Why Worldview Makes A Difference for Morality and Philosophy for Life

night moonRecently, I engaged in a discussion on the http://www.linkedin.com network website.  The discussion was “The Moral Guidelines that Could Change Our Moral Codes” (http://linkd.in/1vp7DDa).  The author suggested that not all moral codes make us think.  He then proposed a question answer scenario that would facilitate our thinking.  In doing so, he posed a number of questions prior to acting or making a moral decision:

“Would this action or practice
– facilitates or impede my/our development?
– facilitates or impede the development of our fellow citizens?
– facilitates or impede my/our interrelations with my/our families and my/our friends?
– facilitates or impede my/our interactions with my/our colleagues and fellow citizens?
– facilitates or impede the functioning of my/our governments?
– creates or maintain an environment where we are free to develop?” (, “The moral guidelines that could change our moral codes.”

In a comment to a series of other replies, particularly focused on Ayn Rand’s philosophy, one gentleman posed a suggestion: “When we do for others we do for ourselves for it creates our reality…the same is true when we only focus on self/fear.”

He came very near what Jesus claimed by paraphrasing what He actually said.  The difference between this gentleman’s suggestion and what Jesus claimed is that Jesus claimed that such a statement revealed a singular and truthful worldview and not the creation of “our reality.”  I went on to say,

“One thing missing in this discussion because this one thing rises above and encompasses the details of what has been said: worldview. Rand’s philosophy rises from her worldview.  [Name withheld], the initial statement you made (a paraphrase) in your recent post rises from a specific worldview: “When we do for others, we do for ourselves.”

Jesus actually claimed that statement:

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:7-12).

He embeds that statement in His worldview, that is God is above all. Notice at the beginning of the cited quote, Jesus says, “Ask…seek…knock.” Ask…seek…knock from whom? GOD. Then He continues by describing the nature of humanity. He said that although people are inclined to evil, they know enough to do good for their families. Then Jesus notes that God is greater, because He is Father of all. Afterwards comes the quote in question: “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (7:12). That is, those who seek God and His worldview will have this mindset, because it comes from God, and all humanity is created in His image.

This worldview claims, then, all have His imprint within and know value and duty. Value recognizes the worth of all God created and the order He established. Duty recognizes moral obligation. That is, everyone knows when they do right or wrong. Treatment of others and allegiance to God show both. We do good to and for others because we see them as having great value. Doing evil toward another or even toward ourselves devalues others and ourselves. Doing evil devalues oneself. Although we are naturally inclined to evil, as shown by our need for any moral code at all, we recognize good and do good because we are created in the image of God. Jesus claimed that our commitment to God enables us to live according to the image in which He created us, that is, according to Him.

Worldview makes a huge difference in terms of how we view moral codes. If we reject God as the giver of morality, we will attempt to create our own. When everyone does this, conflict arises, and morality becomes relative to one’s own worldview. There will be no end of conflict, tension, and wars in the world as each person, group, or society competes for the power to exert its worldview. Power plays happen in all organizations. Recognizing and committing ourselves to the source of our existence goes toward reducing such conflict and living in love toward one another. The last phrase Jesus said acknowledges this. He referred to the claim of doing to others as you would have them do to you as arising from the Law and Prophets. Jesus made only one other claim that did so, and that claim was loving one another. He said doing this fulfilled the Law and Prophets (Matthew 22:37-40). God’s worldview preempts all other worldviews and moral codes. It is universal while any human created worldview and corresponding moral code is limited because it is finite.

If then a moral code assumes that all are inclined toward evil and all need correction, as Denis’ questions suggest, then the solution is a worldview and corresponding moral code that is sufficiently universal to apply to the universality of the inclination toward evil. That worldview is that which Jesus claimed.”

Worldview matters, because it does indeed reflect truth and that truth reality.  The significance of the worldview of Jesus is that His worldview is the only one that works, because God alone changes people from the inclination toward evil to an inclination toward right living through imparting to them a new life altogether.  The Apostle Paul wrote,

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Through faith we commit ourselves to the worldview of Jesus and in doing so to the greatest commandment of the Law – to love one another.  This worldview is reality because it reflects the truth of God.  Worldview matters for morality and philosophy of life.

