What is ietsism, and what do ietsists believe?Question: "What is ietsism, and what do ietsists believe?"
Answer: Ietsism (literally “something-ism”) is the belief that there is “something” that exists beyond the material realm, but that “something” remains undefined and unknowable. Because ietsism is another form of agnosticism, it is not compatible with the Christian faith. Ietsists do not subscribe to any one set of beliefs completely. They believe in a spiritual realm, and they acknowledge that there could be some kind of god. They even leave open the possibility that we ourselves are gods, like Eastern philosophy teaches. But ietsists don’t want to say they know for sure about anything spiritual.
Many people appreciate and respect Christianity and may even attend a church or apply certain Christian principles because they need to spiritually connect somewhere. But that does not make them Christians. There are some ietsists who fit this description. The call themselves Christians due to cultural reasons, but they do not hold to the fundamentals of the Christian faith.
Ietsism does not subscribe to any belief system. A Christian must know what he believes. Saving faith is based on hearing and understanding the Word of God (Romans 10:17). To become a Christian, one must have sincere faith in the Son of God and Savior, Jesus Christ. It’s not enough to believe in a nebulous “something” or to be “fairly sure” that “maybe” there’s a god. Hebrews 4:14 says, “Since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.” There’s nothing nebulous or unsure about the firmness of our faith.
The agnostic element of ietsism is one thing that makes it incompatible with biblical Christianity. God requires faith: “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6). And the object of our faith is God’s Son, Jesus Christ: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on them” (John 3:36).
Another trait of ietsism that distances it from biblical Christianity is its acceptance of all forms of spirituality. Ietsists can dabble in astrology, crystal healing, and occult phenomena and still be good ietsists. The Bible clearly teaches that in order to get to God, we must go through Jesus Christ. He is the only way (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).
Recommended Resource: Hard Questions, Real Answers by William Lane Craig
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