– Look Alike and Yet Very Different
– Response to a Global World
By Natalie Hardt, May 17, 2020
Do you consider yourself one of two extremes, UTOPIA-minded or HEAVENLY-minded, or perhaps neither, but rather somewhere in between? For Christians (believers), a heavenly worldview is the only position to take; if not, then this poses a huge problem and is what James calls doublemindedness (James 1:8). The heavenly look to the supernatural, take an eternal approach to life, put faith in Jesus and anticipate His return. The utopia follow a secular worldview, take a natural approach to life, put faith in human effort, and anticipate an ideal world in “time”.
Utopia focus on the things below the firmament while the Heavenly focus on things above
Globalization Since The Beginning
Man has always strived to rule the world, including Babylon (605-539BC), Medo-Persia (539-332BC), Greece (332-168BC), Rome (168BC-476AD), and divided Rome/Catholic Church Papacy. Evil comes naturally to men and when its influence becomes unified, grows to a point beyond the imagination (Jeremiah 19:5); consequently, it is impossible for the world to ever reach an utopia state. One commentary puts it like this, “men continue to band themselves together against God. They feel two or more men united against God have a better chance than one man set against God” (D. Guzik, 2017). Hitler, League of Nations (after WWI), United Nations (after WWII), and the more recent globally driven billionaires are examples at unifying the world under one government or world order. Books of Ezekiel, Daniel, and Revelation reveal a day when God does allow a one world order to come to fruition, then the end will come. Revelation 13 describes how all the nations will worship the beast via the antichrist; Revelation says, “…And authority was given it [beast] over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain” (13:7-8 ESV). This brings up the subject of predestination (another subject for another time) that says the saved have been selected prior to creation (“foundation of the world”).
The earliest attempts at globalization go back to Noah’s descendants of whom settle in the Mesopotamia region (later known as Babel) and how they spiral deeper into sin. Genesis 11:1 says, “…the whole world [having] one language and a common speech” (NIV) because, like Adam and Eve, these post-flood inhabitants are instructed to spread and populate the entire earth (Gen 1:28; 9:7); but rather, they disobey God and remain concentrated in one area falling deeper in idolatry (worship sun, moon, stars). Like Babel and many civilizations that come after, God turns away and gives “them” over to “…lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator…” (Romans 1:24-25 ESV). The Tower of Babel story ends when God causes the peoples in the land to disperse by confusing their language; this is how the world comes to have different languages.
God made humans in His image, Genesis says, He “…made each [plant, animal, human] according to its kind…” (Genesis 1:25); therefore, logic has it that humans have an innate ability to organize and categorize. One need not be a sociologist or behaviorist to see the evident characteristics hard-wired within humans, such as the propensity to form groups, man-made systems and governments. This diversity concerning nations does not mean leaders do not work toward peace, nor spread the Word of God throughout the globe. It does mean the only world ruler can and will be Jesus. The heavenly know the present ruler of this world is Satan; therefore, any unification would be under his influence (more on that https://jesusforum.net/2019/09/12/sinful-creatures-in-need-of-a-good-god/). Opposition to Genesis is the utopia evolutionists belief that creation just ‘happened’ through a process of chance. They question the heavenly’s faith in the supernatural considering it nonsense because afterall, if it is not “seen” physically then it must not exist. To the heavenly-minded, it takes more effort to dismiss our Omnipotent, Omnipresent, and Omniscient God of whom shows His power every day through natural/general revelation. Every day the sun rises and sets is an expression of our Creator as Master Scientist and obviously the highest form of intelligence, sovereignty, and in control. The heavenly perspective equates the utopia worldview as a reflection of John Lennon’s “Imagine” lyrics that long for no heaven above, hell below, religion nor borders as nothing more than fantasy, magic and frankly ungodly at its core.
