In my previous post I presented a case for using our recreational experiences as an opportunity to worship the triune God who, in His benevolence, has given us all good things to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17). The world is bursting forth with beauty, and every aspect of it is ours to steward and to explore. We do this through work and through leisure activities as we relate to each other in love and service.
We must be careful, however, to not allow this wonder and awe to degenerate into creature worship. Scripture is full of reminders that God sits enthroned above His creation. Nature is not God. God is not subservient to the laws of nature; rather, He authored those laws. God existed before light, He determined the pull of gravity, and the composition of water was His idea. Jesus Christ, God’s beloved Son, was the agent through which everything was designed, as the Apostle Paul explains in his letter to the Colossians:
He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
As we stand in awe of the created order, we use scripture as the lens through which we process our wonder and enjoyment of the things of this world. Our worship is directed to the Creator. His creation points to Him, revealing His “eternal power and divine nature” (Romans 1:20). It is foolish to think that nature designed and created itself, and to fall into this way of thinking is to fall into idolatry.
Dr. Peter Jones, author of the book One or Two: Seeing a World of Difference explains there are two antithetical worldviews which he calls One-ism or Two-ism. They are defined like this:
One-ism: All Is One. We worship and serve creation as divine. All distinctions must be eliminated and, through “enlightenment,” we discover that we also are divine.
Two-ism: All Is Two. We worship and serve the eternal, personal Creator of all things. God alone is divine and is distinct from His creation, yet through His Son, Jesus, He is in loving communion with it.
Christianity is, as defined in the Word of God, the true Two-ist faith. We worship God while we, His creatures, work, play, and love in the world He made. We are to reject anything that elevates nature to the level of the divine.
One other error into which even well-meaning Christians can stumble is to replace formal, Sunday morning worship with activities that are a substitute for fellowship with other believers. God has commanded us to gather regularly to offer to Him “acceptable worship, with reverence and awe” in an established church setting. Those who claim that “the world of nature is my church” are not following Christ’s commands.
Even so, it is appropriate to use our times of play as inspiration for offering praise and gratitude to the Creator God for His goodness to us. He is worthy of our praise in the sanctuary of our hearts, in the sanctuary of our church, and in the sanctuary of the great outdoors!
The Lord is high above all nations,
and his glory above the heavens!
Who is like the Lord our God,
who is seated on high,
who looks far down
on the heavens and the earth?