Naturalism is Another Way to Say “No God.”
Naturalism is an assumption that ungodly thinkers accept as an axiom. The term “axiom” means that they are just going to believe it and never question it. Naturalism makes many claims. One of those claims is that God does nothing, that He has no impact on His creation. It’s not the same as the philosophy of materialism or the philosophy of atheism, but it’s closely related since all of these are aspects of ungodliness.
What’s the opposite of Naturalism? Godliness is exactly the opposite of naturalism, atheism, and materialism. But what is godliness? What do ungodly people say about it? Google thinks that godliness is the quality of being devoutly religious.
Ungodly people can’t bear to think about Jesus Christ as a real person, so they try to put in into various boxes. They put Him into a box called religious. They have another box called theology and another one called doctrine, but none of those is the Creator God. None of those is Jesus Christ.
God speaks to us through the Bible, and He says that He’s working toward the day when He’ll conform us to the image of Christ.
And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers. ~ Romans 8:28-29
We may not be very well conformed to the image of Christ right now, but God has a plan. In His plan, we will be conformed to Christ’s image. We’ll be in submission to Him to the point that we never rebel against Him in anything. That starts with being born again, which mainly affects our spirits but seems to affect our minds/souls also. The present battle is for the mind, and it has to do with reason. God says, “Come, let us reason together.”
As it works out, rational thought is impossible without Jesus Christ, and rational thought is impossible without faith. You may not have ever heard anyone tell you this, but every pastor everywhere ought to be telling people about this. It has to do with the way God designed logic. Logic is all about what we can know. By the way, the word “logic” comes from a Greek word “logos.” You may have heard about “logos” since it’s a Greek word in the Bible that refers to Christ. “Logos” means “utterance.”
Another Greek word also means “utterance,” and that Greek word is “rhema.” Both of these words that mean “utterance” are usually translated as “word.” “In the beginning was the logos.” “In the beginning was the word.” “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the rhema of God.” Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.”
Faith comes by hearing the utterance of God. God speaks through Scripture and every means that He mentions in Scripture. When He speaks, faith comes. Speaking through the Bible, God says that faith is substance. Here, the word “substance” means reality as opposed to concept. And yet, ungodly thinkers try to confuse that issue. They try to make it seem as though faith is conceptual rather than substantial. God also says that faith is evidence, and, in this case, “evidence” means absolutely certain proof. And yet, ungodly thinkers try to insinuate that faith is the act of believing without any evidence. The reason that faith is substance and evidence is that it comes when God speaks. Whatever God says is a fact. Whether He speaks to us through the Bible, a pastor, our consciences, our intuitions, His creation, or any other means, what He says is a fact. As we mature in Christ, we’re better able to discern between His voice and all the other voices out there. But we must focus on Him. Whoever seeks Him finds Him, and we continually find Him more completely as He transfigures us into the image of Christ.
When ungodly thinkers say that faith isn’t substance and faith isn’t evidence, they’re projecting the problems of their ungodly thinking onto those who follow Christ. The only way to be rational is to follow Christ, and the reason is very simple. Rational thought must have a starting point, and that starting point must be true. The starting point can’t be made-up stuff.
However, ungodly thinkers have no way to have a starting point that’s true. Each time they come up with something that they think is true, they have to come up with a reason that they think it’s true. So they look for something that’s true to prove whatever they claimed was true. They end up in an infinite regression of unproved proofs. They can’t escape this, so they use axioms. Axioms are claims that they make up and believe to be true without proof. They do this very cleverly, so it seems to make sense unless we really press them. When we press them, we find that they’re very hard to pin down. Once we pin them down, they’ll finally admit that they’re making the whole thing up, but then they’ll accuse us of having their same problem.
We don’t have their same problem. We have Christ. We’re learning to hear His voice and to respond in submission. This process of submitting to the point of letting Him do His works through us by grace—this process is what makes us mature. With maturity comes increasing discernment. On this Road (Christ), we may make honest mistakes, but God sees our hearts and that we’re seeking Him, so He picks us back up if we fall. If we leave the Road for a moment, He’ll put us back on track. As long as we’re humble before Him, He’ll see it through. If it depended on us, we would be lost, but we have a great and loving God Who takes care of us.