An example of an utopian worldview is John Lennon’s “Imagine”, sung by its loudest proponents, Hollywood
YouTube, March 2020
For the heavenly, a globalized world only results in dismissing God and reaching a higher level of corruption and evil. Historical Babel and subsequent societies and civilizations have spiraled deeper into chaos because man cannot help himself when he becomes powerful. His pride and arrogance eventually win out and as Lennon’s lyrics describe, leave them to their own “imaginations”. The mind is the breeding ground for sin that takes root and goes from a thought to action and thus results in a darker heart. Romans 1:21 says “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (KJV). The King James Version uses the word “imagination” while other translations, such as the NIV and ESV, use the term “thinking”. There is no other path for the Christian than the heavenly perspective, a life-long process of sanctification that involves renewing the mind (Romans 12:2) and what Jeremiah calls circumcising the heart (Jeremiah 4:4).
Man Is Naturally Evil
One may ask if people are basically bad then what about the atheist that helps the poor; or what about the believer that is driven by their ego and posts good deeds on social media for all to see and take note? Altruist behaviors can be found in both believers and nonbelievers because all are made in the image of God; consequently, the heavenly perspective knows any good that exists within a person has nothing to do with ‘them’ and everything to do with God. The heavenly also consider it a blessing to be aware of their sinful nature as they fight against the daily fleshly struggles. Only God knows the ‘true’ and ‘deep’ motivations of the heart and mind, as Jeremiah says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9 ESV). Simply put, recognizing one’s depraved nature is at the foundation of what separates the utopia mind from the heavenly mind, as Ezekiel puts it, “I [God] will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26 NIV). More on the subject of man’s propensity toward sin and disobedience toward God, go here https://jesusforum.net/2019/10/25/original-sin/.
Godly Wisdom Versus Humanly Wisdom
The utopia belief evolves around self-esteem, sees man as basically good, and puts its confidence in humanly wisdom and reason. To the heavenly, the utopia perspective is arrogant and ignorant resulting in ripe conditions for He will “…destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart” (1 Corinth 19 ESV). The Ecclesiastes author, known to be Solomon, describes everything under the sun as subjective to ‘time’ and thereby “meaningless”. He goes on to say, “Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account” (Ecc 3:15 NIV). So much hinges on the ability to acknowledge one’s deficiency and need of a Savior. In the Old Testament days, King David writes, “Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us” (Acts 25-26; Psalm 2:1-12). Babel quickly discounts God, “And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them” (Genesis 11:6 ESV). Through their successes, they grew arrogant that then spiraled deeper into sin. Jeremiah, around 1750 years after Babel, describes God telling Jeremiah how He could not have imagined the extend of evil man has succumb to. Again, the human race showing what it is capable of without God as the Israelites around 600BC spiral farther into decay as they fall into idolatry and sacrifice their children (throw in the fire) to Baal (god of fertility, considered Lord of the earth). God tells Jeremiah, “…I did not command or mention, nor did it enter my mind” (Jeremiah 19:5 NIV).
All human beings have an innate need to connect with their Maker for all are made in His image. Reputable theologian Spurgeon puts it like this, “To a graceless neck the yoke of Christ is intolerable, but to the saved sinner it is easy and light … We may judge ourselves by this, do we love that yoke, or do we wish to cast it from us?” (C. Spurgeon, 2017).
Firmament Google Image. (2012). https://letterstocreationists.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/was-the-expanse-overhead-in-genesis-1-a-solid-dome/. Retrieved from: https://www.google.com/search?q=firmament&tbm=isch&chips=q:firmament,g_1:genesis:98KMeFEbvZM%3D&hl=en&ved=2ahUKEwiPl5aH77bpAhVJVKwKHbqDCykQ4lYoA3oECAEQGw&biw=1350&bih=623#imgrc=3aPffWzE4-iM8M
Guzik, D. (2017). BlueLetterBible. Retrieved from: https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/guzik_david/StudyGuide2017-Psa/Psa-2.cfm
Lennon, J. (2020). “Celebrities Go Viral Singing “Imagine” During Coronavirus”. YouTube March 19, 2020. Retrieved from: https://youtu.be/2crExMmiDdc
Spurgeon, C. (2017). BlueLetterBible. Retrieved from: https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/guzik_david/StudyGuide2017-Psa/Psa-2.cfm