God is Inescapable for the Atheist or Anyone Else

Try as much as they want, atheists cannot remove God from their thinking or conversations. Each time they speak of Him, they acknowledge His existence. Even in their identity and worldview, they acknowledge they know God. They call themselves a-theist. Although the “a” that precedes “theist” appears to them to mean absence, it could also be used as an indefinite article specifying their acknowledgment of God such as in the sentence, “I am a theist.” Furthermore, although atheists integrate the article to make the word “atheist,” they still cannot get away from theism.  Inasmuch as they viciously try to claim He is absent or non-existent, theism still stands out in their identity.

I recently dialoged with an atheist on the http://www.patheos.com website who titled his discussion “Godless from Dixie.” Now think about that. Although his confession is “godless,” he could not get away from acknowledging God in it. God still rises clear as the noonday sun in the confession. Many atheists as well as those who do not profess atheism use God’s name or the name of His Son when they curse. In doing so, they pray that God will damn them or others. Such amazement.

It occurred to me recently how no one can conceive, think about, or extrapolate from the corporeal or incorporeal existence that which does not exist.

We can only talk about that which we conceive in our minds, harbor or entertain in our thoughts, or extrapolate or abstract from existence whether that existence is corporeal or incorporeal.

A corollary to this is we cannot entertain in our thoughts, conceive in our minds, or extrapolate or abstract from that which does not exist.

When we talk about something, we have already entertained it in our thoughts or conceived of it.

Therefore, when we talk about God, we have thought or conceived Him in our thoughts thereby giving strong evidence of His existence in our speaking.

Therefore, when atheists talk about God, they have thought or conceived Him in their thinking and give strong evidence of His existence according to the stated premises.

Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury (1033-1109), said similarly when he wrote in “Proslogion,”

How indeed has he ‘said in his heart’ what he could not think; or how could he not think what he ‘said in his heart’, since to ‘say in one’s heart’ and to ‘think’ are the same? But if he really (indeed, since he really) both thought because he ‘said in his heart’ and did not ‘say in his heart’ because he could not think, there is not only one sense in which something is ‘said in one’s heart’ or thought. For in one sense a thing is thought when the word signifying it is thought; in another sense when the very object which the thing is is understood. In the first sense, then, God can be thought not to exist, but not at all in the second sense. No one, indeed , understanding what God is can think that God does not exist, even though he may say these words in his heart either without any [objective] signification or with some peculiar signification. For God is that -than-which-nothing-greater-can-be-thought. Whoever really understands this understands clearly that this same being so exists that not even in thought can it not exist. Thus whoever understands that God exists in such a way cannot think of Him as not existing” (St. Anselm (1998-09-10). Anselm of Canterbury: The Major Works (Oxford World’s Classics) (p. 88-89). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.)

Some may claim, “Superman does not exist.  The characters in Star Wars and Star Trek do not exist.  The characters or material world in fiction novels do not exist.  The gods of other religions do not exist.  We can think, conceive, and imagine them although they do not exist and they have come into our minds through an external source.

To this a reply could be given that all of the characters and worlds of fiction are extrapolations of what already exist in reality.  Superman is an extrapolation of men who exist.  His creator simply integrated characteristics of other things that exist such as flying, great strength, and other characteristics and dressed him up in a costume that children now wear for Halloween.  The same also applies to worlds and characters in Star Wars and Star Trek.  Their creators embellish, extrapolate from, and impose on such fictitious worlds and characters from that which already exist.  Imagination is a great thing, because it can integrate those characteristics from what exist and create novel things from them.  The Preacher from Ecclesiastes said as much when he noted:

That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done,

And there is nothing new under the sun.

Is there anything of which it may be said, “See, this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us” (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10)

That is, what one imagines, thinks, conceives, or extrapolates from what exist has already occurred many times before by others who preceded those who have so imagined, thought, conceived, or extrapolated from what exist.  They simply gave this fiction the settings of their generations and encasing this fiction in that which they knew.

A professor once said of writing, “You write from what you know.”  Knowledge arises from what we imagine, think, conceive, or extrapolate from what exist.  Knowledge cannot arise from non-existence, for there is no knowledge in and of non-existence.  That which does not exist cannot contribute to knowledge.  For this reason, we depend on what exist to give rise to knowledge for filling our imaginations, conceptions, and thoughts so that we can extrapolate from what exist for creating from it some fictitious existence in a novel, poem, music, or art.  All of these display an extrapolation and integration of the characteristics of what exist.

When humanity creates fictitious characters, they do so from what already exist in reality.  The ancient civilizations so created fictitious characters and images from stones, wood, and other materials that arose from their imagination as extrapolations of what exist.  They then set these images up as gods for themselves.  They imagined these gods for worship because they knew God existed.  However, they took from the created material order and attempted to fashion from their imagination, conceptions, and thoughts of God and created images from the material world to attempt to stand for what they already knew – that God existed.

