What is the Christian worldview regarding the origins of man?

What is the Christian worldview regarding the origins of man?

A Christian worldview is unique with a character and coherence that stands up to reason and is underpinned by both history and experience. It clearly differs from other worldviews. That can be easily seen both in the creation of all things and most specifically in the origin of man.

The foundational tenet for the Christian worldview of man’s origin is found in the account of creation in the ancient writings of Moses:

Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

     So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Genesis 1:26-28

When God created humans. He made them unique. Unlike the rest of his creation on earth, God made men and woman to have characteristics of God including the ability to think, reason, communicate, empathize, and to love. This view is in stark contrast to the humanistic view of a creature evolving over eons of time—a view that is not supported by evidence or by reason.

In the Bible we learn that God has revealed himself in three characters, God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit. These three live in perfect communion and have infinite love for one another. That love is what God desired when he made man. He fully loved man and gave man the ability and choice to love him.

Unfortunately, man used his choice to disobey God and turn his love from God to love of himself. In theological terms, this is known as the fall or original sin. This love of self and belief that each of us is the center of the world is the root of everything that is wrong on earth.

Pride or vanity is the central sin from which all others derive. It is the belief in one’s own abilities to the exclusion of the one that has given us those abilities, interfering with our ability to recognize the grace of God.

Envy is the desire for what rightfully belongs to others—their abilities, intellect, social standing, and possessions.

Gluttony is an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires.

Lust is an inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body.

Anger or wrath is a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility because something or someone prevents us from getting what we want.  

Greed or avarice is the desire for material wealth or gain that blinds us to the spiritual wealth we already have as a child of God.

Sloth is the avoidance of physical or spiritual work—the very things for which God equipped his finest creation..

Known as the seven deadly sins, these behaviors set man against man, man against God,  and man against nature bringing about the strife that besets the world. However, since each of us is made in the image of God we have an innate sense of right and wrong it’s our conscience. God speaks to us through it, but to the extent that we try to shut it off and listen only to ourselves we become further separated from God.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 3:23

This is the Christian worldview of the origin of man. Moreover, this worldview embraces the understanding that man does not have to be forever separated from his creator. God provided a way for redemption and restoration. It is this hope that makes the Christian worldview at odds with all others.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23

If you would like to know more, I encourage you to read our May 5th blogpost: How does one become a Christian?

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Why did God allow Adam and Eve to sin? Why is death the result of sin?

Why did God allow Adam and Eve to sin? Why is death the result of sin?

After hearing the story of creation and the Garden of Eden, youngsters at Vacation Bible School posed numerous questions including these two. Let’s start with the second. Sin is everything that is in opposition to God.

God, creator of the universe is the embodiment of love, justice and all that is good. Therefore, that which is unlovely, unjust and bad, qualifies as sin. But sin is more than that. Whenever we choose to put anything—job, possessions, family, wealth, career, personal aggrandizement, etc.—ahead of God, we are turning our back on God and therefore are sinning. God has proclaimed that this sinning separates us from God.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23

When we lose our ability to hear God and to know how to behave according to his standards, we experience a form of spiritual death. This separation from God carries over into the afterlife where that death is forever, and heartache, torment and pain becomes an eternal punishment.

Why, then, did God allow Adam and Eve to sin? This answer is simple. God loved Adam and Eve just as much as he loves each of us. He loved us so much that he says that he made men and women in his image. (Genesis 2:1-25) He gave humans the capacity to think rationally, to communicate with one another and with God, and to love.

Everyone who has loved or been loved understands that love is a choice. God didn’t force man to love him, he offered him a choice. He created a paradise devoid of sin where Adam and Eve enjoyed perfect fellowship with God. They loved him because God love them so much that he provided for all of their needs. Unfortunately, the risk God took in giving humans free will (to love him or not) was that they might choose to reject his guidance as they did when tempted in the garden.

Listening to Satan and choosing to eat of the fruit of the forbidden tree was the first act of sin and resulted in death coming to the first man. (Genesis 3:1-24) Spiritual death came first as man was separated from God and driven out of the garden. Physical death followed for Adam and Eve and everyone thereafter.

However, God didn’t give up on man. His love never stopped. In fact, he loved humans so much that he provided a way to restore fellowship with them. The death that came because sin had to be reconciled. Therefore, God performed an ultimate act of love. He sent his own son, Jesus, to take the punishment for the sins of you and me and everyone who has ever lived and everyone who is yet to be born. All he asks is that each of us who want to have a forever relationship with God, acknowledge that we are sinners in need of redemption and accept the gift of life he has to offer. To learn more about how to obtain this gift of live and turn your back on sin, we encourage you to  read our May 5th blogpost: How does one become a Christian?

Image by Larisa Koshkina from Pixabay
Who was Satan and how did he get into the Garden of Eden?

