The Christian Account of Everything Compared to Naturalism’s Account of Everything

This blog post will compare two worldviews: the Christian account of everything and the account of everything according to naturalism.  These two worldviews will be compared in four categories: view of the Creator, view of creation and Creator-creature relations, view of salvation, and the ethical implications for creation from these previous viewpoints.

Transhumanism

View of the Creator

According to the Christian account of everything, God has always existed; he is eternal and exists in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  All things that now exist came into existence out of nothing through the Father’s spoken word and are held together by his Son.  (Genesis 1-3, John 1:1-4, Colossians 1:15-20, and Hebrews 1:1:-4)  The narrative of Creation in Genesis (as well as the rest of Scripture) indicates that God is a personal being who was very much involved in the creation of all things.  This is indicated by the design and plan of the days of creation, in which God created in a particular order of creating boundary markers within his creation with a progression of creating life within those boundaries for the care and safety of his creatures (Day 1 – Light and Darkness/Day 4 – Heavenly Bodies, Day 2 – Land, Sky, Water/Day 5 – Creatures of the Sky and Water, Day 3 – Vegetation on the Land/Day 6 – Creatures of the Land, including humanity).  He is still very active in his care for his creation.

According to naturalism’s account of everything, all things have arisen purely by blind chance.  Order has come out of chaos.  Life has come from non-life.  Minds have come from mindless matter.  Laws of nature have simply emerged (or have always been) and are assumed to be held in consistency by nature itself.  Nature is all that there has been, all that there is, and all that there ever will be, though this cannot be empirically observed, it is a position held on faith that nature when given enough time will impersonally bring about all that we currently experience through a process named natural selection.  In short there, is no Creator.

View of Creation and Creator-Creature Relations

One’s view of nature is directly tied to one’s view of the Creator.  In the Christian account of everything, nature is best understood as having been created with a proper distinction between it (creation) and the Creator.  The Christian view of creation comes from what God has divinely revealed in his Word about his creation, which is that his creation was originally created – very good!  God’s creation as it stands now is not as God intended it to be.  Through the free-agency of his creatures (first by Satan and his angelic followers and Adam and Eve and now us) who rebelled against God’s will for his creation (the boundary markers of the law that were set out of love for the safety and well-being of all God created), creation itself has been wrecked with sin, death, and evil and stands far from the very good origins of God’s creation.

According to naturalism’s account of everything, all is chaotic and in a state of constant change.  Naturalists who hold true to their account of everything must admit that there is no purpose or meaning in a world that is the product of mindless, random selection, and constant motion.  There is no Creator-creation distinction/relationship; all is nature; all is matter.

View of Salvation

The Christian account of everything has a view of salvation in which God enters into his creation through his Son who became a part of creation through his assumption of a human nature into his personhood.  It is through the Son that God has reconciled all of creation to himself and it is through his Son that one day all things will be restored to God’s original plan (theologian’s debate if this will be a recreation of creation or a new creation, something akin to a Creation 2.0, but it is clear in Scripture that all things will be made new at Christ’s return with a freedom from sin, death, and the devil forever for those who are God’s children through their faith in the Son and his saving work!). (Revelation 21-22)

It is in the view of salvation that naturalists take many divides.  Some naturalists are intellectually honest with their account of all things and recognize that death is the finality of one’s conscience existence; there is no salvation; there is no life after death.  Such naturalists may tend to find a form of salvation in living one’s best life now (YOLO – “You only live once.”).  Anton LaVey’s philosophy of Satanism is an example of this naturalistic view of the world and life and is the prescription for how to best live this life to one’s maximum pleasure.  LaVeyan Satanism is very much hedonistic materialism in which salvation is found in a freedom from social and religious constraints that hinder one from indulging in their carnal desires.

For other naturalists, salvation is found in evolution, an ever occurring progression of improvement (or that is the hoped-in product of nature’s constant state of change – improvement of life).  Some have taken up an active role in this evolutionary progress and have embraced transhumanism – a movement that actively seeks to speed evolution to a new humanity through the joining of human life with technology.  Transhumanism’s highest aim is the implantation of one’s mind into a machine so that one’s consciousness can “live on forever” beyond the limitations of one’s physical body of death.  This is a form of material salvation, though it betrays the fact that one is more than mere physical matter, because transhumanism’s salvation is ultimately found in the preservation of one’s immaterial consciousness.