Therefore, deny all they wish, God remains strongly implanted in the minds of all as that which exist. They cannot get away from Him no matter how much they try. Their identity depends on their acknowledgment of God (atheist as a derivative from theist). Their opposition and curses reveal that they know Him. Write or preach all they wish against God, but their words testify to Him even though they resist, rebel against, and oppose Him.  Atheists betray themselves by speaking and writing about and against God.

King David once wrote, “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?” (Psalm 139:7) No one can remove himself or herself from the presence of God nor can their thoughts seek escape from Him. He is deeply implanted in their minds, so try as they may, God makes knowledge of Him deeply embedded in everyone’s minds.

The Apostle Paul wrote, “…because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful” (Romans 1:21).

How can people who have never heard of God still know Him? This Romans passage puzzled me for a long time until I framed the syllogism above. Our thoughts and conceptions give witness to and evidence of the knowledge of God. It is undeniable evidence within us when our minds entertain thoughts of God.  When we think or conceive of God, we show we know Him, not in the same sense that we know Him relationally or redemptively but in the sense that we know God exists.  Thinking and conceiving thoughts are part of our experience so that our own personal experience gives witness to the existence of God no matter how much some deny Him.  In denying God they deny the reality of their own experience.

The preceding statement Paul makes gives more evidence for our thoughts and conception of God, “…because what may be known of God is manifest in them” (1:19).

Again, when atheists talk or write about God in opposition to Him, they betray themselves by showing that the knowledge of God is indelibly stamped on the mind and conscience. They can only talk and write about that which exist or can be extrapolated or abstracted from existence. In talking or writing about God, they give ample and strong evidence of His existence and show they know Him while doing all they can to suppress that knowledge. The suppression of knowledge does not eradicate it.  Knowledge exists whether one accepts it or not.  Atheists show that such suppression of the knowledge of God is impossible by continually dialoging about Him.

Those who oppose God and attempt to wipe Him from their existence need to turn their face upward to confess what their thoughts and hearts acknowledge: God is inescapably in their presence and known in their hearts.  Their rage against Him will not stand in the judgment (Psalm 2), and their chains will curtail their defiance until they finally admit God is the LORD, their Creator, and Redeemer.

An Atheist Theological Position and Faith

I recently engaged some atheists concerning their claims about how they see the God of Christians.  One claim an atheist author made was that the Christian god is simply one of the imagination.  This god exists because Christian believe this god’s existence.  The actual statement is, “they [gods] exist because you make them exist” (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/godlessindixie/2014/10/24/god-does-exist-2).  The author goes on to state,

You were likely taught from your youngest days to believe in this entity, and some of you have spent a lifetime cultivating a way of thinking about and perceiving a world which includes this Being in the midst of it. You were taught to listen to the thoughts and feelings in your own head and consider that some of them may very well be this Person communicating with you, telling you things you should know. You’ve spent many years reading a text which you were told represents the right way to think about this person, and if you’ve had as long as I had, you were able to internalize its vocabulary and its thought forms until they became second nature to you. In short, you do experience this person as if he were a real person, and it won’t do you any good for me to stand here and tell you he does not exist. That’s simply incorrect. He exists because you make him exist.”

In other words, God is not a matter of epistemology, belief system, or even reality, but simply of one’s imagination.  I posed a challenge to this claim (and a claim it is) that it is no more than the logical fallacy called a straw man or even a false attribution.  It is also an epistemological one for the one making the claim.  Let us examine the claim from these perspectives.

First, let us look at the logical fallacy.  A straw man argument is positing a position to someone that the person does not hold.  The person doing this sets up what is known as a straw man, that is, a false position.  Then the person making the claim begins either attacking the straw man or making statements about it rather than addressing the real position the other person actually holds.  Another logical fallacy could also be applied to this type of claim called false attribution.  A false attribution is falsely attributing a position to another the other person does not hold or one that is irrelevant or biased to support one’s claim.  In neither case does the one making the claim present an argument on the merit.  That is, the claimant fails to address the other person’s position at all through evidence or reasoning.  All this atheist could do is make the claim and use a work of fiction to support it without any further support other than repetition of the premise:  it is all in the mind or imagination.

