Summary: What’s your worldview? Everyone has one. Whether or not we realize it, we all have certain presuppositions and beliefs that affect the way we view all of life and reality
What’s in a Worldview?
I was watching the NBC national news over the holidays with my father in law. He is a very conservative Republican and loves Rush Limbaugh. Nothing wrong with that. But all he watches is right wing Republican news programs which paint a very jaded picture of the liberal media. Thus, he mistrusts any other news organization. As we watched the news together, there was a story about a solar flare up on the surface of the moon on New Year’s Eve. The story was about the size of the solar flare which extended more than 16,000 miles into space. The news story then showed an image of the earth in relation to the solar flare to give some perspective on its size. In fact, the solar flare was taller than 20 Earths stacked on one another. Upon seeing the image, my father in law, who considers NBC to be liberal media said, “They’re just trying to scare us!” I asked what he meant and he said, “They’re just trying to scare us into thinking the earth almost got hit by this solar flare. They didn’t even tell us how far it was from earth.” He missed the point. The image was comparing the size of the Earth to the solar flare to give us some perspective as to how massive it really was. But there was no convincing him or rationalizing with him. Why? Because of his worldview. He mistrusts the “liberal media” and it influences any news report he hears from them. It’s his worldview.
What’s your worldview? Everyone has one. Whether or not we realize it, we all have certain presuppositions and beliefs that affect the way we view all of life and reality. These guide us in interpreting and forming opinions about the information we receive, humanity, our purpose in life and duties in the world, responsibilities to family, the interpretation of truth, social issues and everything else. A worldview is like a set of lenses through which we perceive the world around us. It’s formed by our education, our upbringing, the culture we live in, the books we read, the media, and the movies we absorb. For many people, their worldview is simply something they have absorbed by osmosis from their surrounding cultural influences. They have never thought about what they believe and wouldn’t be able to give a rational defense of their beliefs to others. Whether conscious or unconscious, every person has a worldview.
Why is your worldview so important? Your worldview determines every emotion, decision and action. George Barna writes, “The primary reason that people do not act like Jesus is because they do not think like Jesus. Behavior stems from what we think - our attitudes, beliefs, values and opinions.” Therefore, it affects your response to every area of life from money to morality, from politics to art, how you worship, how you relate to those around you, the way you study, how you work, how you use your abilities, the way you view sex, how you treat your spouse and friends, the way you train your children, how you vote, the way you deal with death, even what you believe to be true. Jesus Christ came to this planet as a model of how we ought to live. That means our goal should be to act and think like Jesus. George Barna continues, “Sadly, few people consistently demonstrate the love, obedience and priorities of Jesus.” In fact, Barna found that less than 4% of all Americans have a Biblical worldview.
What does it mean to have a Biblical worldview? Someone with a biblical worldview believes his primary reason for existence is to love and serve God. It’s not just about acting like Jesus, it’s about thinking and believing like Jesus. A Christian worldview is based on the truth of the infallible Word of God. When you believe the Bible is entirely true, then you allow it to be the foundation of everything you say and do. Do you have a biblical worldview? Answer the following questions, based on claims found in the Bible which George Barna used in his survey:
• Does absolute moral truth, what is right and wrong no matter what, exist?
• Did Jesus Christ live a sinless life?
• Is God the all-powerful, all-knowing Creator of the universe, and does He still rule it today?
• Is salvation a gift from God that cannot be earned?
• Is Satan real?
• Does a Christian have a responsibility to share his or her faith in Christ with other people?
• Is the Bible accurate in all of its teachings?
Did you answer yes to all of these? If so, then you have the foundation of a Biblical worldview. That’s the first step in putting it into action and living like Jesus.