There are many more Christians than Bible students.
Many of these Christians are passionate, religious, and hold many beliefs about God. Where do they get these beliefs if they are not studying the Bible?
Answer: they are acquired from tradition, family, friends, and Facebook, without first comparing it to what the Bible rightly divided actually teaches.
Textbooks have a name for this: folk theology. It is folklore faith. Perhaps the 21st century synonym should be Facebook theology.
The Trouble with Folk Theology
Anyone born into a Christian culture has been initiated into some folk theology. It is passed on from campfire to campfire (ahem, …from Facebook page to Facebook page), but it is not from the Bible.
In other words, it is made up. It is unsubstantiated. It is a fantasy, but it is accepted because it is how “everyone else believes”. That is folklore.
If you are in this position you are easy prey for doubt, confusion, and false religion. You have not questioned “why” you believe something nor where it comes from.
Some things are not worth passing around, even if they do mention God.
Folk theology is often wrong, and is dangerous when it is not what the Bible teaches to be true. Even so, it is generally believed anyway because many people like the way it sounds (Facebook pun intended).
When a follower of folk theology is confronted with the truth there is strong resistance, because they don’t think the truth can be contrary to what they have always “known”, and what their family and friends believe.
This is why Christianity is sometimes portrayed as unthinking and unreasonable.
Folk Theology not Thoughtful Bible Study
Captives to folk theology do not think about what they believe, nor consider if it reasonably aligns with the Bible rightly divided.
Questions are suppressed, Bible study is spurned, and too much thinking is described as lacking faith. (Even though faith requires understanding – Rom 10:17)
Folk theology can be a classic example of zeal without knowledge (Rom 10:2). Beware of these folks. You cannot learn Gods truth without understanding the Bible.
They may be the most enthusiastic, loving, kind, sincere people you’ve ever met, but if they do not critically evaluate what they believe based on the Bible, then they can be sincerely wrong about what they believe about God.
If the Bible runs counter to our culture, upbringing, church, or tradition then stand on the Bible alone.
Be sure to study the Bible for yourself, and question why you believe what you believe. It may be that what you thought was Christianity was really just a false folk theology.
Studying to show yourself approved unto God rightly dividing the word of truth will protect you from folk theology. It takes work, but it is worth it.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
For examples listen to our lesson on Facebook Theology.