After a brief interchange when I brought up this atheist’s straw man, he replied with other logical fallacies:

1. That I missed his intent, which was “to explain to other atheists something they may not be getting about believers.”

2.  That his experience as a former Christian and seminary graduate supported his claim

The first argument simply affirmed the false attribution logical fallacy or a lie by continuing to attribute a false position to Christians.  The second argument was another logical fallacy known as “appeal to authority.”  Appeal to authority is an attempt to sidetrack the discussion from the claim through appealing either to another authority (“So and so says…”) or oneself as an authority rather than address an argument that supports the claim (or an argument on the merits).  That is neither one supports a person’s claim.  One is using what is false while the other sidetracks from a claim by going elsewhere.

I then addressed the claim altogether with another argument: “If God did not exist, people would not have any thought of the existence of God.”  They could not imagine God or even think or discuss any kind of divinity.  The first atheist dropped out of the discussion while a few others entered it. One atheist tried to counter this by claiming that we imagine certain fictional science fiction characters, and they do not exist: i.e., Superman, Buck Rodgers, etc.  Fiction writers create fictitious characters from what they know in the material created order.  To refer to them by name is simply an action of assigning a name to things that exist.  Fiction writers know about human beings or other types of beings within the created order.  They then dress them up in a certain garb or identity and name them.  This action does not address what one does not know or the non-existence of something or God.

For example, God asked Adam to name the animals.  If animals were not of the material world, Adam would not have the foggiest idea about animals.  Nothing could come to mind.  Their existence and the knowledge of that existence comes before naming them.  Some may ask, “What about the unicorn?”  The unicorn is a horse with a horn.  Horses exists, and animals with horns exists.  People see what is in existence, integrate these existing things, and assign a name to it in the same way Adam did.  The atheists in the discussion continued to bring up these examples with different other fictional characters, claiming that they did not exist except in the imagination.  However, regardless how many examples one gives, the same argument applies.  These fictional characters are representations of what already exists.

That returns us to the original claim – if God did not exist, no thought of divinity apart from the created material world could be imagined or entertained in our thoughts.  Furthermore, atheists could not even make the claim that God does not exist.  If He did not exist, why do they continue to make the claim that He does not exist?  It is a claim without meaning.  They would not be making any claim at all, because they could not entertain what does not exist in their thoughts.  All their claims about the non-existence of God amounts to no more than a personal attack on those who hold that God exists.  Nothing more.

Atheism is actually a theology that requires faith as much as Christian theology also requires faith.  All of us must have faith whether that faith is in humanity (humanism), other religions (pluralism), or any other kind of -ism in the world.  Too many unseen elements exist in the material world and beyond it to simply rely on empiricism or related approaches.  Our finiteness prohibits us from an all out claim or disclaim of God.  Atheists must believe God (or gods as they put it) does not exist.  They cannot provide evidence from the material world or anything beyond finite knowledge to make a claim of the non-existence of God.  Inasmuch as atheists make claims for the non-existence of God, no scientific method can prove such non-existence or even offer evidence at the very least.  They must accept such non-existence on faith that their theology of no God is feasible.

Consequently, atheism offers no more than a comparative faith.  It is far less tenable to believe in the non-existence of something than in the claim of what exists.  It is also more difficult to develop a theology around non-existence than existence.  I would rather place my faith in the God of the Bible than in faith in a non-existence of the Divine.  The biblical God gives far more substance and evidence, for it has the backing of history and creation.  These will be explored in future posts.

Opposition to Religious Freedom

While opposition to religious freedom continues to raises its ugly head, little do those who oppose religious liberty understand that freedom of speech and the practice of religion are integrated.  Any attempts to chill either is oppression and violation of the First Amendment to the US Constitution.  The suppression of free speech is also a suppression of religious freedom, and the opposite is true.

The mayor’s office in Houston is another incident where both freedom of religion and speech have come under attack.  Mayor Parker recently sent a subpoena to several church pastors demanding that they send their sermons to the mayor’s office for review if they have certain words or phrases in them: homosexual, her name, or any other similar wording.  In other words, if the pastors do not comply, they would be in contempt of court and be prosecuted.

The Houston mayor’s office received a notice not only from the pastors’ attorney but also from the Texas State Attorney General’s Office and the Federal Human Rights Commission to stand down and cease her actions.  They knew that the mayor’s office was in violation of First Amendment rights and that the Mayor was stepping out on a dangerous cliff.

