Warped Christianity

Warped Reality

Sociologist Christian Smith introduced the phrase Moralistic Therapeutic Deism in his book Soul Searching:The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers.  Smith, and his colleagues, assert that, from their research, this would be a fitting description of the spirituality of the typical American teenager – a spirituality they gained from watching and listening to their Baby Boomer parents.

Al Mohler, in a post titled Moralistic Therapeutic Deism – the New American Religion, describes Moralistic Therapeutic Deism as consisting of beliefs like these:

  1. “A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.”
  2. “God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.”
  3. “The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.”
  4. “God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.”
  5. “Good people go to heaven when they die.”That, in sum, is the creed to which much adolescent faith can be reduced.

What is perverse about these statements is that none of them is entirely wrong.  But it is the subtle errors that erode genuine faith, especially when the propositions fit together to form a worldview.  Together they create a warped perspective that, while borrowing the language of Christianity, is not actually Christianity.

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