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We are living in a world war of worldviews. The Bible warns us: “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of the world rather than on Christ.” Colossians 2:8
Everyone is influenced by a worldview. Whether consciously or unconsciously, whether consistently or inconsistently, everyone is influenced by a worldview, their set of presuppositions and assumptions (which may be true, partially true or false).
Our worldview consists of those sets of beliefs and presuppositions, which we hold about basic realities of our world. Our worldview determines our values, influences how we think and therefore guides how we live.
THE BASIC QUESTIONS OF LIFE
Our worldview needs to answer the basic questions of life:
THE BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW
By way of contrast, Humanism is a religion that deifies man – and dethrones God. Francis Schaefer defined Humanism as: “The placing of man at the centre of all things and making him the measure of all things.”
Alexander Solzhenitsyn describes Humanism as: “The proclaimed and practiced autonomy of man from any higher force above him.”
One can recognise the Humanist agenda in many films, articles and books:
The results of Humanism are written all over the pages of recent history: the revolutions, the massacres and totalitarianism of the Communist East; the permissiveness and decadence of the democratic West; the pornography plague, the drug epidemic, the crime explosion, the escalating inflation, the abortion holocaust and the AIDS and STDs pandemics, these are just some of the inevitable results of the moral anarchy of Humanism.
“Why do the nations rage and the people plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against His anointed One: Let us break their chains, they say and throw off their fetters. The One enthroned in Heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Then He rebukes them in His anger and terrifies them in His wrath saying: I have installed My King on Zion, My holy hill…Therefore you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear…” Psalm 2:1-11
Animism is spirit worship. It has been heavily promoted by some Hollywood films such as Pocahontas and Brother Bear. Animism is the primary religion of millions of tribal people scattered throughout Africa, New Guinea, the Pacific Islands, North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, India and Japan. Elements of basic Animism are also adhered to by many nominal Muslims, Buddhists and “Christians”.
Animism involves Necrolatry, the worship of the souls of the dead. Tribal people tend to regard the departed ancestors as part of the clan and fear the harm that the departed can do to the living. They especially fear that those who died unnaturally will come back to haunt them. Animism involves spirit worship, believing in the existence of personal spirits or demons, as well as impersonal spiritual forces in nature, which inhabit the earth, the air, fire, water, trees, mountains and animal life. Life for the Animist is dominated by a host of taboos and rituals to placate the spirits.
Animism involves naturism, the personification and worship of the forces of nature. For example the worship of the sun in Ancient Egypt, the sacred cow of the Hindus in India and the sacred mountain of Shintoism in Japan. Naturism normally involves polytheism (the worship of many gods) and idolatry. In nature worship, rituals and sacrifices are intended to guarantee fertility. Human sacrifices are an extreme example of this.
Animism involves totemism, (“Brother – Sister – Kin”) emphasizing the unity of the clan with some sacred plant or animal.
Animism involves fetishism (the superstitious belief that there is some spiritual energy or force in charms, amulets or fetishes). Normally witchdoctors are involved as Shamans, “expert mediators” who know the proper incantations and sacrifices at times of sickness and disasters to placate “the spirits.” The witch doctors use imitative magic to bring harm to an enemy by attacking a representation of him (such as a voodoo doll!) or contagious magic which utilizes some hair clipping, nail paring, sweat, spit, or faeces to bring a curse on an individual. The blood of an animal (or a person) may be drunk in order to gain the strength of that animal or (in the case of cannibalism) person.
Animism is characterized by the absence of real love and hope. There are no moral absolutes (sin is seen as the violation of culture, custom and spirit forces rather than any personal ethical transgression). The whole of life is pervaded with and governed by, fear. Animism is pervaded by fatalism and a sense of helplessness in the face of external forces.
Heathenism does not deny God as much as ignore Him by worshipping natural forces and mysterious demon powers through magical ceremonies and sacrifices.
“When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorceror, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the Lord your God. For these nations which you will dispossess listen to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not appointed such for you.” Deuteronomy 18:10-14
EVALUATING ANYONE’S WORLDVIEW
To evaluate anyone’s worldview, we need to ask the following general questions about any film producer, scriptwriter, director, author, journalist or anyone else:
We can also ask certain specific questions:
WHY WE THINK AS WE DO
RECOGNISING HUMANISM IN THE MEDIA AND IN TEXTBOOKS
Secular Humanism says: “There is no God to save us; we must save ourselves!”
Post-modernism says: “There is no absolute truth; we must create our own!”
New Age thought says: “There is no God; I am my own god!”
HUMANISM IS SELF DESTRUCTIVE
“At first the temptation is to see mankind as God. Then it becomes us as god. And finally it is me as god. So the progression moves from the worship of man, to the worship of us, to the worship of me. In the end all anthropolators become I – dolaters. ‘I am god!’ Like little anti-Christs that exalt to magnify themselves in the temple of their minds.” – Dr. David Noebel
“But those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength…” Isaiah 40:31
“Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
This article is based on a Chapter of Biblical Principles for Africa, available from Christian Liberty Books, PO Box 358, Howard Place 7450, Cape Town, South Africa, Tel: 021-689-7478, Fax: 086-551-7490, Email: email@example.com and Website: www.christianlibertybooks.co.za.
The Battle for Truth by David Noebel
Understanding the Times by David Noebel
Answering Skeptics by Peter Hammond
The Ten Commandments – God’s Perfect Law of Liberty by Peter Hammond