Summary: Discover how God’s Worldview can help us move from chaos to making wise choices.
This week I was told about a lady who called her husband at the World Trade Center after the planes smashed into the buildings. The husband was on ninety-something floor, explaining to her that he was okay. Before she hung up the phone, however, the line went dead. The husband has not yet been found and is unlikely to have survived.
If the wife were a member of our church, I would have to help her deal with the guilt feeling of keeping her husband on the phone and keeping him from evacuating the building. Furthermore, if I were a pastor in New York, I may have to help the people deal with survivor’s guilt, intense anger, or rebuilding their family without a father or a mother. Because I’m not talking to that wife or to those who have lost loved ones in this tragedy, but I’m talking to you, I have to deal with what you are dealing with.
Many of you have been dealing with grief and fear produced by the news and images that have come through the television and newspaper. Others of you have been dealing with the fear of uncertainty in our economy and future security. So I’ve spent the last two weeks addressing the heart problems of grief and fear.
This morning, we move to address the mind problem of trying to understand the tragedies, the disorders, the confusions and the chaos that surround us. Can we make sense of what has happened without being counterproductive? Some have blamed America’s past handling of power and treaties. Others have used this tragedy as a platform for self-aggrandizement and for their propaganda.
Many disciplines from economics to religion have been consulted for the root cause of this great evil. Such approach is not new. If Karl Marx were here this morning, he would tell us the socio-economic reason behind the chaos. If Sigmund Freud were here this morning, he would tell us the psychological reason for this chaos. These two men tried to reduce mankind’s motivation to their incomplete and flawed worldviews.
The worldview of a person is of great importance for interpreting reality and for responding correctly. When people believed the world was flat, and that they would fall off the edge if they went too far, they were prisoners of their worldview. Man-made worldviews have always fallen short of reality and led to incorrect responses.
This morning, I want to give you God’s worldview, so that you might better understand the happenings around us and respond wisely. God’s worldview can be gleaned from the prayer Jesus taught His followers. To be sure, the prayer Jesus taught to His followers were intended to teach them how and what to pray for.
The man whose house is on fire and does not rush out but prays for God to deliver him, has too low a view of human responsibility or too high a view of God’s involvement. Yet, even that prayer reflects the man’s worldview and the choice he would make. When Jesus, the Son of God, teaches his followers to pray, His prayer reflects God’s worldview.
Let me read for us the prayer Jesus taught to his follower, Matthew 6:9-13. From this prayer, we can identify three truths about God’s worldview that can help us move from chaos to making wise choices.
The first truth from God’s worldview is that there are three involved. There are three players involved in our world, not one, as the atheists, naturalists and humanists believe, and not two, as many liberal theologians believe, but three: God, mankind and the devil, or noted in Jesus’ prayer as the "evil one."
The atheistic naturalists and humanists seek answers apart from God. They rely on biology, psychology, economics, sociology and the likes to interpret the causes and to provide the solutions. After all, mankind and its products are all they have to work with. Atheists become prisoners of their limited worldview.
Many liberal theologians believe two are involved in this world, mankind and maybe a God who started all of this. For many, the devil is only a primitive explanation for physical and psychological illnesses and for natural disasters. After all, we now know about viruses, bacteria and the impact of trauma, and we know about wind currents and fault lines. But when evil and chaos that has no explanation or solution from mankind’s intellectual and scientific advances, such limited worldview produces the questions, "If there is a good God, why do we have evil?" If we have God’s worldview, we would not need to ask that question.
Jesus, the Son of God, gives us the truth, that there are three involved: God the Father, mankind and The devil [the evil one]. Unless we understand who are involved, we can not make right interpretations or choices in dealing with the chaos in our lives or in our world.