Ethical Implications

In the Christian account of everything, God is the ultimate standard of morality.  He is good, and it is from God’s eternal state of immutability that we can appeal to an absolute standard of right and wrong for Creation.  For humanity’s ethical role in the grand scheme of all of creation, God has placed us here to be stewards of his creation.  We are to use our God given abilities, including our reasoning capabilities, to care for God’s creation and to cultivate it to its betterment out of love for God and for our neighbors and for our fellow creatures.

In the naturalism’s account of everything, there again is a divide that occurs depending on one’s view of salvation.  For the naturalist who recognizes that there is no salvation; ethics is boiled down to the four-word mantra of Allister Crowley (the Beast) and Anton LaVey, “Do What Thou Wilt.”  There is no God above, no hell below; eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we all die!  For the naturalist who sees salvation in evolution, ethics becomes utilitarian- what best serves survival.  This survival could be centered on the whole of humanity, within a particular collective of humanity, or within the individual.  There is no standard of absolute right and wrong, morality is subjective.

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89. Re: You Are CONTRADICTing Jesus

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Andy responds to an email he received from a lady claiming that he is CONTRADICTing Jesus by saying other religions are wrong.

Here’s the email:

“Hello! My name is Summer; I’m a woman from Oregon. After reading about the Contradict movement, I do have a couple comments/questions for you. I do believe that you are CONTRADICTing the teachings of Jesus; it seems that you are saying Christianity should be the only religion on planet earth. Thing is, Jesus taught that we need to coexist with everyone on the planet. Matthew 22:39 says to love your neighbor as you love yourself. That’s just one verse out of many of the teachings of Jesus that says to not persecute others based on the things that they have done or are currently partaking in.

If you truly wanted to convert people to Christianity, you would have patience with those that do not agree. Shunning them and telling them their way of thinking is wrong is not how to break through to anyone.

It is very confusing to me that after reading the Bible, and the words of Jesus, that you think “it would be wonderful if you could simply (and legally) replace all those COEXIST bumper stickers with another that reads CONTRADICT.” That’s the opposite of what is expected of Christians.

Christians are “persecuted” because of things like this; it makes it look like you think you are better and above everyone else.

Also, the fact that some people never found Jesus’ skeleton is NOT proof that he ascended into the heavens.”

Contradict Movement: https://www.contradictmovement.org

Andy Wrasman: https://www.andywrasman.com

Why did you use a crucifix in Contradict?

crucifixAt least a few times a year I receive a question asking me why I chose to use a crucifix in my Contradict logo.  Protestant Christians sometimes avoid Contradict because to them the crucifix represents Roman Catholicism, a belief system that openly teaches that our works are involved in our salvation, a doctrine wholly opposed by the Reformation that led to the birth of Protestantism.

These Protestants are expressing a popular understanding, but I think it is incorrect.  Many people have come to associate the crucifix to specifically represent Roman Catholicism, but I see no reason why it must only represent Roman Catholicism.  Many people don’t even know that there are Protestants who think the crucifix shouldn’t be used by Protestants in fear of mingling Protestant doctrine with Roman Catholic teachings.

I come from a conservative Lutheran background theologically and am a member of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.  I was never taught such a distinction concerning the use of a crucifix.  Lutheran churches I attend typically have a cross that does not have Jesus hanging on it, however, some congregations in my denomination do have Christ on the cross in their sanctuaries.  I hear that in Europe, it’s most likely that Lutheran churches will have a crucifix.

For Protestants and Roman Catholics who have the crucifix, it’s a reminder of what Christ suffered for us to pay for our sins.  It falls in line with what Paul said about resolving to only preach and know “Christ and him crucified.”  Of course Paul also explains that “Christ died for our sins, was buried, and raised on the third day.”  Roman Catholics and Protestants alike who display crucifixes instead of empty crosses, confess that Christ was also raised from the dead, and that in fact he is not suffering anymore!  Having Jesus on the cross in no way implies that he is still suffering, or is dead and still buried, just as an empty cross doesn’t signify that he is risen.

