Everyone has a worldview. Very few people have a biblical worldview. A worldview has been described as the lense through which one sees everything around him. It is the filter through which one interprets every activity and event he observes and experiences.
According to David Noebel, author of Understanding the Times, a worldview is “any ideology, philosophy, theology, movement or religion that provides an overarching approach to understanding God, the world and man’s relations to God and the world.”
Researcher George Barna found in a 2004 study that only half of Protestant pastors have a biblical worldview. He says, “A biblical worldview has a radical effect on a person’s life.” Barna’s claims are supported by his research. (http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/5-barna-update/131-a-biblical-worldview-has-a-radical-effect-on-a-persons-life?q=worldview)
Our worldview determines how we worship, how we live, how we vote, how we spend our money, how we spend our time and every decision we make.
A traditional medicinal practitioner prepares an infusion of herbs in his store in Taipei’s Dihua Street night market. Chinese medical remedies, despite the city’s modern aura, remain popular. Just as with historical herbs, modern-day Christians sometimes piece together what they know about Christianity and combine it with traditions from the religion in which they were raised to develop their worldview.
I understood the meaning of a worldview better after visiting other countries. On a mission trip to Africa some years ago, the missionaries explained to me how Christian faith in that region had experienced a blending of animism and superstition over the years. They did not want me to be surprised when I saw elements of that culture occasionally overriding the truth of scripture.
Traveling to Asia several years later, the missionaries explained to me that in their culture Christianity was often intermingled with ideas from Islam. The people saw everything through a blended view of Christianity and Islam, unaware of the contradictions or simply choosing to ignore them.
In yet another part of Asia, the missionaries explained that Christians in that region had embraced some Buddhist rituals in their worship services. I saw it firsthand.
Visiting Eastern Europe and South America, I have been informed that Christian thought was often mixed with orthodox legends and Catholic rituals. Traditions were valued above scriptures.
I confess that the thought came to me, “How sad that these countries don’t have the good form of the Christian faith like we have in the United States.” The Holy Spirit quickly convicted me of my arrogant, errant thinking.
In America our Christianity is not as pure as we would like to think. Some within the ranks of the Christian faith have embraced secularism, relativism, materialism and humanism. Others weave folk lore and cultural traditions into their brand of Christian living. As the world presses them into its mold, their lifestyle and worship style reflect an absence of biblical values. Calling themselves “Christian,” they look very non-christian by biblical standards.
Such a perspective is not just a blending of religions. It is a blending of worldviews – views which are fundamentally in conflict with each other. The result is a liberal, watered-down form of the Christian faith, far removed from the authentic faith of the early followers of Christ.
Without a focused, biblical worldview, we fail in our mission to be salt and light. We diminish the body of Christ to a social meeting, merely celebrating human accomplishments while pushing God into the background.
The focus of the humanistic worldview is to please mankind. Humanism wants to keep everyone happy and embrace all shades of religions. It is the ultimate form of relativism and is an artificial image of the Christian faith.
Humanism invents new “rights” (gay rights, abortion rights, etc.) in order to appease the sins of an unregenerate world. It is a cheap substitute for grace. It glorifies man above God without resolving the sin problem.
Sadly, there are Christians with the label “Baptist” whose worldview is more humanistic than biblical. They introduce confusion into the minds of the populace. The world is puzzled as it watches churches who take opposing positions on moral issues which are clearly addressed in scripture. The witness of the Christian church is damaged – even neutralized.
Paul spoke boldly to the church at Galatia on this issue. “As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to what you received, he is to be accursed! For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:9-10, NASB).
We are the church. The word ‘church’ in the New Testament is translated from the Greek word ‘ekklesia’ which comes from two words: “ek” meaning “out” and “kaleo” meaning “to call.” We are called out, not blended in! We are unique. We are special. We are witnesses. That is the root of our worldview.