Posted July 26th, 2012 by admin with Comments Off
This is a short summary of the first of a series of 4 “Summer Slam Studies” for our youth core at Brunswick First United Methodist Church.
A “worldview” is simply how a person or society understands the world in which they live – the ground-level assumptions we hold, even often unconsciously, about the make-up of the world around us. We can figure out a lot about our (or someone else’s) worldview by asking a few simple questions: what is real?; what is humanity?; what happens when we die?; what is the basis of morality?; & what is the meaning of history? By answering these questions you’ll find yourself and those around you somewhere on a sliding scale between Atheism (there is no God – life has no meaning other than what you choose to give it), through Deism (There is a God, but he/she doesn’t care about us or intervene), Theism (Christianity, Judaim, & Islam – a personal God, who created the world & is active in it in some way), to Pantheism (everyone & everything is divine/god – all is one).
Living in a culture that is pluralistic – open to various views & beliefs – we are encouraged by “the world” to believe that all religions are equally true. The picture is often painted by those who think themselves humbled & open-minded of a tall mountain: on top of the mountain is God/Heaven/the Divine, & we are all on different paths leading to the top. As humble as it sounds, the person who proclaims such a view shows nothing but pure arrogance: they are saying that they are the one who sees the view from the TOP – that they are the ones that know TRUE truth, & the followers of all the religions (paths) up the hill aren’t as enlightened as they are. Buddhist don’t even believe in God – they are attaining to Nirvana! How confused might a Buddhist be to show up in a Christian heaven, waiting for their Nirvana they find themselves in a Kingdom where Jesus is the King as instead of “Oneness with All”, they find themselves worshiping Jesus for eternity? It sounds ridiculous because it IS ridiculous. One cannot “humbly” suggest that all paths lead to the same destination unless one believes that they are somehow “above” – greater than – the judge of – those other paths, & that their view, alone, is the true one.
Jesus claimed very clearly to be the only way, saying “I am the way, the truth, & the life – no one comes to the Father except through me“, & spoke about himself in many parables claiming to be “the gate” – if Jesus is, as we believe Him, God in the flesh, we wouldn’t need any other way to God but through Him because HE IS GOD.
Though it leads to other questions – such as “What happens to those who never hear the Gospel?” (which we address next week) – we have confidence in this: God is Holy (utterly set apart – unreachable & untouchable except that He reach out to us), God is just (He doesn’t ONLY what is RIGHT – there will be no one in Hell that is surprised or feels somehow wronged for being there), & God is LOVE (He is perfect relationship, & has a heart for those that are His). These three truths can give us confidence when praying for those around us who need Jesus.
Next: “What happens to those who have never heard?”
Brunswick First UMC Shannon Theology Youth Summer Slam Study notes
Tags Brunswick First United Methodist Church Summer Slam Study Youth
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