Sunday, November 1, 2015

Part II of Salvation and the Different Worldviews -- Atheism; Liberalism; Humanism

This is the second part to Salvation and the Different Worldviews. Like some of the other blogs I have written, I have put in subheadings or sections so that you do not have to read the entire blog in one setting. Just take your time in reading it. But, I hope that when I have finished with this topic, that you will be able to understand not only what some of the more common worldviews are, but that you will also see that most worldviews are actually based upon the search for Truth. Moreover, as spiritual beings, our search for the Truth comes from the awareness within our hearts and minds that there is an ultimate Truth, which can be acquired, even though some deny that there is an ultimate Truth. But there really is an ultimate Truth. In fact, the Psalmist in speaking of God, said: “You desire truth in the innermost being, and in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom.” 
– (Psalm 51: 6 NASV).

Individual worldviews may be based upon the belief that the person expressing a particular worldview has found their truth. But there is really only one Truth and that is the Truth of God. Jesus said, “When He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all Truth.” – (John 16: 13. NIV)
The Spirit of Truth is the Holy Spirit who comes to indwell all “born-again” believers. He points every true Christian to Truth, if we will but listen.

All humans are born into a fallen world that is agitated, vexed, and bothered by the prince of darkness, Satan. But even though Satan thinks that he is in control of the world, he is never given more power than God will allow him to have. Moreover, many times what the Satan, i.e. the devil, means for our harm is only allowed by God for our greater good, personal growth, and strength. Billy Graham said this about Satan that:
It is Satan’s purpose to steal the seed of truth from your heart by sending distracting thoughts … The difference between a Christian and a non-Christian is: though they both may have good and evil thoughts, Christ gives His followers strength to select the right rather than the wrong.
– (p. 136. Billy Graham in Quotes, c. 2011).

Jesus, spoke to a crowd that was determined to find a way to kill Him, because He was setting higher standards of the Truth for them to live by. But, the people could not understand what He was trying to tell them, or perhaps they just didn't want to know the Truth. So, Jesus finally said: “Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murder from the beginning, not holding to the Truth, for there is no Truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet, because I tell you the Truth, you do not believe me.” 
– (John 8: 43-45. NIV).

Many today still do not understand what the Truth is, nor do they accept anything but their own personal truth, which is often based upon lies told to them. This is because we are all so self-centered. First, we think that our thoughts are all our own thoughts, because we forget that we are also spiritual beings. We are both physical and spiritual beings. We were created by God to be able to spiritually communicate with Him, if we will just listen and hear His loving voice. Indeed, God wants us to know that He is here for us. In fact, God reassures us and comforts us when we call upon Him. Furthermore, when we need truthful answers to situations in life, God and His Word are there for us. However, because we are spiritual beings, Satan, too, tries to speak into our lives. He attempts to get us to ignore God and to get us to listen to him instead. For, Satan actually implants hurtful, negative, and lying thoughts into our minds hoping that we will accept or act upon his untruthfulness.

We know that Satan implants untruthful and negative thoughts in our minds, because throughout the Bible we are told that he delights in causing humans to do things that are not right and that are against God’s commands and Truth. One of those Scriptures is when the Apostle Paul, in speaking to the Corinthians, told them “… I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” 
– (II Corinthians 11: 3. NIV).

Secondly, every individual thinks that their thoughts are the more important than others’ thoughts and opinions. Unfortunately, when we try to put our thoughts and our personal view of how the world should be upon God, we are being presumptuous. Saying things like, “A loving God would never do ...” means we have relegated God to our humanness and to how we think. But God is not human. He is eternal, glorious, and intellectually greater than we could ever fathom. So, how dare we think that God thinks or should think the way that we do or that he should view the world the way that we do. For, our thoughts and views cannot be those of God. (See Isaiah 55:9).

Certainly, we cannot impose upon God the thoughts and views that Satan implants in our minds. Nor, can we impose our or other's thoughts and philosophies of the world upon God. But, unless you are a child of God’s, i.e. “Saved” through your belief and trust in Christ, you may not always realize that Satan is trying to control your knowledge and opinions by implanting negative and false thoughts in your mind. Thus, you assume that your rational thoughts are yours and yours alone. Most, Christians, though, are able to recognize when Satan attempts to put thoughts into our minds, because of the discernment we receive from the Holy Spirit.

Satan loves to get non-believers to believe that a “loving God” would not or should not do something. However, to assume that we can view the world from God’s perspective means that we are trying to be God or are trying to put our thoughts upon eternal God. But, no matter how intellectually brilliant a person is, she or he cannot think like God. We cannot see the end from the beginning; only God can see past, present and future events. Neither do we have the ability to understand God’s goals or His ways. In fact, God told the prophet Isaiah:
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.
– (Isaiah 55:9. NASV).