Attempts to silence the gospel has received its challenges over the decades, but the action of the Houston mayor is rather blatant.  Hobby Lobby won at the US Supreme Court in their case over paying for abortion drugs in their insurance premiums.  Such lawsuits and opposition to religious freedom and speech would have been unheard of a century ago, but religious freedom receives increasing opposition in our society as the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4) attempts to turn the hearts of individuals to himself and away from God.  The Apostle Peter aligns with the Apostle Paul when he claims that Satan is like a roaring lion roaming around seeking those he wants to devour (1 Peter 5:8).  Satan has placed his own hatred in the heart of those who oppose God to stand up against those who place their faith in Him.  We should not be surprised at his tactics, but rather we should learn about them to be able to stand up against those who side with Satan.

When those in power attempt to suppress the gospel, they must find or create a message to replace it.  That message arises from debauchery and deceit.  Such a message looks at wrong and calls it right and demands that people must embrace that wrong through oppression and suppression of the truth.  A path exists from seeing wrong as benign to ignoring it, acknowledging it, accepting it, embracing it, and finally practicing it.  Once a wrongdoing enters the stage of being seen as a neutral practice, that opens the door to considering it as benign.  As benign, wrongdoing can be left to grow within a society much like a benign tumor grows in the body.  This benign tumor can displace other organs, and a wrongdoing seen as benign can displace truth through shifting it to “your truth may not be the same as my truth.”  At that stage, truth becomes rejected in favor of some sort of alleged neutral ground.  Once this neutral ground is established within the mind, the person becomes an evangelist for spreading this benign message (or new gospel) to the community at large and outward to society.

Modern philosophy is like this benign tumor by relegating wrongdoing and evil to a neutral ground.  However, such relegation is not a neutral act as no act is neutral.  Actions and practices step out from belief systems.  Belief systems are not neutral or benign.  Rather, they are advocates of one’s worldview or philosophy of life.  One’s worldview does not sit benignly in the mind taking neutral positions on practices one encounters.  People vote their positions in the public square.  As a person encounters a particular practice, thinking, or behavior, one either accepts or rejects it depending on that person’s worldview.  Accepting a new way of thinking can cause a shift in a worldview for incorporating what one accepts for making subtle changes in the worldview.  If the incorporated thinking or philosophy comes in conflict with a component within one’s worldview, a struggle ensues until the new thought process or behavior is accepted or rejected.  All of us are tempted with such recurring conflicts.  The rejection of one way of thinking must transpire for the acceptance of another way of thinking.  Neutrality calls for co-existence, but co-existence cannot occur when a struggle happens over conflicting philosophies concerning thinking and behavioral practice.  Like a tumor, the new way of thinking or belief displaces the existing way of thinking or belief.

Neutrality then follows the path of rejecting existing philosophy past ignoring the new to acknowledging, accepting, and embracing a stance, worldview, or lifestyle of a new worldview, paradigm, or philosophy.  Acceptance turns into advocacy much like what has happened within the Houston mayor’s office.  The mayor not only rejected the biblical worldview for belief and practice, but she embraced a worldview opposite the biblical one to the point of practice and advocacy.  Practice turned to evangelism for her worldview as she pressed it on the pliable and malleable Houston City Council to rule according to a tyranny of the minority.  She was never neutral but an evangelist for a specific worldview that opposed the worldview of pastors she subpoenaed.  Hers was an opposition toward suppression of these pastors’ speech and religious practice.

Neutrality much like tolerance cannot exist when there is opposition and conflicting worldviews.  “Tolerance” is a smokescreen for the intolerant statement “my truth may not be your truth.  Truth is not neutral nor tolerant of a lie.  Rather, it creates a dividing line between what is right and wrong.  It leaves no neutrality.  The source of truth is God whose truth is universal and stands opposed to all worldviews that reject truth.  There is no “my truth may not be the same as your truth.”  That statement has its source in worldly view and not in God’s view.  When one makes such a statement, they exclude all other worldviews and reflect intolerance of others while embracing “my truth.” The perspective of “my truth” is no more than a limited grasp of an alienated state from and opposed to God.  It not only rejects God as the source of truth but other belief systems through the stress of “my truth.”  It is ultimate intolerance.  Intolerance leads to suppression and oppression of opposing worldviews and ultimately opposition of religious freedom and free speech.

For this reason, the Founding Fathers of our nation incorporated the First Amendment into the US Constitution.  They recognized humanity’s fallen state from God and sought a higher law founded upon unalienable rights conferred by the Creator.  They saw God’s truth as the ruling truth over the intolerant “my truth may not be the same as your truth.”  They saw God’s law as the prevention of oppression of religious practice and speech.  They knew that when humanity embraced God as the source of truth, they could live with one another in spite of conflicts and differences.  The gospel is the message for ultimate freedom for embracing the way God originally created us and to live according to the truth found in Jesus Christ who claimed,

I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life (John 14:6).

