The World as God
The early chapters of Genesis call for significant attention not only on God’s command to men to marry and multiply and make but also on our imitative nature as multipliers and makers. When we worship we see what God is like and what our reflections of Him should look like. From the beginning it has been so. We glorify God by consuming in thankfulness what He’s given and also by producing in reflectiveness. This is a more positive approach to the things of earth than most of us are familiar with. More than that we can enjoy and do things in the world, we must enjoy and make things if we want to glorify God.
That said, there is a reason why so many Christians are suspicious of the world. It’s because many who call themselves Christians have become idolators of the world. Jesus told a parable about some who are almost-Christians like the seed that grows until choked out by the cares of the world (Matthew 13:22). Jesus also offered this inerrant valuation: What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? (Matthew 16:26) The given is that the soul matters most and that your soul is a poor trade for temporary glory that is stuck in the world.
Which brings us back to true glory, eternal glory, God’s glory. How do we share in His glory? It isn’t by rejecting what He has made but by being able to keep it in the proper place. Many people have not done that. “Do not be conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2). “Demas, in love with this present world” deserted Paul and the gospel (2 Timothy 4:10). “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). These warnings are real and must not be minimized. The question should test us regularly: are we living in the world for God or are we living for the world as god? As image-bearers of God and disciples of Christ we need to get that right.