Because He is God, we cannot expect to understand “why” God does the things that He does. We cannot put human attributes and thinking upon God just so that we can feel all nice and cuddly about God. We are, though, expected to believe in Him, obey Him, fear Him, and love Him. We are also expected to “love others as we love ourselves.” Along the way, God wants us to accept the free gift of Salvation that He, in His love for us, has offered to everyone who would believe upon His risen Son, Jesus Christ. However, no one will be forced to believe. Salvation is a free gift of love to be opened by each individual who chooses to do so.

Unfortunately, with the devil’s help and then with man’s own philosophies and stratagems, many people have chosen to not to open the free gift of love or accept the Truth of the Bible. Instead they search for Truth through false religions, empty deceptions, traditions of men, reliance upon scientific or elementary principles and philosophical discussions.

Now let’s take a look at some very common worldviews today that believe they have found the Truth in science, nothingness, and self.

The Atheistic Worldview.

The worldview of Atheists is based on nothingness. When you look up the word “atheist” in Webster’s Dictionary it says that an atheist is “a person who believes that there is no God.Webster’s goes on to further explain that an atheist also rejects all religious belief and denies the existence of any god or God. So, no matter what religion another person has, the atheist does not believe, because they do not believe in a supreme or sovereign being.

When we look at the world we live in and see all the beauty and the intricacies of all things, including the human body, it is hard to understand why anyone would believe that there is no God and no Creator. But atheists still need something on which to base their belief in no God. So, most atheists have also fallen for the philosophical and false scientific belief in evolution.

Using Evolution to Support the Atheist's Belief of No Creator.

Instead of believing in a Creator, atheists believe that somehow or other the universe lept into existence out of nothing and without any help from a supreme being. Then atheists accept the evolutionists’ belief in spontaneous cell generation, which then led to the gradual development of animals and humans. 

To believe in evolution means the individual accepts, as fact, the premise that all the animals originally evolved from some primordial mud. This premise states that both the female and the male of all species, including the species of the human race, evolved from the lower invertebrates. But, when you really think about the miracle of conception and the difference between the way a male body works and the way a female body works, (one has the egg and one has the sperm) it is hard to see how evolution was able to produce both genders through some muddy soup. But true evolutionists and many atheists refuse to look at all the facts, especially those that do not substantiate their belief in evolution. (If you are truly interested in facts, you might want to read Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life And The Case For Intelligent Design by Stephen C. Meyer. He is also the author of Signature In The Cell. Both are excellent books).

Atheism as an Intellectual Worldview.

Supposedly Atheism is an intellectual and truthful view of the world. In fact, many atheists are people who have also gone to college or at the very least have read every philosophical book they can get their hands on or have spoken to several like-minded people who also agree with them that there is no God. Confirmation of their belief by others through intellectual discussions, aides atheists in furthering their belief of no God and aides in the sensibility of that belief, even if it is based on faulty facts like the premise of evolution. But, just because Darwin came up with a hypothesis about evolution does not mean that his hypothesis was accurate or that his concept or premise of evolution should be embraced.

Believing and accepting Darwin’s hypothesis about evolution as a fact rather than just a hypothesis that needs to be proven or dis-proven reminds me of the children’s story of The Emperor’s New Clothes. In this story an entire town was convinced to believe that the Emperor had on glorious and beautiful new clothes when, in fact, he was actually parading around in his underwear. To tell the truth, though, would have been admitting that you were not able to see what everyone else could supposedly see – the most beautiful clothes ever. Only when a little boy finally spoke up and said that the Emperor didn’t have on any clothes were the town’s people able to quit accepting the lie that had been told to them and finally see and admit verbally the truth of the situation. They no longer accepted what they had been told to believe, and they finally understood the importance of standing up for the truth.

Atheism must be a very lonely belief. There is no One to whom the atheist can turn to for strength or comfort when the strength and comfort of a fellow human is not enough. Consequently, because they do not understand their need for spiritual support, many atheists can be easily angered when they encounter a Christian. For, they see something in the Christian that they don’t have. But rather than trying to find out what it is that Christians have, atheists just get angry at them. Atheists also do not understand the love or the light that emanates from “born-again” Christians. It is scary to them. Christians, however, have to be careful, because in trying to share the light of Christ and our love for others, we can fail to lean upon God and His Truth for answers in how to speak to atheists. For sometimes the seemingly intellectual statements of an atheist can be hard to rebut or can leave a Christian tongue-tied. We need the Holy Spirit's help and a prayer before we try to jump into an intellectual conversation with an atheist.

