A Worldview Analysis
Have you ever caught yourself arguing with the evening news, deleting a social media post that defends your personal convictions but may offend others, or even struggling with how to love (accept) someone but disapprove of their behavior? Me too.
These problems aren’t new. The early Church struggled with these types of things. Romans, Greeks, Jews, and other pagan groups would influence, fight, and manipulate reality to serve their own interests. I can imagine a Jewish family arguing over the control of the Roman Empire. I can see a follower of Christ wanting to stand up for the abuse of their family just to turn away and take the abuse. I am sure others saw family members running to other Gods and traditions faced with the struggle of loving someone without approving of their behavior. The conflicts haven’t changed.
This internal, and sometimes external conflict is shaped by our view of reality. We all have these presuppositions that influence the way we interact with the world. These presuppositions weave together to form our worldview.
“Most people catch their presuppositions from their family and surrounding society, the way that a child catches the measles. But people with understanding realize that their presuppositions should be ‘chosen’ after a careful consideration of which worldview is true.” – Francis A. Schaeffer
So lets take Francis Schaeffer seriously for a few minutes and carefully consider what we hold true. Take a quick diagnostic of your own worldview.
1. Where did we come from? (How did we get here?)
2. What is (went) wrong with the world?
3. What will it take to fix the world?
4. What is my role (purpose) in life? OR What do you live for?
5. What happens after death?
This may seem elementary, but in a room of 30 people with diverse backgrounds (even Christian backgrounds) you may find these questions answered in a variety of ways. This creates a “truth” problem. Who is right, or more right, or what is consistent, livable, and sustainable?
In a world where everyone seems to be the master of their own destiny, how can any destiny be fore sure? Unless, there is one truth.
This is why it is so vitally important that Christians stand together and hold fast to God being the author of truth, Jesus being truth in bodily form, the Spirit of God being the guide to truth, and the scriptures being the story that informs all truth.
This truth becomes the filter Christians use to interact with the world. When Christians align with God’s truth the world is offered the opportunity to interact with life transforming truth. Did you get that? The Church must speak, act, and live out God’s truth for the world to know Jesus. Your worldview continues the spread of the gospel much like the early church’s worldview did.
Lets take a look at how Jesus created a way for the Church to find THE TRUTH. Let’s journey back to the time Christ followers first stepped away from all their presuppositions and allowed the truth found in Jesus to change everything. Here we will find three needs that must be found in todays church.
We Need a Truth Shifts
““Therefore let all the house of Israel know with certainty that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” When they heard this, they were pierced to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles: “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” With many other words he testified and strongly urged them, saying, “Be saved from this corrupt generation!” So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand people were added to them. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles. Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.” Acts 2:36-47 CSB
We must start and finish our pursuit of truth through Jesus alone. This is a shift away from self and toward Jesus. This is a shift away from what we once thought was right or wrong and allow God’s revelation to become the filter used to interact with the world. This is a shift that says my ways must cease and God’s ways must increase.
We Need an Informed Truth
“So the church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.”
Acts 9:31 CSB
The church found peace and strength through their fear (awe and respect) of the Lord. They learned and grew because they spent time together learning God’s word and obeying the teachings of Jesus. We must believe that when we surround ourselves with other Christians, we read the scriptures, pray together, and seek to know God and love others our truth will be informed through our fellowship and the indwelling Spirit of God.
We Need a Worldview That Spreads
“Then he went to Tarsus to search for Saul, and when he found him he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught large numbers. The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch.”
Acts 11:25-26 CSB
We are called Christians today because of the people in Antioch. There is a legacy of selflessness, sacrifice, surrender, clinging to truth, making hard decisions, opening lives to all people, spreading the gospel “the good news”, making disciples, equipping the saints, and establishing new churches that became a way of life. This way of life is propelled by a worldview that says, “The hope of all the nations is found in Christ alone, the hope of Glory.”
How does the Bible continue to form your worldview?
A Christian worldview is not built on two types of truth (religious and philosophical or scientific) but on a universal principle and all-embracing system that shapes religion, natural and social sciences, law, history, health care, the arts, the humanities, and all disciplines of study with application for all of life. (James Orr, in The Christian View of God and the World)
How is God using me to write redemption on the hearts of others?
How is the Gospel still transforming my life?
How am I expressing God’s honor and glory (the greatness of God) in my everyday, day in and day out life?
What God sized prayers am I praying?
How do I express unceasing, unconditional worship to God even when all the perks and success of life go away?