Worldview

Over the last year or two the Lord has been showing us at Immanuel Community the importance of understanding what a worldview is, and how it shapes our lives.  A visit from author Dr Peter Jones from The TruthXchange spurred us to delve into this subject and as we’ve explored it the fundamental importance of understanding the Two-ist position, as Jones describes it, has become paramount.

The Judaeo-Christian biblical worldview stands alone in believing that while all of creation shares a certain essence (because everything apart from God is created), God himself is the Creator, a completely separate being.  All other worldviews, philosophies, ideologies and theologies adhere to Monism (or One-ism), i.e. that everything shares the same essence and therefore everything is a piece of the divine.

Once we begin to examine the difference between the unique Biblical worldview and all others, the reality becomes apparent: the others have embraced the lie Paul identifies:

They exchanged the truth about God for the lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever (Romans 1:25).

We live in an important moment in history, when the prevailing worldview in the West has been subtly exchanged for another one.  This cultural revolution was in the making for many decades but escalated in the permissive society of the Sixties.  Up until then British culture was defined by patriarchal, heterosexual and Judaeo-Christian principles.  Despite the fact that Britain is still officially a Christian nation, Peter Jones in his book, ‘One or Two?’ sums it up in this way:

. . . in one generation the traditional worldview has been largely replaced by a radically egalitarian, omni-gendered, pansexual, multi-religious (but all One-ist or Monist) belief system that has turned our contemporary world upside down.

Paganism is now a respected academic discipline and generally accepted by society, even if it isn’t given that name.  Our Postmodern culture has been a breeding ground for this new spirituality.  Peter Jones remarks:

Postmodern deconstructionists said there is no metanarrative (overarching worldview) but religious pagans didn’t seem to hear them and are busy constructing a new one to explain everything.  In other words we are not seeing a breakdown of law and order but a redefinition of it; not unrestrained immoral behaviour but a justification of it; not a laxity about sexual perversion but a legalisation of it; not a materialistic rejection of God but a spiritual redefinition of God that turns him into the goddess.

In the name of tolerance and equality, though progressives give lip service to ‘each to his own’ or ‘do as you like’, the new paganism will not allow Christians the freedom to keep looking at life from a Christian perspective.  There is a stark contrast between the prevailing One-ist philosophy that unites most of mankind and the Christian Two-ist conviction.

When Adam and Eve sinned they chose to believe the lie they were fed.  God’s character was brought into question.  Satan tempted them by saying that they could be like God (as God).  This was the beginning of One-ism – man trying to attain Godlikeness, resulting in seeing himself as a god, the god within, the higher self, master of his own destiny, etc.

Today we are still reaping the rewards of that choice, and Satan continues to feed the lie whenever and wherever possible.  The truth is, however, that Adam and Eve were called to represent God on the earth, not to be God.  They were to show what God is like by the way they related to him, to each other and to the creation they were called to steward.

What does all this mean for Bible-believers like us, who are convinced that Creator and creation are separate?  Here are a number of aspects, in no particular order:

i    It explains the unpopularity of the Judaeo-Christian worldview.   Belief in an omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent and benevolent Creator who is separate and not dependent on his creation puts us in a small minority position.  The worldview we hold is diametrically opposite to the worldview of other cultures.  Indeed, in many other cultures which have creation myths, the serpent is portrayed as the good one in the story.

ii   It explains why the Jewish people, the early church and Christians and Jews throughout history have suffered persecution.  The worldview of Nebuchadnezzar (who demanded to be worshipped as a god) and of the Roman Emperors (who also demanded to be worshipped) could not be tolerated by Daniel, Paul and countless others through the ages.

iii  It makes sense of the ten commandments and the law God gave the Israelites.  He instructed them to be holy (set apart from the nations around them) just as God is holy, set apart from his creation.  The religion of the Canaanites was anathema to the Two-ist worldview of God’s people and the Old Testament story shows that when they compromised and imbibed Canaanite worship (of creation, not the Creator) they invited the wrath of God and failed to be the light to the Gentiles, by demonstrating a right relationship with the Creator God, which was their calling.

iv  It makes sense of the thrust of much of Paul’s teaching in his letters to the churches.  He recognised the dangers of merging with the pagan culture the churches were birthed into and imbibing the lies of the Gnostics who, simply put, were strongly influenced by Greek culture and believed they had a secret mystical route to salvation and Godliness but denied the true nature of Jesus.

v   It explains why Christians who will not compromise with the worldview surrounding them are increasingly being marginalised.  The cases being fought in the UK courts and in the European Court of Human Rights are increasing as Christians take a stand for the right to be free to live out their convictions. 

vi   It explains the attitude of the world towards Israel.  Ultimately it is only the Christians, who share the same worldview, who will stand with Israel against the might of the nations.  This is part of the End Time scenario which will be played out immediately before Jesus’ return.

vii  It explains the spiritual battle uncompromising Christians are engaged in.  We declare that Jesus, the Son of God, is unique in every way.  There is no other religion, ideology or philosophy which makes such a claim; they are happy to accept that ‘all roads lead to God’ and that their version of spirituality is on a par with the others.  Christians can’t be a party to such beliefs.

viii  It explains, therefore, why Christians will be the ‘inconvenience’ to any world peace plans based on a common worldview.

In short, we are identifying the battle lines.  Since the Fall, everything in the world is set against the created order which God put in place.  The battle has been relentless and has morphed into different shapes at different times.  There are some (ultimately the Antichrist will fulfil this role) who actively feed the agenda, but Satan’s strategy has been to win the mass vote by floating issues which people buy into unwittingly.  

For example, the current climate in the West of destroying the need for a father-figure (disintegration of the traditional family) is presenting the father as an absent, estranged, obsolete figure.  This undermines the vital right relationship between Creator and creation, where the Father is anything but remote, abusive or irrelevant.

It is vitally important to understand the worldview we hold and how it affects the way we conduct our lives and relate to our culture and the worldview it holds.  In summary, the central issue is to know what God intended and how the enemy has distorted the original order for creation.  If man does not see God as completely other than us, thus swallowing the lie, he can only try to improve himself and the environment, striving for perfection.  He therefore, in some form or other, worships himself, his own achievements and the creation he is part of.

For a fuller article on the Biblical worldview, click here.

Comments

Jenny , thanks for such a succinct appraisal of oneism and twoism. Some of the implications of ,as you put it, 'believing the lie' of oneism are very sobering and yet I found myself feeling inspired by your article.

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