Knowing how empty intellectual “knowledge” can be, the Apostle Paul warned his mentee by saying: “O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely calledknowledge’ – which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith.” – (I Timothy 6: 20. NASV). Then later, Paul told Timothy, “But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness.”  -- (II Timothy 2: 16. NASV).

 Certainly, the philosophy of Atheism has produced ungodliness through many arguments based on so-called intellectual ‘knowledge”. Just remember, though, that the Truth of God’s Word is always the answer. But it must be shared in a loving manner.

The Liberal Worldview is Easily Incorporated into the Atheists’ Worldview

Many atheists also have a very liberal view of world and of how government should be run. Originally liberal implied tolerance of other’s views while challenging the traditions and institutions of a conservative society. However, over time liberal has come to be associated with a progressive and often radical view of the social structure that is in currently in place.

Today, liberals generally have a progressive view of education and politics that incorporates a belief that the minority has the right to control the majority, which is divergent from democracy. Liberals also believe they know what is best for society and that bigger government can best provide for the people. So, whether it is making a determination about which corporations should be allowed to exist for the good of society or the determination that everyone should have to pay for the “hypothesis” of global warming, liberals want their ideas and beliefs to be instituted without both sides or views of the situation weighing in. For example, in the extreme, some liberals will advocate taking public land out of use in order to protect an endangered insect: these extreme liberals will always side with the insect. Other liberals also want to get rid of things like coal energy even if it means thousands of people going without jobs or that homeowners will have to bear the cost of changing the ways their homes are heated. In both of these cases we see that the liberals will often come up with ideas, and then they want the government to pay for their ideas. But it is the middle class and the poor people who will pay in the long-run.

Additionally, in current liberalism, political correctness is more important than the individual’s right to express themselves, and in some cases it is more important than the truth. Presently, political correctness from within the liberal worldview often keeps Truth at bay, because people are afraid of the truth or are afraid of expressing themselves in Truth for fear of being called a hate monger or just plain stupid. Political Correctness has even tried to get people to believe that it is wrong to be Pro Life. Unfortunately, when it comes to Planned Parenthood, i.e. abortion, the truth of slaughtering babies for the sake of convenience and now for profit does not seem to bother some liberals. Many liberals think that the Truth of this baby slaughter is blown way out of proportion, so not even the videos that show the Truth of these abortions will cause them to change their pro-belief in Planned Parenthood, i.e. abortion. The lie that is told that a “woman’s body is her own to do with as she wishes” is touted by liberals today. But, the woman’s body is only a vessel created by God for a woman to be able to carry another human life until it is ready to enter the world.

In speaking to God, the Psalmist and King, David said: “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb… Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.” 
– (Psalm 139:13-16. NLT).

Can you imagine how hurt God is when He sees how little we think of the child that He is creating inside a woman? That child, who was meant to cure cancer, to be a world leader or to grow up to be the father or mother of someone who will influence the world for the better, is killed, mutilated, and dismembered all in the name of “self”. In other words, what the woman thinks, feels, and wants becomes more important than the life that God is creating within the woman’s womb. This is part of the worldview of both many liberals and many atheists. The killing of a child inside or outside of the womb to protect against the disruption of woman’s life, for whatever reason, is part of the worldview of many liberals today. Moreover, atheists, who do not believe in God or His creation, also find it is easy to believe in a “self’ that deserves the right to take an innocent life.

The Humanistic Worldview affects the Atheist's Worldview.

Most liberals and atheists also usually have a humanistic philosophy or humanistic worldview about life. Since atheists do not believe in God or any god, all their thought and action is based on man’s ideals and interests. Again, Webster’s Dictionary tells us that humanism is a “modern non-theistic, rationalistic movement that holds that man is capable of self-fulfillment, ethical conduct, etc. without recourse to supernaturalism.” In other words, there is no supernatural deity who gives you the truth or who sets up the tenants of right and wrong. This humanistic philosophy or worldview believes that humans are quite capable of determining what they should and should not do and when and if to do it. 

In the humanistic worldview, human nature is the only overriding factor in life. So, humanism fits in nicely with atheism. Humanistic atheists advocate living the way that you want to live, because there is no one watching you and there is certainly nothing that will happen to you upon death except death. The human will just turn back into dust and that is all there is.
Again, Billy Graham said: “If our minds and hearts are not filled with God’s truth something else will take His place; cynicism, occultism, false religions and philosophies, drugs – the list is endless.”
– (p. 136. Billy Graham in Quotes, c. 2011).