Who was Satan and how did he get into the Garden of Eden?

At Vacation Bible School a youngster asked: Who was Satan? Another asked: How did he get into the Garden of Eden. The teacher who passed these questions along to us said that these triggered a floodgate of follow-up questions like: Why did Satan get kicked out of heaven? and Why did he look like a snake?

These questions may have been asked by 5th graders, but they have also been pondered by people of all ages for millennia. We don’t know all the answers, but the Bible provides lots of clues–even as it leaves us asking more questions.

Let’s begin by answering the first question: Who was Satan? In Revelation, the last book of the Bible, we read about Satan leading a rebellion in heaven and losing.

Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

Revelation 12:7-9

From what we read here, God created heavenly beings before he created man, but like man, these beings had free will. They exercised this free will by defying their creator. Led by Satan, they were deceived into thinking that they could be as powerful as God. When they lost a battle against angels who served God, they were hurled to the earth. When did this happen? Why earth and not a billion other places in the universe? These are questions for which we don’t have answers. But, unfortunately, this crafty, cunning former angel was given some level of power while on earth.

It may seem strange to think that God created a being as evil as Satan, but not if one understands evil. God is pure goodness. When one, even an angel like Satan, turns his back to God, he turns his back on goodness. From that point on he becomes evil. When he places anything ahead of God–even things that seem to be good–he loses God’s favor. Without God and the guidelines for living He has laid down, men become self-centered. Every evil in the world can be traced to that self-centered nature because evil is a rejection of God.

It seems strange then to think that evil was allowed into the Garden of Eden, but God had cast Satan to earth where eventually he indwelled a serpent, the most crafty of creatures. That serpent was likely brought into the garden by God along with all the other wild beasts and posed no threat to humankind…until Satan entered it.

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”
The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

Genesis 3:15-20

Satan cannot abide anything that reflects God’s goodness, so it is not surprising that he had his designs on man, God’s greatest creation. If man was made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27) then Satan had to try and destroy man–to make him turn his back on his creator. What better way to do that than to indwell a serpent.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Genesis 3:1-5

Since neither the man, Adam, nor the woman, Eve, knew anything other than goodness as they communed with God in the garden, they would not have reason to cringe at the sight of any beast or even a serpent. So Satan chose that creature to be his voice, tempting Eve with an idea that seemed not only very rational but very good as well–to be like God!

Once men and women turned their backs on God, their punishment was death–eternal separation from God. That’s why God set in motion a plan of redemption that would culminate with the death of God’s own son, Jesus, on a Roman cross, and his subsequent resurrection and triumph over death.

If you would like to know more about what this redemption means for you, I encourage you to read our May 5th blogpost: How does one become a Christian?

Image by Denis Doukhan from Pixabay

If Christianity is really the only way to eternal life, then why doesn’t everyone become a Christian?

If Christianity is really the only way to eternal life, then why doesn’t everyone become a Christian?

The first reason that not everyone becomes a Christian is as simple as unbelief. If people don’t believe that God exists or that they can have eternal life with him, then they are most unlikely to consider becoming a Christian. Unbelief can arise from three things: a genuine unawareness of the Christian faith; preconceived notions of what it means to be a Christian—it’s “no fun,” “not cool,” “too many rules,” a lot of “thou shalt nots”— which makes the faith unappealing; or a stubborn unwillingness to examine the truth claims of Christianity and the evidence for them.

Pride also fuels unbelief, as does sloth. If becoming a Christian means putting God first in their lives and following certain disciplines, then many people want no part of living the Christian life. They may also be held back by the fear of ridicule and rejection by unbelieving family, friends, or colleagues, or being “canceled” through social media.

Another stumbling block to seeking eternal life with God is that unbelievers simply can’t picture the glories of heaven implied in these words from a letter written by Paul, an apostle of Jesus, to the church in the Greek city of Corinth:

“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”
the things God has prepared for those who love him—

1 Corinthians 2:9

The cartoonish depiction of someone sitting on a cloud strumming a harp leads many to think that heaven, if it exists, would be “boring” and thus not worth pursuing. However, the glorious promises of Scripture are affirmed by countless near-death experiences such as those documented in books like John Burke’s Imagine Heaven. This book and others also testify to the reality of an afterlife in hell.

In his account of Jesus’s life and ministry, John, one of Jesus’ closest disciples gives us the main reason why not everyone becomes a Christian:

“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.”

John 3:19

Rather than sending people to hell, we learn, God gives them a choice. We encourage you to love the light, reject the darkness, and choose “the things God has prepared for those who love Him.”

If you would like to learn more about how you can be assured of enjoying an eternity where all doubts end, where there is no more pain, or suffering…an eternity beyond your greatest imaginings, we encourage you to read our May 5th blogpost: How does one become a Christian?