IS IT FAITH OR IS IT A SIN OF PRESUMPTION?
1250 words – Mary A. LaClair
A church deviating from the Word of God on important issues, issues which bring too much of the world into the church, I feel, has no right to presume upon God and call it faith.
Asking a Pastor if some churches weren’t guilty of the sin of presumption, I thought he hedged, and I did not get what I thought was an adequate answer.
So, I was surprised when, early one morning, while in the state of waking, a statement regarding presumption unconsciously dropped into my mind,
“Presumption puts oneself in the place of God.”
Hmmm…Scripture exhorts us to test the spirits to see if they are of God….therefore;
- time to contemplate, then after contemplating, time to check other documentation.
From my contemplation:
…to presume something will happen puts oneself in a position of God, expecting God to act on our thoughts.
…it could have an effect of making God our puppet.
…people go to the casino because they PRESUME they’re going to win. However, there is no basis for having FAITH they’re going to win.
…presumption and faith are not the same.
…arrogant confidence is nothing more than presumption
From my research on the net:
…Faith is believing that things will turn out the way they are meant to be; presuming is believing things will happen the way you want them to happen
…To have FAITH is to believe that God will act on His word
- an idea that is taken to be true, and often used as the basis for other ideas, although it is not known for certain.
- behavior perceived as arrogant, disrespectful, and transgressing the limits of what is permitted or appropriate.
- the act of believing that something is true without having any proof – from Google although #3 on its own could also describe faith – presumption includes the prior two
Does the Bible mention the sin of presumption? Maybe not in those exact words, however it DOES give an example of the sin of presumption.
“But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.”
Saul was guilty of the sin of presumption when he would not wait for Samuel to make the sacrifice before going to battle.
Saul presumed that he could do the sacrifice. He assumed, or for this purpose, he presumed e could go through a red light because he was in a hurry, and couldn’t wait.
After all he was doing the same thing that Samuel would have done, and Saul himself was the king.
What difference would it make, he reasoned, if he offered the sacrifice to God.
He presumed God would approve.
The kingdom was torn from Saul because of presumption on his part.
1 Cor 10:9 : “ Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents”. KJV
James 4:13 :
“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money’, why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.” NIV
“Here is the difference between faith and presumption. In genuine faith, it is God who initiates the desire for change, and we respond with obedience to what God has initiated. In presumption, it is we who initiate the desire for change, and we try to force our desire on God by one means or another.”
“In contrast, presumption is setting our opinions of what God will do above what God has said He will do. Something that we are seeing far too much of in the church today.” — Ray Phillips
Let’s see what the book of Romans says in the Bible:
KJV: “And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Rom 12:2
Better, this is how the MESSAGE BIBLE puts it:
THE MESSAGE: “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life – your sleeping, eating going to work, and walking around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. Don’t become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” MSG Rom. 1:1-2
As respects professors of religion, one observes, they sin presumptuously
(1) when they take up a profession of religion without principle;
(2) when they profess to ask the blessing of God and yet go on in forbidden courses;
(3) when they do not take religion as they find it in the Scriptures;
(4) when they make their feelings the test of their religion, without considering the difference between animal passion and the operations of the Spirit of God;
(5) when they run into temptation;
(6) when they indulge in self-confidence and self-complacency;
(7) when they bring the spirit of the world into the Church;
(8) when they form apologies for that in some which they condemn in others;
(9) when, professing to believe in the doctrines of the Gospel, they live licentiously;
(10) when they create, magnify, and pervert their troubles;
(11) when they arraign the conduct of God as unkind and unjust.
See Walker, Sermons, vol. 1, ser. 3; South, Sermons, vol. 7:ser. 10, 11, 12; Tillotson, Sermons, ser. 147; Saurin, Sermons, vol. 1, ser. II; Goodwin, On the Aggravations of Sin; Fuller, Works; Paley, Sermons; Bishop Hopkins, On the Nature, Danger, and Cure of Presumptuous Sins.
Is it any wonder many mainline churches approving and adopting ways of the world have failing attendances and many church buildings are being sold.
This at the same time evangelical churches are springing up in store fronts. God is looking for a church without spot or wrinkle.
Eph 5:27…and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. NIV
So one may well ask: Is the church supposed to influence the world, or is the world to influence the church? When the world influences the church, isn’t this the violation of separation of church and state in REVERSE?
God can’t clean up the world until He first cleans up His own church.
1 Peter 4:17
17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” NIV
Perhaps in a next article we should think about how salt loses its savor…. Selah…
Let us pray:
adapted from Ps 51:10-13
Create in us clean hearts, O God; and renew a right spirit within your churches. Cast us not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from us. Restore unto us the joy of thy salvation; and uphold u with thy free spirit. Then will we teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
For further talk on when presumption is a sin: