Counterfeit faith: A failure to follow the evidence

By David Lightsey

For 30 years, I have been involved in exposing misinformation in the nutrition science and health marketplace and have published numerous articles as well as a book covering a wide variety of topics. Most of my work in this area involves illustrating how the evidence regularly does not support the hype of the headlines in the media. This past week was no exception. A headline on Yahoo News caught my eye. Even though it had nothing to do with nutrition science, it had a great deal to do with chosen lifestyles and everything to do with the proper interpretation of the available evidence, in this case Scripture.

The headline, published at HuffPost Aug. 30, stated, “Hundreds of Christian Leaders Denounce Anti-LGBTQ ‘Nashville Statement.'” The Nashville Statement, signed Aug. 25 by over 150 Christian leaders, simply reaffirms what the Bible clearly teaches about human sexuality and marriage, which has been covered already for WND by columnist Michael Brown.

The Nashville Statement is clear, concise and an accurate interpretation of the evidence provided in Scripture about the issues the doctrinal statement covers. Scripture is not ambiguous on these issues – so what’s the problem? Because the Nashville Statement does not affirm some misconception others embrace, there has been considerable negative response to it, which of course would be expected. In turn, another purported group of Christians have produced a counter doctrinal statement called “Christians United.” This statement opposes the Nashville Statement. Now obviously, both statements cannot be true because one is the antithesis of the other. So, how does one reconcile the differences between the two, and how does all this tie into counterfeit money, counterfeit science and counterfeit faith? What is the common thread? The common thread is that you always go where the evidence leads you.

Counterfeit money: Last year, in the physical rehabilitation clinic where I work during the day, a patient who owns a local pizza parlor brought in a $50 bill he had received from one of his customers and simply asked me to look at it. He now uses it as a teaching tool for his staff. My casual appraisal of it, because I was not trained in looking for the details of counterfeit money, was that the bill was authentic and I would be happy to take it off his hands. He then pointed out the discrepancies between that counterfeit bill and an authentic $50 bill he also possessed. The discrepancies between the two bills were in the details. Once the details, or evidence, were pointed out, it was clear I would have accepted the counterfeit bill, believing it to be authentic, when in reality it was worthless. I was embracing an imitation, which had no real value. My faith was in a forged bill, until someone illustrated with evidence that the counterfeit bill should be rejected.

Counterfeit science: Counterfeit science is like counterfeit money. To the untrained eye, it looks real, but when you examine the evidence, it is simply fabricated, taken out of context, or extrapolated beyond what the evidence indicates. It is worthless information. The details of counterfeit science do not support the conclusions that are being drawn from the evidence, nor any related lifestyle habits that may be embraced based upon it. The evidence indicates the counterfeit science must be rejected.

Counterfeit faith: Just like counterfeit science and money, counterfeit faith stems from a failure to pay attention to the evidence and allowing yourself to be duped by a theology that has misrepresented what the evidence clearly states in Scripture. Like the bogus $50 bill, the false theology has no value; it is an imitation, a counterfeit, and should be rejected. If not, the resulting consequences are eternal, not temporary. The counterfeit faith may make you feel good temporarily, a placebo effect, but it has no lasting eternal value.

It is understandable how counterfeit science and money prevail so often in our culture. The general population simply are not trained to identify the details of either, so they can be easily duped. On the other hand, counterfeit faith prevails simply because those who embrace it refuse to study the details or simply ignore the evidence. The Nashville Statement, is not a statement of hate; it is simply the product of a group of individuals who have properly interpreted the evidence (Scripture) and are attempting to properly inform those who have been duped by false theology (an imitation), a counterfeit faith.

All one must do is read the evidence as presented in Scripture, and it plainly teaches and clearly supports the Nashville Statement positions.

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