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"Christian Naturalism"

Updated: Dec 7, 2022

2 Chronicles 16:12

By Drew Zuverink

"In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the Lord, but only from the physicians."

Always ask God for a miracle.

Half of the people who just read that statement probably thought, "Amen!" while the other half of you just got real nervous. Somewhere around half of American Christians are very skeptical of miracles occurring in today's day and age - at least here in the United States. While it is true that miracles are not normal or common (hence the name "miracle") is it really healthy to assume that you could never be the beneficiary of one yourself?

Today's passage painted king Asa in a negative light for only relying on the help of physicians instead of seeking healing from God as well. Asa was not foolish for seeking help from trained medical professionals, he was foolish for only seeking help from trained medical professionals. This got me thinking, "Are some of us today missing out on a life where God is much more visibly involved?" How many of us have sought the help of trained professionals without asking God for healing? Our 2 Chronicles passage spoke of king Asa in a negative way for doing that, is the same true for us today?

We live in a post enlightenment and very naturalistic culture. Our high school's teach macro evolution, even though that has never been the agreed upon theory of the human origin, even amongst secular scientists. Scientific and medical advancements have been wonderful, and because of their success, our culture see's less of a need for anything spiritual. If someone is sick in America we seek to heal them with medicine. If someone is depressed, the reason and the cure must be physical. If someone has severe struggles, the thought of demonic involvement is not even considered. In fact, our culture is so naturalistic, that if someone did ask for a miracle, they would stick out like a sore thumb. Even within churches, where we believe in the supernatural, asking for a miracle seems irrational or naive. It's like evangelicals have become Christian naturalist's, believing in the power of God for salvation - but that's it. But are we sure that our culture has it right? In other countries, belief in the supernatural intervention of the divine is very commonplace. Reports of miracles in China, for example, are quite astounding.

My fear is that by viewing life through a purely naturalistic lens, we have limited the power of God to the point where his power and presence are barely evident in our daily lives. Is that what you see in scripture though? It's not what I see. I see miracles, I see demons being cast out, I see people being converted and churches being planted. I see the power of God evident in people's lives and sometimes I honestly wonder, "Where is that power today?" God is not any less active today than he was two thousand years ago. God has always been the same. So why do things seem so different now? Could it be that our tendency to think only naturalistically, has squeezed out opportunities for God's power to be experienced? Could it be, that our very low expectation of God's power being revealed in our daily lives, is causing us to miss out on an extraordinary life in Christ?

Whether we are talking about defeating sin in our lives, sharing the gospel, witnessing a miracle, or whatever else, God's power is still active today. So ask for a miracle if you or someone you love is sick. He might say no, for reasons you might never know, but ask anyways. If he does say no, trust that his reason is a good one. Share the gospel like you actually believe it is "The power of salvation for those who believe." (Romans 1:16). Expect for people to be converted by the message that you have. Expect to be able to defeat sin in your life because "The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is at work in you." (Ephesians 1:19-20). Expect God's power to be evident all over your life.

Friends, do not limit God's involvement in your life by being a Christian naturalist. God wants to be intimately involved in all of your Christian life, not just during your conversion. I do believe that we could live a life that is full of powerful experiences of God's presence, you know, a life like people in the Bible had. All that it takes is to believe, and to always be seeking God's kingdom first. If we do that, oh the lives we can live.

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