Although, an atheist will not fall for false religions per se, they can certainly get involved in cynicism, and other philosophies or worldviews that can control their lives. One of the things that the Bible teaches us is that we are made up of our body, soul, and mind. Atheists do not believe in feeding the soul, as that is a spiritual part of our lives, and the spiritual part does not fit in with their belief in no God. With the Atheistic and the Humanistic worldview “Self” and living for “self” is more important than anything else. Furthermore, whether atheists and humanists realize it or not, they have made “self” their god.

How sad that some people do not believe in God and instead believe in “self”. But, in order to speak to these people we first have to know what we are facing. We have to know that they see no reason to be concerned about the end of their life.

Psalm 10: 4 says:
The wicked, in the haughtiness of his countenance, does not seek Him. All his thoughts are, ‘There is no God.’”

We have to know, then, that there are some, who because of their unbelief and their reliance on self and their thoughts, may have developed a wicked bent to their attitude and actions toward others. Love and the love of others that God teaches in His Word are not important to the atheist or to the humanist for that matter. “Self” is the most important thing to them. Moreover, if an atheists, humanist, or liberal does not believe in the spiritual aspect of the human, then the Christian and others should not be allowed to believe in a spiritual aspect either. 

The atheist with liberal and humanistic beliefs has a worldview that sees the world as their own playground. For, selfishness often plays a big part in the liberal, humanistic, and atheistic worldviews. Furthermore, most atheists project their selfishness by believing that they should never have to see anything that could lead them or another person to think about the spiritual aspect of life. This is why instead of leaving Christians alone, even though the atheists do not believe in God or Christ, they selfishly do not want others to believe either. So, some atheists will go after Christians as their adversaries. It is the same reason that atheists do not want “In God we Trust” on American money and why they work diligently to get rid of any “Crosses” that are in public view or that are on government property. It just bothers them personally to see these things. It is also why atheists do not want Christian holidays celebrated, even though they have the freedom to participate or not participate in a religion, and they are not required to participate. Instead, in their “wicked haughtiness”, atheists want those holidays banned too.

Finally, because atheists do not believe in a Sovereign Being who has given us the Truth, the Laws, and the Ten Commandments, which we as a society have adhered to and followed for years, atheists do not want any of those Truths, Laws or Commandments displayed publicly. They selfishly want only what they want, and they do not care about what others or what others believe or want. This is truly the height of self-absorption, self-importance, self-interest, and pridefulness. But that is what the worldview of atheism, humanism, and liberalism is all about – the glorification of self.

Christians have to be prepared with the true knowledge and wisdom provided by God through His Word before trying to share Christ with an atheist. Extreme prayer and reliance upon the Holy Spirit is needed as well. This doesn’t mean that we can’t share Christ with an atheist, but it does mean that we need to know what their worldview is and know why they think the way that they do before we can share productively. For, no matter who you are mentoring or sharing the Gospel with, it is important to have an idea about the person’s worldview so that you will know where they are coming from and why they think the way that they do. Once you understand how the person thinks, then pray that God will give you the right words to use with this individual. Perhaps God wants you to either team mentor with a couple of other ladies or perhaps God will point you to some other Christian who has more knowledge about the atheist’s beliefs and would be able to help you share the Gospel.

Discovering the other person’s worldview, whatever it is, is important in getting to understand and help them. For example, the other day I was talking to a Christian lady who had a very negative outlook on life. After talking for a while, I discovered that her entire life has been clouded by her early years. She grew up the eighth child of an extremely poor family, and her life has been very tough ever since. If I were to mentor her, I would have to understand that she views the world in a totally different way than I view the world. I would have to ask questions and find out exactly what she believes and why she believes the way that she does. Right now, I know that she views the world from a background of poverty and hurt. Other kids and people made fun of her family and their poverty. So far, the only thing that we have in common is our belief in Christ and our certainty that we are going to go to heaven when we die. But, developing a loving relationship with her would be the first priority if I were to mentor her.

With time, perhaps a mentoring relationship could be developed. However, there may be another Christian lady out there who would have an easier time relating to this lady’s negative worldview. Even though I am a Christian, I recognize that my middle income family background experience cannot relate to what she had to go through. Although I may not personally be able to help her, I can try to find a mentor for her. But if I learn more about her and know what she believes as I come to understand her needs, I can perhaps be a better Christian to her. But, Christian love must be the underlying motive in our mentoring or sharing of the Gospel, whether we are mentoring a fellow Christian or an atheist.

God put the world square with Himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins.  God has given us the task of telling everyone what He is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ Himself now; Become friends with God; He’s already a friend with you.”
– (II Corinthians 5: 19-20. MSG).

You can do it!

You can share Christ with others.

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