Voices of Faith Introduces Idolatry of Certainty
Defined by false teachers as an enemy of peace, “Idolatry of certainty” is based upon the premise that all paths lead to God. At first glance, arguments against “absolute conviction” bear a semblance of rightness. By defining well-grounded Christians who grasp, understand and hold to the sound teachings of bible doctrine as a group of arrogant and bigoted lawmakers, false teachers rapidly accumulate followers. However, their assumptions are not only false, they are grounded on foolish application of practical living.
On Saturday November 8th, 2014, Voices of Faith in the Charlotte Observer presented the following question:
“Can there be an idolatry of certainty?”
Two representatives from the religious community attempted to answer this question. I will deal with the premise presented by one Holly McKissick, listed as pastor of Peace Christian Church. This woman defines “certainty” as the “Enemy of peace on a personal and global level.” Her statement cannot be further from the truth. To illustrate the point, let us examine some basic results that would follow mankind if we opt to live a life wherein nothing is certain:
* Consider uncertainty in marriage:
In keeping with the theory behind “peace via uncertainty,” married life would be more peaceful if partners were flexible about adultery. Thereby we eliminate the “false” security associated with a sound Christian marriage. After all: What wife “desires” a faithful husband? Weigh in also on matters such as flexibility in honesty between one another, sharing of income, and all the other components that help to produce a peaceful and lasting marriage. Perhaps Holly McKissick would rather live in a marriage besieged with uncertainty and mistrust?
* Consider uncertainty in parenting:
By the same token of peace through uncertainty would not children be better off if their parents were less certain about the origin of their offspring? After all: we know that adopted children “never” seek to identify their birthright parents, right? And as to obedience to parents or any other leader for that matter, why should children follow instructions when the course of discipline is governed by erratic responses from authorities and parents?
* Consider uncertainty in banking:
Clearly the McKissick concept of peace through uncertainty implies that breaking free from the “idolatry of certainty” would better enable people to manage financial situations. After all: Who cares to be “certain” of their existing bank balance?
* Consider peace through uncertainty in basic mechanics:
In a world that denies the value of “certainty,” what does it matter that the brakes on your automobile are functional every time, all the time? And should we not be a peace with the uncertainty of safe electrical equipment, airplanes, plumbing fixtures, gas lines and all the other components of life wherein men strive to achieve a full measure of certainty?
Consider uncertainty in math:
Let us decide that 2 plus 2 has no constant value. If certainty is idolatry, then surely math should never produce “precise” results. After all, even if you paid for a 20 by 80 home, does it really matter if the contractor builds it 10.4 by 16.5 shack? After all, there is peace through uncertainty, and no one desires to be accused of living beneath the expectations associated with the “idolatry of certainty.”
Idolatry of Uncertainty – A False Premise That Attacks The Purity of the Christian Faith
The McKissick concept brings forth some legitimate examples of times when “certainty” should include some “flexibility.” For example: Who knows for certain how best to get a toddler to eat? Or what to do about a wayward teenager? Or how to best resolve the conflict in Syria? (However, we are all certain that the toddler must eat to survive, even if that food comes in the form of intravenous feeding.) When arguments are used to deny the value of living with sound convictions, these arguments become a false premise that attacks the purity of the Christian faith.
In matters crucial to a right understanding of the Christian gospel of Jesus Christ, certainty is not only expected and required, it is the core of Christianity.
When McKissick and fellow responder to the Charlotte Observer point in question, Rabbi Avi Weinstein from the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy, craft a world that should be free of “certainty,” they seek to eliminate the legitimacy of one God, one Truth, one Redeemer, and one Blueprint for salvation. This, my friend, is to teach the doctrine of devils. It is a lie.
Although we should never make idolatry of certainty, as Christians we are instructed to:
1) Content For The Faith: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ,” (Jude 1:3,4).
2) Mark and Avoid False Teachers: Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple,” (Romans 16:17,18).
Idolatry of Certainty Does Not Eliminate Truth
Men can and do sometimes make an idol of certainty, but this in no manner eliminates the sure truths as recorded in the Holy Scriptures of Christianity. Be sure of your faith. Know the Word of God, and stand in all certainty upon the basic foundation of Jesus Christ, dead, buried and resurrected.
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed,” (1-Cor. 15:1-11).