Here’s a quote from Luther and how he viewed the use of a crucifix:

“It was a good practice to hold a wooden crucifix before the eyes of the dying or to press it into their hands.40 This brought the suffering and death of Christ to mind and comforted the dying. But the others, who haughtily relied on their good works, entered a heaven that contained a sizzling fire. For they were drawn away from Christ and failed to impress His life-giving passion and death upon their hearts.”

Luther’s works, vol. 23 : Sermons on the Gospel of St. John: Chapters 6-8

As to my reasoning for picking a crucifix, I chose a crucifix to be used in the Contradict logo because it shows that Jesus died for our sins.  That message is not conveyed with the word Contradict, but with an image of Christ on the cross at the end of Contradict that message is more likely implied.  In our day and age, the cross has lost its punch.  Few people know how brutally torturous the cross was as an execution device. Having an image of Christ on the cross reminds us that the cross isn’t just a fashion symbol, or piece of jewelry, or an expression of art, which it has far too often become in our modern society.

I also don’t think many non-Christians are aware of a Roman Catholic and Protestant divide over the crucifix.  We are divided not over the use of a crucifix, or the message that it conveys that Christ died for our sins, but instead we are divided over the doctrines that the Roman Catholic Church has rejected, namely that we are saved solely by the work of Christ alone.    For those who are aware, or not aware, of this unnecessary divide, they will certainly see from the Contradict Movement website, my blog, Reconnect podcast, or YouTube channel, or my book, Contradict – They Can’t All Be True, that I am not teaching Roman Catholic doctrine.

I also like that the last image of Contradict is one of Christ dying for our sins.  All Protestants will confess that Christ’s death is central to the Gospel, as is the resurrection.  So I don’t see this image being counter to the message of Scripture, but instead a reminder of the depth of our depravity, that the Lord of heaven had to take on flesh in the person of Jesus Christ and bear the full weight of our sins through an agonizing death on the cross of Calvary in order that we might have forgiveness of sins.

Finally, and not as important as conveying that Christ paid for all of our sins, I think the crucifix is more aesthetically pleasing (artistic) in the Contradict logo than an empty cross.

Contradict Black Final
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79. Stop the Hateful Contradict Movement Now!

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Andy has a website called Contradict Movement, where he sells stickers that spell Contradict using various religious symbols.  He also sells Contradict Gospel tracts to accompany these stickers and his book, Contradict – They Can’t All Be True.  Links are also given to his blog, Youtube channel, and Reconnect Podcast.  All of these resources are purposed to equip Christians to defend the good news of Jesus Christ in a pluralistic age.

Periodically, Andy receives messages that call for him to stop Contradict Movement, because it is a distortion of what Coexist actually is and that Contradict is a hateful movement!

In this episode, he shares the following email and the several back and forth replies that followed:

“I’m not sure I understand your message or your goal for this “movement”.  The Coexist Movement is simply a call for peace among religions.  Pointing out that different religions are different seems to be a mute point. Why go against a peaceful movement to point out our differences? No one is claiming that all religions are the same. We know that all religions are diverse and different from one another, we are just trying to coexist peacefully and respectfully. Will you please stop this movement? You are making a bad name for Christians everywhere, making Christianity the “hateful religion”. Please stop.”

Contradict Black Final

Show Links:

Bush, Hillsong Pastor, and Pope Saying Muslims, Jews, and Christians Worship the Same God (Video)

Swami Vivekananda at Parliament of World Religions Saying All Religions Are True (Video)

Unitarian Universalist Church In Their Own Words (Video)

Bono of U2 Rocking Coexist Making It Popular (Video)

The Not So Peaceful History of Coexist (Video)

Peacemonger and Their Religious Pluralism Stickers (Video)

Excerpt of Contradict – They Can’t All Be True (Book by Andy Wrasman)