I think she is retired now, but I remember a specific meeting with a woman who described herself as a spiritual person. She mentioned a couple of churches, nature, and her professional pursuits as a type of pursuit of religious belief. One of the places she found most interesting was the Unitarian/Universalist church. She essentially described her beliefs as broad and open-minded and generally spiritual without committing to any particular truth.
Here’s what Paul had to say –
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.Romans 1:18-25
Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.
Paul would say to her and to each of us that we are without excuse. In verses 19 and 20 he states that the fact that there is a God is obvious to anyone with the ability to think critically about the power of his creation in all the things he has made.
Paul makes a few additional concise points:
- Refusing to acknowledge God or give thanks for God himself leads to pointless thinking and a darkened heart.
- A darkened heart leads to foolishness of worshiping created things instead of the One who created it all.
- Going our own way, leads to lives filled with actions and attitudes that are in opposition to God’s plan for our lives.
Paul begins this section with a discussion about Truth by saying that a lack of righteousness and godliness suppresses the Truth. And then in verse 25, he contrasts the rejection of Truth with believing a lie.
What does it mean to exchange the Truth of God for a lie? It seems to me to go much deeper than simple disobedience.
How would you describe it? Have you ever deceived yourself? Rationalized some type of behavior? Take a minute and thank God for the light of his gospel in your life today.