Have you heard of something called American civil religion? It says that if you don’t do anything real bad, or if your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds, you go to heaven. We’re all familiar with its teachings, yet no church officially teaches them. Yet if you deny its teachings, people look at you funny, as if you’re being uncharitable or heretical.
In American popular culture, Heaven’s mythology includes God with a white beard and people playing harps on clouds, yet no church officially teaches this either. American civil culture doesn’t consist only of religion, and if you flaunt its unspoken principles, you become a outsider.
We have an enemy. The world is not safe and neutral. Satan is against us. Everything we’re exposed to brings us closer to God or farther from God.