Three Worldviews and What They Mean

Three Worldviews and What They Mean

Everyone has a particular “worldview.” We each understand the way the universe works according to our own presumptions and the evidence we have seen. In the past, most people perceived the world to be flat. They believed that if one traveled to the world’s edge, they could merely fall off its side. When greater evidence presented itself that the world was, in fact, round, people changed their mind.

Three Different Worldviews

Today, most people have a perception of the world from one of three different viewpoints. The first is that universe and all it contains is only part of the whole. Outside the universe is another realm. This realm is where God exists. They believe that God is greater than the universe They believe that the universe had a beginning and it will someday have an end. This reality outside of the universe, where God exists, is timeless. It has no beginning and it will never end. God created the universe and controls all that happens within it from his realm outside of it. The major religions that hold to this worldview are Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. We call this worldview, theism.

Pantheism

The second view of the world is that of pantheism. In this perception of the world, everything that is in the universe, and anything that exists outside of it, is all part of God. God is not outside the world, but everything is inside or a part of God. Sometimes, pantheists believe that there is a visible, an illusory part of the world, that was created from the invisible part of God. However, whether it is the visible or invisible part of God, all is a part of the whole and worthy of worship. Major religions that belong to this worldview are Hinduism, Buddhism, and animistic religions. Many today who worship Gaia or Mother Nature, believe that the stars align to set their destiny, or that their lives are directed by “the Universe,” are actually pantheists.

Atheism

The third worldview is the belief that everything that exists can be perceived. There is nothing beyond our knowledge or our perception. Even though, there may be things that we haven’t discovered or things that we haven’t learned, given enough time, our capacity to understand them is achievable. If there was a God, even he would not be beyond our perception. Anything that we can’t perceive is simply because we haven’t developed a microscope powerful enough to see something so miniscule, or a telescope that can see something as vast. This worldview is atheism.

The Implications of Your Worldview

The atheistic worldview elevates the human mind to prominence. Since God does not exist, we are the supreme beings. Some atheists imagine a race from a distant planet who will someday communicate with or visit earth. Though this race is understood to be more advanced than humans, they are merely what humans should or will be. Eventually, we will develop their technologies and philosophies and will be just as powerful and noble as they are.

The pantheistic worldview elevates the human spirit to prime importance. Pantheists understand that there is something within man that communicates beyond themselves. All around them they are awed by the possibilities of beauty, love, and peace. By looking inside themselves, they think that they will “hear” or understand God and will be able to elevate themselves and become one with him. They sense a mysterious and elusive realm and if they can just hear clearly enough to get in touch with this God inside, they can escape the pain and misery of this illusion perceived by our senses. Their objective is to meld with the universe, with God, and understand the secrets within.

Finally, the theistic worldview is that neither the human mind or the human spirit is the supreme. Theists believe that there is a God who is not part of this world. He exists outside the universe, outside of time, and, naturally, beyond our knowledge. Theists, like the atheist, believe in the material world. They believe that we can explore and learn about the universe. The things we perceive about our surroundings are not simply illusions; they are real and we can affect them through our actions.

God’s Revelation to Mankind

Even though God is beyond our perception and knowledge, we can still know him because he has made himself known. Since the beginning of mankind, God has continually revealed himself to the spirit of man. Man’s spirit “talks” to God. We can either listen to what the he says to us, to our spirit, or we can ignore it. The sin in our lives shows that we have become quite good at ignoring the Spirit’s still, small voice as he speaks to our hearts. This is what the pantheist, who through meditation, repetition, and denying reality, is trying to comprehend.

The Problem of Sin

God knows that our sin makes us “hard of hearing.” Because of that, he has revealed himself to righteous men and women, called prophets. These prophets have written down the things that God has revealed to them, thus we have God’s words in the scriptures.

The problem is that voices other than God, malevolent voices, can also speak to our spirits. Outside the universe, in the spiritual realm of God, there are other created beings. Some of these are loyal servants. Others are rebellious spirits who speak to our spirits the things contrary to God’s will. We also, in our natural state, are rebellious. Even our own spirit will speak against God and attempt to put ourselves above him.

As men denied the existence of the spiritual world, denied God, denied that he spoke to us through the prophets in the scriptures, God had one tactic left. Since men cried out for a tangible, material proof of a spiritual God, he invaded the universe that he created. He clothed his Holy Spirit in the flesh of a man. He walked and talked among us. He showed us through the words that only he could utter, with power over his creation, and ultimately by the demonstration of the conquest of death, that he alone was the one true God.

The atheist places man’s mind above God and the pantheist places man’s spirit above God. God forces both to their knees when he confounds the wise and noble and takes his rightful place in the humbled human heart.

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