Animists relationship with god

Comparison between Christian Worldview and Animistic worldviews | PAUL BEC -

Proclaiming the Kingdom of God among Animists and Secularists character of sin, which has severed the human/divine relationship, are. The focus of the Christian life, in contrast, is the relationship believers have with God. God's relationship with mankind is based on grace and. Check out this overview of what animists believe. At the heart of the Christian faith is a personal relationship with God, akin to that of a child to.

God as the ruler of the cosmos is also the power who continuously guides it and keeps it going. He is enthroned above the circle of the earth and views people on earth as grasshoppers Isaiah The ultimate character of God is goodness.

He is the epitome of goodness. From this His goodness has two parts: Holiness emphasises his absolute righteousness which does not have any shadow of evil. He is light and in him there is no darkness 1 John 1: The holiness of God contrasts sharply with evil.

The love of God is extended to his creation. Because he loved the world he sent his only son to die on the cross for the salvation of all who believe John 3: This means that within one essence of God head there are three distinct persons who are not independent gods but co-equal and co-eternal aspects of God.

There is only one God and not three gods Deut 6: Each of the three persons of the trinity is equally God. Their equality is expressed in several passages of scripture: For example, in Matthew In 2 Corinthians Christian theism teaches that at death people are transformed. Either they enter an existence with God and his people or they enter an existence for ever separated from God, holding their uniqueness in awful loneliness in hell. Animists believe that universe is divided into two major parts i.

The world above is the place of God, divinities and celestial objects like the sun, moon and other stars. The world bellow has two zones namely the zone of humans and the zone of ancestral spirits.

On the other hand, Christians believe that there are three zones that form the universe, namely Heaven above, earth beneath and hell bellow.

The second compartment is the earth where human beings and all other creatures like animals and vegetation live. The third is hell the place where the dead go to wait for the judgment day, after which the righteous go to heaven and the wicked perish in hell. Both Christian and animistic world views believe in life after death.

In life, animists seek to appease the spirit world. In death, practitioners typically believe that a person's soul joins the spirit world. As is the case with many world religions, upstanding behavior and worship in the physical world is often thought to positively affect the spiritual afterlife. Although views on afterlife vary, animists usually believe in the possibility of contacting the spirits of the departed.

As a sign of respect to the dead, many animists practice ancestor worship. Christian theism teaches that there is life after death.

People do not disappear to extinction. Neither do they return in a different form as reincarnations of their previous nature.

When people die they are either destined to eternal existence with God in heaven or they are headed to an existence in Hell and for ever separated from God. It can therefore be said that the church is both visible and invisible. God alone sees the true church because he sees the hearts of people. For him there is clear boundary between those who are saved and those who are lost.

In the Scripture the church is a covenant community of faith, a single body with many members. In this community the desires of the individual are secondary to the demands of the entire group. To be a follower of Christ means to relate to one another with the mind of Christ. It means relating to one another as Christ did to us in servanthood and humility.

Discipleship is walking together on the same path. In one way the church is a community just like any other human communities with concrete human relationships and experiences of life. In another sense, it is a unique community because it is a community of the spirit- a gathering in which God is at work Phil 1: Membership in a church is based not on relationship between members but on their relationship to the Lord.

It is Christ who makes the church into one body drawn from different nationalities, tribes and families. Because they follow the same Lord, members of the church are committed to one another. This love transcends all social, economic, sexual, and racial distinctions that divide human societies. In such a community members must learn to live together in harmony-when necessary to sacrifice their personal interests for the sake of the unity of the body and its good.

They are not free to reject one another. Life in the church community is multi-dimensional. There is no division between the spiritual, social, and economic needs. Members minister to one another as whole persons. The reciprocity is not on quid pro quo basis. Members contribute according to their gifts and receive according to their needs.

The unity of the church is its essence, not a goal to be sought. There is but one Lord Jesus Christ so there can be only one church. Christ is not divided. There is one spirit and so there is one body. The same spirit that makes us one body sends us out to be ministers of reconciliation, by beseeching people to be reconciled to God. The church is on mission.

