colored cubes are links to additional background materials
You are in the
Understanding Belief Systems
section of this site.
Note: This study is admittedly difficult, but extremely important! Be sure to get clarification where needed!
Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. - Romans 1:25
The nature respecter (creation based worshiper) and the atheist share many things in common, but they are also unique. For example, many in both groups believe in evolution and its commitment to inevitable progress but our first group stresses spirituality while the second group stresses materialism. In this study we deal with the creation based worshiper and defer the atheist to another study.
He is everywhere and may even represent the statistical majority of religiously unaffiliated Coloradans. There are likely more CBW’s than atheists because, unlike the atheist, they are willing to embrace man’s “spiritual side”. It’s not likely that one will run into a person who calls himself a creation based worshiper but he is easily noticed. He is likely to present himself in a postmodern, pluralist context. The postmodern does not see himself as an atheist. He sees himself as neutral and inclusive (welcoming the common good in all religions while shunning their less evolved sanctions or taboos). He wants to feel genuinely spiritual and is warm to all sources of spirituality. In his ongoing quest he wants to hear your narrative (story) and your experiences of answered prayer and the supernatural - so long as you remain “tolerant”. A good many creation worshipers also believe in the power and even veneration of “angels” (Col. 2:18), healing, and other mystical expressions.
By leveraging the so-called universal Law of Affirmation many committed CBWs believe we can connect and harmonize or converge with the creation in which we are all a part. More extreme CBWs are involved in full blown gnosticism and the New Spirituality. The CBW is a “good” person who often prays and meditates and often seeks out holy places. He is, of course, especially enamored with eastern religious practices. It is generally important to the CBW to be positive.
At this point it is important to understand why we use the label nature respecter or creation based worshiper.
a. Throughout the course of history there have really only been two groups (though our atheist friends would protest). There are those who believe in the one true God, and those who believe in a multiplicity of gods or spiritual beings - call them what you will. It should not go unnoticed that the presentation of the Ten Commandments begins with the command to worship God alone, and ends with that reminder (Exodus 20:2, 20-23). Aaron’s and Israel’s first great act of rebellion was in the rejection of this commandment in favor of syncretism. The intellectual defense for this system (not treated here) is now taking center stage3.
b. When men reject the essential truth that we are to worship the Lord our God and serve Him only (Matthew 4:10), there is no neutral ground (Romans 1:20. An exchange must and will take place. In such a case, men must seat one or more beings (themselves included) as their gods. It is not so much that they reject the existence of the living God as it is that they reject the knowledge of God as being the only true God. Note Exodus 32:1-6, paying special attention to verse 5 - Men will worship.
c. When this exchange takes place it always results in a movement toward the lie, not just a lie (Romans 1:25) and it inevitably results in both moral and spiritual degeneration.
In reality, all who reject the full knowledge of God as He is revealed in Christ can be shown to have at least some mix of creation based worship in their practices. This includes contemporary Judaism, Catholicism, and Islam. However, we are focusing on those who are dominated by this view.
a. CBW has its spiritual origins in Satan’s own theology as we noted in our last study when we referred to Isaiah14. It is a counterfeit religion which robs folks from a real satisfying spiritual relationship.
b. CBW has always had a formal expression throughout history. While it is most often noticed in pantheism (or Schaeffer’s paneverythingism1) it is best described as panentheism2.
c. CBW, from this instructor’s perspective, is not simply a lie, it is the lie of Romans 1:25 and 2 Thessalonians 2:11. It is the religion of antichrist who will be Satan’s ultimate spokesperson.
There is a tremendous spiritual vacuum in evangelical circles today as men have departed from the true and faithful ministry of God’s Word. Sound Bible exposition is equated with dull doctrine and divisive theology and is construed as being impractical. As a result, unregenerate CBWs are now cited as spiritual authorities on a regular basis within evangelical circles! Ichabod! Biblically starved Christians are longing for a more tangible and substantive spiritual experience. Sadly, they are looking in exactly the wrong places.
Instead of adopting biblical solutions for revival, many have opted to use pagan (pre-modern) spiritual practices. Some recommend labyrinths, prayer beads, station worship and journaling. A great number embrace contemplative prayer and pagan meditation practices as aids for restoring this vitality. Like Aaron, they have mistakenly imported their practices directly from Rome and Eastern religions. It is even more sad when we realize that none of these ancient artifacts have ever aided, edified, or healed anyone’s soul. Such practices have also blurred the lines between the true gospel and creation based teachings by honoring unsaved men as spiritual leaders right inside of our gospel preaching churches and organizations4.
a. Spiritual cannot evolve from material any more than life can evolve from matter. God breathed the breath of lives into man’s nostrils (Genesis 2:7). More importantly we must be born again to receive spiritual life (John 3).
b. The creation is bound in sin (Romans 8:21). God lovingly sent His Son into the creation in order to free us from the bondage of sin (John 3 again).
c. No man is neutral. We have all rejected the light God has given and have lost the capacity to be spiritually or morally objective (Romans 1:20, 3:23, 6:23).
d. The spirit world is real and it is possible to communicate with spirit beings, but this is always to our detriment (Deuteronomy 18:9-14, 1 Timothy 4:1).
e. Only Christ can fill the spiritual vacuum which is in our hearts. We were created to enjoy true spiritual fellowship with Him (John 10:10).
2 You may request Jim’s slide set on The New Spirituality directly from Jim.
3 The serious student who lives in a contemporary environ will want to look further into the commonalities of panentheism and postmodernism. However, this is not a requirement in order to witness effectively to CBWs.
4. Lighthouse Trails Research (www.LighthouseTrailsResearch.org) is probably the leading source of materials documenting the terrible intrusion of the new spirituality into evangelical circles. Be prepared to be shocked.