Fatherhood & Faith

The Power to Change

Post by the Husband

Because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit,

1 Thessalonians 1:5-6

As much as I believe in “science” as a concept, it is clear that science has clear limitations.

Naturalism would have us believe that we can only believe in what we can see and measure — and that there is no such thing as the supernatural realm.

In fact, if we could measure angels and demons, then they would be natural just like us, and that the explanation for them would lie in the known laws of nature. If the laws of nature do not explain them, then we would have to come up with new laws to try to explain them.

I suppose underlying this worldview is the idea that as a human being, I should be able to explain literally everything in this universe, and if I can’t, then that simply don’t exist.

It’s all well and good to believe in such a theory — but if you take it a step further, and try to find some sort of morality in amongst the belief — then we get ourselves into all sorts of trouble.

Morality is not easily measured, and is certainly not easily explained.

Furthermore, the people that believe in naturalism would have wide ranging beliefs with regards to right and wrong.

So at the end of the day, morality remains subjective within the context of a naturalistic worldview. For instance, no one can tell anyone else what is right and wrong. In fact, it would seem that the only thing truly “wrong” is if you told someone that they were “wrong”. Then there’s the old argument that “as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else” then it’s fine. 

That argument on its surface sounds reasonable. If I do something that only harms me, then it’s fine. But let’s say that I choose to smoke. And let’s say that I never smoke near other people. It’s just me, killing myself slowly. No harm done to anyone else right?

Well… there are still other greater implications, however. To begin with, I am funding the cigarette industry that helps continue producing cigarettes harming other people, I am also showing a bad example to my children who will normalise smoking as a lifestyle, then there’s also the health issue — one day I may develop lung cancer which would require treatment, which would take up resources that someone else may have needed.

So, our actions never truly exist in isolation, and morality still requires some sort of framework that goes beyond accepting everything as correct. 

“You know what kind of men we proved to be.”

(1 Thessalonians 1:5b)

There are nice people of all religions and all beliefs, including naturalism I’m sure. But in this passage, Paul is saying that the Gospel has made a change so fundamental, so powerful, within their lives that they are now examples for others to follow. He isn’t shy about proclaiming that they are now the people others should imitate. 

This is so different from some sports stars who have come out and said “I don’t want to be a role model.” Paul is saying here, “hey, we are role models.”  How could someone be so bold? But have you ever met someone so wonderful as a person that you just want to be like them? 

The gospel message isn’t just a message. It has the power to transform us into the very people that we truly want to be. People who are not just moral, but people who live according to the perfection that Christ exhibited through the power of His Spirit. 

Naturalism can never explain right from wrong let alone help us live a “good” life (whatever that means). The word of God however, not only shows you good and bad, but gives you the power to live the “good” life that God wants for you today.

So “good” in fact, that other people will want to follow your example…

One thought on “The Power to Change

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