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At the heart of the kingdom is mission. The church community is called by God to invite people to enter the kingdom of God. The church exists because of Christ and for the sake of Christ. It is the body, his family, his colony.

Its mission is to announce the coming of the kingdom to all peoples on earth. The church is called to bear witness to Christ. Like Christ, the church bears the witness through speaking, acting, and suffering. Evangelism is a central aspect of the life of the church, not only for those who are saved, but also for the vitality of the church.

A whole creation, an eternal One danger the church faces is equating itself with an ethnic community or culture.

The result is cultural Christianity. This leads to a loss of the universal nature of the church. A second danger is wedding itself to nation states and there by becoming a civil religion.

It is the danger of believing that one country is more blessed than the other and that one nation is at the forefront of advancing his kingdom on earth. In most parts of the world, animism blends in with formal religions. Among followers of the major religions lie many animistic beliefs and practices. Animistic beliefs actually dominate the world.

Most Taiwanese believe in the Chinese folk religions. Most Hindus and Muslims in Central and Southeast Asia, and most Buddhists in China and Japan combine their religion with various animistic beliefs and practices.

In many parts of the world, Christianity has not displaced the local folk religion but coexists beside it in an uneasy tension. The animistic worldview contains both the observed or physical world and the unseen or spirit world. There is no sharp distinction between the two realities; what happens in one affects the other. The seen or physical world consists of what we can see, feel, and experience.

It includes forces of nature and physical beings. In the seen world the earth plays a prominent role because it is viewed as a living entity and is often worshiped as Mother Earth.

Nature is believed to be alive. Hills, caves, mountains, and lakes are often revered as sacred places. Animals may be embodiments of spirits. Many are worshiped as sacred, such as the cow and monkey in India. Plants can also contain spirits and some are worshiped. Forests are seen as places where the spirits dwell. Trees like oaks, cedars, and ash are worshiped in Europe. In many parts of the world, there exist numerous subhuman beings that are supposed to live in lakes, forests, and caves.

For example, in Europe they include mythical beings like trolls, gnomes, and fairies. This power is impersonal and not worshiped. This sacred power concentrates more heavily in the deities, sacred people, places, or objects. This mana rules over all creation and is not controlled by the gods or man. Also part of the unseen world is the Supreme God. Following him are a host of lesser gods who dwell in particular regions. Following the gods are the spirits, who often dwell in nature and are confined to a specific area.

Then there are the spirits of the ancestors who continue to play a role with the living. There also exist unseen forces that include supernatural powers like fate, cosmic moral order, the evil eye, magic, and witchcraft. There are also impersonal energy forces in objects that give the objects power. These objects are believed to give a person power to do good or evil.

In the Bible, God transforms the animistic views of Israel into a biblical view. He teaches them that the other gods are not gods at all Isaiah He condemns the use of magic, witchcraft, and divination. He shows that suffering is not the result of the spirits or the gods but His sovereign act of bringing people back to Himself. Themes in Animism Do you ever wonder why some Christians worship their ancestors? It derives from the first of several themes within the ancient religion of animism.

The first of the themes is a community-centered life. The ancestors, the living, and the unborn are the center of existence. The clan life is the most important entity because an individual has meaning only in the context of a community.

The World of Animism – A Biblical Worldview Perspective

The second theme is the role of the spirit world. Humans live in a world surrounded by supernatural beings and forces, most of which are hostile to humans. The worlds of the seen and the unseen are interconnected. For this reason, people spend their time seeking to appease the gods, the spirits, and the ancestors with offerings or bribes.

Extreme care is taken to maintain the harmony between the two worlds. Since all created things are connected, a simple act like eating a fruit from the wrong tree may bring disaster. Third is the focus on the present. The primary concern is with the here and now. People seek to deal with success and failure, power and knowledge needed to control life. Fourth is the focus on power. People view themselves as constantly struggling against spirits, other humans, and supernatural forces.

