What is the difference between natural religion and the Christian faith?
From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: My university professor is teaching that all religions stem from natural religion. What is the difference between natural religion and the Christian faith? -- S.P.
A: Natural religion is opposed to divine revelation, which accepts the Bible as the authoritative source of the teaching of sin and justification by faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ. This is not to say that natural religion does not contain elements of truth, or embody some high ethical standards and moral values. Some of its followers at times employ terms that recall the language of the Bible. While the morality encouraged by natural religion may win the approval of men, it neither secures acceptability with God nor reflects His full moral demands.
The Bible teaches that Satan can transform himself into an "angel of light," adapting himself to every culture and every situation. Thousands of people have been herded even into the church without a vital experience with Jesus Christ. They have substituted good works, community efforts, social reform, or a religious rite for personal salvation. Many people have just enough natural religion to make them immune to the real thing.
There is no doubt that natural religion has invaded the church today. Many of our concepts of the church are secular, even the mission of the church is often changed from a Biblical basis to a secularized one demonstrated by meeting physical needs without proclaiming God's message of the Gospel that transforms the soul.
This is what distinguishes Christianity from all the religions of the world, as the Apostle Paul spoke of in Acts 25. Not only does the Christian faith carry the truth of redemption, by the death of the Lord Jesus Christ for our sins on the cross, but it carries the fact that Christ rose again to give new life to all who receive Him (Romans 6:4).
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)(c)2019 BILLY GRAHAM DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.