By Faith We Understand… (Part 2)

By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God…” (Hebrews 11:3)

Understanding is an essential for coming to terms with the world about us and its purpose and meaning.  The material world is not just some set of molecules comprising mass in different forms.  Rather, behind the world exists the living God, the Creator of all that exists.  A worldview gives shape to our understanding of all existence, and a variety of world views exist.  However, in essence, all world views can be reduced to two: 1) one by which the Creator gives rise, and 2) one that humanity envisions and shapes in the imagination.

The second of these comes in many forms, but these forms arise from a different source – humanity.  Humanity shapes as many world views as there are individuals and communities imagining them, nuanced into the claim “Your truth may not be my truth.”  This claim gives birth to each person creating what is right in his or her own eyes.  Who is to question a person’s understanding if the god in their imagination gives rise to it?  In essence, a worldview from this perspective is like rolling dice.  Whatever comes up is that person’s slant on life, and there is no one truth that dictates that slant except the one with the dice.  If a person does not like the numbers that appear the first time, she rolls them again until she sees the numbers she likes.  Such activity is random like one who continues to search for a slice on life appealing to the person.  Once found, it satisfies for a season until another roll of the dice serves up something better.  Chance is the name of the game for reaching an understanding of the real world.  That is, that individual assigns meaning and understanding to the dice roll or passively accepts the dice roll from another such as with a cult.  There is no divine fiat.  Rather, if any deity created the worlds, such a deity is much like the Deists who wounds up creation and then steps back and watches what His living creatures will do with it: cultivate it or blow it up.

Then there is the understanding of science fiction.  The deities of these world views arise from the imagination and also include a claim of no deity at all or the individual as divine.  From the world views beginning with humanity arise the understanding that the source ranges from some sort of deity creating to evolution.  Science fiction also brings with it aliens arriving from another planet and populating the earth.  Consequently, whatever individuals can imagine springs forth a worldview.  This worldview spawns aliens and war of the worlds, beings intent on destroying everyone else’s worldview and imposing their own, much like what happens in the real world.  Therefore, a tension exists between two major world views within this scenario.  That tension is between war and utopia.  In both cases, the outcome appears to be the same: the imposition of a dominate worldview onto the masses much like the “War of the Worlds” and Thomas Moore’s “Utopia” in which all things are regulated.  One expresses treachery while the other seems benevolent.  However, the results are the same: the control of others through the imposition of the controller’s worldview.  They rest on fiction divorced from reality.  Humanism spawns all of these understandings.

The first cited worldview arises from the Creator who is distinct and separate from creation.  One might ask, “Is the Christian and biblically based God not any different from any other deity (or non-deity) described above?”  One major difference exists that makes God distinct and different from all others.  As noted above, He is distinct from creation and thereby separate from the imaginations of those in the created order who imagine all sorts of gods, even themselves as divine.  He is not the creation of imagination or physical or material in nature.  He is the Creator of all that exists.

Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary wrote,

Christianity brings the world a distinctive understanding of time, history, and the meaning of life. The Christian worldview contributes an understanding of the universe and all it contains that points us far beyond mere materialism and frees us from the intellectual imprisonment of naturalism. Christians understand that the world—including the material world—is dignified by the very fact that God has created it”  (Mohler, Albert, “Intellectual Discipleship: Following Christ with Minds, Bible Study Tools.com, http://bit.ly/1pElrQt.)

In other words, the material world constrains our understanding, because it does not have the guide of true biblical faith – the faith that sets focus on the “substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1-2).  Genuine faith does not set its sights on the material world but on the unseen reality of God who is separate and distinct from the created order.  He is not a benevolent dictator, a deity that leaves His creation alone, or a monster who oppresses people.  Rather, He is a God of love who faithfully commits Himself to our care and not as Mohler states of rulers alienated from Him,

Christians come to understand that idolatry and self-aggrandizement are the temptations that come to any regime” (Mohler, Intellectual Discipleship).

Since God created us, He knows us intimately and is aware of our alienation from Him and the limitations of our created state.  Consequently, He shared His love with us through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross to reconcile us from this alienation, not only with Him but with others and the world in which we live.  This alienation brought factions and war as well as the destructive activity toward our environment.  By faith, we understand His loving care and the claim He has on our lives, a claim to set us right with Him and ultimately to bring a halt to self-destruction.

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