In our looking at taking things as they are, we must now turn to the world. Now I do believe the world is created good. When the Bible talks about the sins of the world, that’s not what I have in mind. I am simply talking about the natural created order. I am discussing what you see when you look outside your window everyday.
Some examples of how this would work are obvious. It would really help if you looked at the world with the belief that solid objects don’t naturally pass through solid objects. (I say that because theoretically, it is possible to stick your hand through something solid, but the atoms most likely won’t arrange themselves that way.) This will make it helpful when you walk across the street lest you think an automobile can pass right through you.
However, beyond that, are there other things we should be aware of? Yes. We need to realize that the way the Christian theist approaches the world should be different from the way the naturalistic atheist or the New Ager or Hindu approaches the world. We need to first off realize that the world exists.
That might seem surprising to some of you, but in Hindu beliefs, it is seen as a good thing to escape sense-experience and realize that you don’t need to be connected to this world. Hindu “saints”, for lack of a better term, are quite pleased, for instance, to be able to look at a woman and not have desire.
Most of us would think the view of reality as an illusion is untenable. We all hold some basic beliefs that we would be hard-pressed to prove. Unless you can do brain surgery, it might be difficult to prove that other people have minds. (And indeed, with some people today you have to wonder.) We cannot prove that the universe did not come into existence five minutes ago with false memories in our minds and false food in our stomachs, etc. Would anyone be crazy enough to believe such though? (Okay. Again, you have to wonder with some people.)
But do we in turn view it as an accident? Is the world a cosmic fluke? Here again, we must disagree. This should effect how we view the world. We do not view the world as an enemy then that we must dominate. It becomes an ally that we work together with. Creation is not our opponent. It is our friend.
It also becomes something to enjoy. G.K. Chesterton said he’d explain the problem of pain to the skeptic if they’d explain the problem of pleasure. If this world is really an accident, why is there so much good? Why do we have colors and food that tastes good and sexual reproduction as something enjoyable?
Then we come to the more New Age type who wants to protect Gaia. Now I am not for polluting the environment. I am against though, these people who fear that we are destroying our planet and many of the extremes they go to. If anyone should be an environmentalist, it is the Christian. However, we should be rational in our approach.
I don’t believe in global warming for instance. I think the case is exaggerated and based on a lack of understanding and limited data. That doesn’t mean though that I think we should shoot freon into the atmosphere regularly. I believe though that nature has great ways of maintaining itself.
The problem becomes when environmentalism is seen as the end of it all. We have to be out there to save the planet. I’m all for saving the world, but it’s the world of lost souls wandering around that concerns me more. I believe also that when we redeem those souls, they will care for the planet properly as well.
Remember Christian, we must live in this world. It is best that we see it as it is as well.