Do you have New Believer Syndrome?

excited-girl-33418948439These symptoms are delightful to encounter in a new believer.

Delightful for a while, that is; training is needed.

These new believer symptoms shouldn’t persist.

I became a Christian nearly 25 years ago. I was personally guilty of many of these thoughts. I suppose instinct tells us what to believe.

But our natural beliefs should be suspect.

The tragedy is finding these symptoms in people who took Christ to be their Savior decades ago.

Let’s consider half a dozen symptoms of New Believer Syndrome.

1) “Doctrine is a bad word.”

No. Doctrine is a neutral term. There is true doctrine and there is false doctrine, and we’re all guilty of both to one degree or another.

Like it or not, everyone is a theologian. We all have views of God. There is no absence of doctrine. Our goal should be sound theology.

2) “All sin is equal.”

No. Sin comes in varying degrees. John 19:11 sorta makes this one indisputable.

“Sin is sin” is a false statement. I think what you mean is, “All sin is equally forgiveable by God.” Now that’s true.

3) “Heaven is non-physical.”

No. We will live forever in a physical body. Granted, if you died today you would enter a temporary, non-physical heaven. But that’s temporary. We await a future resurrection, after which our united soul and body will live forever with God in a permanent, physical heaven.

4) “Formal training taints a minister.”

No. A pastor without formal training is not more credible than one with formal training. This anti-intellectualism has gotten Christianity into a lot of trouble.

Those who have graduate degrees in Bible or theology are not just parroting what they’ve learned. I’ve heard that people can be simultaneously smart and authentic. And we’re instructed to love God with all our mind.

[The same argument goes for the amount of time a minister spends in his study preparing his sermon. Having delivered over 500 sermons myself, I know that God’s Spirit works in the study as powerfully as He does in the pulpit]

5) “We get wings like angels when we die.”

No. The Bible never teaches this. Angels and people are two different creatures. Angels don’t become humans and humans don’t become angels.

We may have special mobility in heaven, but wings will not be required.

6) “I’m not religious, I’m spiritual.”

No. You have bought into our culture’s definition of religion as something bad. The Bible describes a kind of religion that is pure and undefiled. And the word “godless” in the Bible is literally the word “irreligious.”

Do you have New Believer Syndrome?

I believe you can grow as a Christian beyond where you are. I believe you have the ability to understand the deep truths about God, as well as the hard truths about yourself. I believe you can.

 

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One response to “Do you have New Believer Syndrome?

  • Belle

    I think of doctrine being the words of God in the Bible. So, how can doctrine be bad! The word “religion” seems to convey the meaning of belonging to a church, I guess. Maybe that is why some people say they are spiritual and not religious. Great article.

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