Everything that happens can be explained by powers at war. The goal is to attain power to control the forces around them. Animists are not interested in academic understanding of spiritual and scientific truth but in securing good, meaningful life and protection from evil. I was once speaking to a Chinese woman who was suffering from lung cancer. Although she attended church and prayed to the Lord for healing, she also visited the Chinese Buddhist temple seeking prayers for healing from the priests.

For those in animistic cultures, in times of need people will beseech aid from various religions or gods to find a method that works.

Sixth is transformation and transportation. Things may not be what they appear to be. Spirits can take the form of animals or plants. Shamans in a trance believe they can travel to distant places and bring harm to an enemy. They also believe they can travel to the spirit world, find information, or retrieve lost souls. Seventh, animism takes a holistic view of life. The obsession with invoking good luck and avoiding bad luck involves every aspect of life—from what you eat, to where you place furniture such the current feng shui fadto how you sleep.

People are tied to their land. Each community has its own set of gods and spirits. The gods gave the people their land, and that is where the ancestors reside. In battles, victories and defeats are attributed to the power of the territorial gods.

Finally, fear plays a major role. In a world full of spirits, omens, and spells, life is rarely secure. Many see the world as a hostile and dangerous place filled with spirits and forces antagonistic to people. Seemingly mundane activities such as moving the wrong rock can bring potential disaster.

People turn to their ancestors, gods and spirits for protection. The focus of the Christian life, in contrast, is the relationship believers have with God. Since God is gracious, He does not need to be constantly appeased by believers. His laws are clearly revealed to us in the Bible. When we disobey, we may suffer the consequences of our sin or experience His discipline, which is always motivated by His love and intended to bring us to a right relationship with Him.

In times of difficulty, we do not fear His wrath but He invites us to draw even closer to Him. Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment because in this world we are like Him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear. Gods in Animism It may surprise you that most animistic religions teach that there exists one Supreme Being.

He is often described as omniscient, eternal, beneficent, omnipotent and righteous. He is the creator, the moral lawgiver, punishes those who do evil, and blesses those who do good.

However, this being has distanced himself from man and cannot be known personally. Legends abound that he was once near but was angered with man and removed himself. He left men to their own devices and used lesser gods and spirits to do His will and serve as His ambassadors. Therefore, most of the worship goes to the lesser gods and spirits who are in direct contact with humans.

An example comes from the folk religion of China. He alone was worshiped until the Zhou dynasty, which began in B. From then on, only the emperor was allowed to pay homage to Shang Ti, and the knowledge of Shang Ti among the common people was lost.

The worship-starved Chinese eventually embraced the religions of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism that provided spiritual knowledge and worship. In Korea, the supreme God is called Hananim.

The Gedeo people of Ethiopia call Him Magano. Missionaries use this belief of a high God to point people to the God of the Bible. Following the Supreme God is a host of lesser gods. These beings mediate between man and the Supreme Being, but must first be paid homage. Gods possess specific powers and are localized to a geographical area. The gods inhabit places such as rivers, mountains, forests, oceans, etc. Some gods exercise power over human affairs business, marriage, death, etc.

Among the Hawaiians, Lono is the god of the oceans and controls the clouds and storms. Pele, the fire goddess, dwells in the volcanoes.

Many still honor these gods in Hawaii today. The biblical worldview teaches that a personal, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent God governs the universe Colossians 1: He alone rules creation and there are no other gods besides him Isaiah The God of the Bible is not distant from man, but mankind has distanced ourselves from God. God remains involved in the affairs of this world, constantly pursuing men and women to receive His gift of grace and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.

Spirits and Ancestors Do you ever wonder if there are spirits in forests or other dark places? Can the dead communicate with the living? Animism holds to a belief that numerous spirits exercise their power over places where they dwell, such as mountains, streams, and rivers. Spirits have never inhabited human bodies, and since they can be either good or evil they must constantly be appeased. For example, the South Sea islanders ask forgiveness of the trees they cut down for canoes so that the spirits of the trees will not harm them.

Some are humans who became gods.