In 1933, President Roosevelt began fiddling with gold reserve requirements in relation to United States currency. This set the trend in motion for separating the dollar from gold. In 1971, President Nixon canceled the convertibility of the dollar to gold, making money totally and officially, “fiat”. This means that the government has determined its value but there is literally nothing backing it except for the government that has determined its value.
Fiat money is a rather scary concept since its value is determined not by anything of value but rather by our trust in the “issuer”–which is the government.
Fiat means: An arbitrary order or decree.
And it’s important we know what arbitrary means…
Arbitrary means: Determined by chance, whim, or impulse, and not by necessity, reason, or principle.
The other morning at Bible Study, one of the ladies mentioned how so many have a view of religion that’s not backed up by anything. And, this is, in fact, especially true of so many that call themselves a “Christian” and yet make decisions based on nothing more than a favorite author, a preacher with charisma, a TV series, or, quite simply, on how they feel.
This conversation reminded me of this principle of “Fiat”. In this world where we can decide our own truth, we have many who are following fiat religions.
And so what we find are people–including so many who would claim Christ –walking along the smorgasbord of beliefs out there and choosing what they will believe, much like they would choose mashed potatoes but pass by the carrots at a bar filled with food.
“No, thank you, I am not interested in that one”, when they pass by the belief of people going to hell.
Oh, that belief that says my ticket to heaven is based on a one-time prayer that can said without turning from sin or the world–“I’ll take that!”
The world is going to get worse? “Oh, I don’t like that one.”
I can get my dreams fulfilled and be both healthy and wealthy in the process? “Oh, yes! I want that!”
Oh, and here is a promise for stress reduction and peace… “Well, I need that, now don’t I?”
Isn’t this how so many approach religion? And, yet, it is simply fiat religion…an arbitrary decision based on what they want to be true. There is literally nothing to back it up!
This is where true, biblical Christianity sets itself apart from all other religions and beliefs. It is not based on the whims of a fickle person or the dreams of a dead man. It is based on a Book. A Book that has proven itself over and over. A Book that has a 100% accuracy rate when it comes to its prophecies. A Book that is marvelously consistent and cohesive from beginning to end. This Book is all of these things because it was written by God.
In it we find the answers to all of life’s questions. But here’s the rub: Some of the answers are unpleasant. We don’t really like them.
And, so, in this postmodern world, instead of accepting the hard truths, people just “choose” not to believe what they don’t like. It’s a precarious worldview, always upending itself and rocking this way and that, based on the whims of the believer. There is no rock of Truth beneath them, but rather waves of opinions and trends and desires.
I don’t think anyone would disagree that a dollar backed by gold would be a much better dollar than one where a government arbitrarily determines its value.
Religion is no different. Religion backed by nothing is worth…nothing. Oh, it may buy you a bit of peace or it might reduce your stress for awhile. It may get you through some trials or temporarily provide comfort. But, at the end of your life, it will be worth nothing.
We are such rebellious creatures. We want what we want. And so many follow that course of destruction to the end. And, in the process, there is the belief that they are determining their eternal destination simply by “believing”.
But we all know deep down inside us that belief doesn’t change the truth. Is the sky red just because someone believes it is red? Does two plus two equal five upon belief? If we are all honest with ourselves, we know the answers to these questions are the same, no matter what someone believes. Spiritual realities are no different than physical realities. There is one Truth.
So what IS that Truth?
The truth is that God’s Word says that He doesn’t want anyone to perish (2 Peter 3:9). He has set up a very specific way for us to be saved, both to experience glorious freedom in this life and as the only way to heaven. But we must do things His way. He is God, after all. Who are we to question?
For us believers, this means we must turn to scripture not only for salvation but for all of life. The new life we experience in Christ puts within us a love for His Word and, with a submissive heart, we should be regularly opening up the Word, prepared to obey it, no matter how we feel about what it says.
And for those of you who recognize you are basing your beliefs on your own preferences and the trends of the day and beginning to feel uncomfortable with this, this is a great time to seek the Lord. Seek the Lord and you will find Him! (Deut. 4:29) Call upon His name and He will answer. (Romans 10:13) Open up to the book of John and find out what the Savior has done for you. Yes, you! God wants you to be in right relationship with Him. He has given us the Bible to show us how. Submit your doubts and rebellion to God and allow Him to do a marvelous work in your life.
Last night, we had a couple in our home who has served for over fifty years as missionaries. Their accounts of God’s faithfulness left no doubt to the fact that we serve a loving and faithful God who cares about us personally. But what struck me most was the man’s testimony. It was a trail of amazing and unbelievable “coincidences” and happenings that leads us to the only conclusion possible: God was at work in a mighty way.
He may be at work in your heart today. Don’t ignore Him. Let the seeds of the Gospel that have been planted along the pathway of your life take root and come to life! Today is the day. Now is the time. God is so patient but life is so fragile. Today could be your last day on earth. Don’t base your eternity on whims and feelings but, instead, base it on the Holy Word of God!
Find out more about God’s way of salvation here.