terms, admit that they do not have any foundation – but wish to create their own. They live in their own sinful thoughts and ways. A way of thinking that does not leave room for God takes the place of revealed religion. For example: “Science can also guide one in making moral decisions. For example, understanding the environment is now a moral issue.”
In modern unbelief, the individual person becomes the center of and basis for all meaning: “I ... define myself by the way I feel. My life. My work. I am my feelings.” This is extremely shallow and reveals that there is nothing profound about godless belief. Salvation remains, but turns into earthly things like saving the climate or refugees, whatever seems most pressing right now. And the religious fervor about these is massive – a true religious cause.
The Bible teaches that we can imagine good morals with God, since the law is written on our heart, but we cannot do that good we know – we have not the power or ability, since our fall into sin. And the punishment of death marks all as failures before God’s holy law. What humanists who believe in themselves lack is mercy and forgiveness, since they are so full of themselves. They think: “Reality is sad; there’s no justice, peace or harmony in the world.” That is true, so relying on oneself is foolish, since our flesh is cursed, along with the world. But God’s Son Christ reveals the Father’s loving nature and brought about forgiveness for all humanity, which is now given in the Gospel. A religion based only on a sinful person, without anything greater to offer is doomed to destruction.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits” (James 1:5-11).