“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”
Naturalism is a philosophy that excludes supernatural or spiritual explanations for the cause of the natural world. It is a Godless philosophy and a blind one. If one were to consider a spectrum of atheistic versus theistic religions, naturalism would swing to the former. Just slightly right of center is the beliefs of ancient animism. I say ancient because the word is also used, starting in the 19th century, to describe the neo-pagan religions, such as Wicca and the New Age movement. The ancient understanding of animism is that people worshiped objects and phenomenon as gods i.e. the sun, moon, trees, an eclipse, etc. I see an explanation of the cause of this and pantheism (Think Greek, Roman, or Norse Mythology) in the passage if you continue reading after my opening quote.
“…because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man–and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.” Rom 1:21-23
I find it interesting that Paul writes that thankfulness is one of the causes of false religion and idolatry. “Thanksgiving” is the expression of joy God ward and is therefore a fruit of the spirit as found in Galatians 5:22. Paul thanks God over 20 times in his epistles, and urges his readers to do the same. “Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Eph 5:17-20
Literally the day before I started posting these, we celebrated Thanksgiving. Setting aside the history of the holiday that started four centuries ago, we consider Thanksgiving to be a day to be thankful and spend it with family and turkey but it’s not. It’s a daily choice to be grateful to God for who He is and what He does. The consequences for not being thankful are dire.
“Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.”