Ever wonder why everyone doesn’t “see” things the same way you do? We each have a unique “worldview” or philosophical framework through which we view the world. Our worldview is built from a vast collection of fundamental beliefs and assumptions, These form the perspective for how we understand, and thus, operate in the world.
Our worldview acts like “glasses” for our brain. Information, stimuli, facts, and events pass through these lenses, shaping how we understand the world, literally adjusting our view of reality. Our worldview also influences and determines how we will think, speak, or behave in response. That’s why it’s so vital for a Christian’s view of the world to line up with God’s reality.
Sadly, according to a recent survey by the Barna Group,“only 17 percent of Christians who consider their faith important and attend church regularly actually have a biblical worldview.” In other words, 83 percent of us see “reality” in a way that doesn’t fully align with God’s truth.
Of course, all Christians continue to learn and grow our entire lives. Although I’ve been a Christian for decades, God is still gently transforming me spiritually through “the renewal of my mind” (Romans 12:2). He faithfully continues to align my thoughts with His, to correct any faulty ideas that even now I sincerely hold. (See “What are you feeding your mind?”)
Four Basic Worldviews
I want my “reality” of the world to align with God’s. But although I regularly study God’s Word, I am also constantly bombarded with messages from other worldviews. Sometimes it’s hard to identify the false assumptions and misguided theories. However, a basic awareness of the worldviews with heavy influence in our culture can help us sort truth from distortion. Here’s a quick look at the core beliefs of four worldviews you probably encounter regularly:
- Secularism/Naturalism– God, miracles, or a spiritual realm do not exist. The material world is all there is. Humans are merely highly evolved animals, and science explains everything.
- Spiritual/Pluralism– All religions are equally valid. All gods are the same by different names; there are many paths to God.
- Postmodernism/Relativism– There are no objective truths or moral standards. All truth is relative. What is right for one person may not be right for another.
- Biblical/Christian Worldview– There is one true God who has revealed Himself to mankind through the Bible and through the person of Jesus Christ. Absolute truth exists and is determined by God. The Bible is accurate and authoritative for our lives.
Based on the Barna Group’s survey here are a few prevalent examples of how the culture has distorted many Christians’ understanding of God’s truth:
- Twenty-eight percent of practicing Christians strongly agree that “all people pray to the same god or spirit, no matter what name they use for that spiritual being.”
- Twenty-three percent of practicing Christians strongly agree that “what is morally right or wrong depends on what an individual believes.”
- Twenty percent of practicing Christians strongly agree that “meaning and purpose come from working hard to earn as much as possible so you can make the most of life.”
Why Does Our Worldview Matter?
The way we see the world – our presuppositions – informs our attitudes, priorities, and biases. The way we think about God, ourselves, and our world dictates what we say and do. In short, our worldview will determine the way we live in the world.
For instance, if I accept God’s Word as authoritative, I will acknowledge that a sexual relationship with anyone other than my husband is wrong. Even if I yield to this temptation, I will agree with God that it is sinful and will hopefully be sensitive to the conviction of the Holy Spirit to repent. But if I believe truth and morality are relative, I can easily convince myself that the sinful behavior is a perfectly acceptable choice, no matter how harmful it may be to me and others.
This example is just the beginning. If we believe the Bible is God’s authoritative Word that determines truth and morality, then we will allow it to guide our beliefs, actions, speech, and behavior in all of life. But if we believe truth is indeed relative, then we will choose what we believe to be right for ourselves and discard not only God’s Word, but also His best for us.
4 Benefits of a Christian Worldview
Honestly, none of us operate with a worldview that aligns 100% with God. All of us are influenced to some degree by the worldviews of the culture around us. However, the more we think like God thinks, the more we will enjoy the benefits a biblical or Christian worldview brings to our spiritual health and walk with God. Here are just a few of those benefits:
- Deepens our relationship with God(Psalm 15:1-2) – A biblical worldview fosters holy living. Holiness draws us into God’s presence, fostering intimacy with Him.
- Stimulates our spiritual growth(Romans 12:1-2) – Our spiritual growth and maturity is accomplished by God through the “renewing of our minds.” The more our thinking aligns with God’s the more our attitudes, thoughts, motives, and actions align with His.
- Points others to Jesus (1 Peter 2:11-12)– The top reason non-Christians give for not considering Jesus is the hypocrisy of Christians they know. But when Christians live godly lives in the world, the world gives God the glory.
- Protects us from the consequences of sin(Colossians 2:8) – The world’s way of thinking will often lead us into sin. But God’s way of thinking leads to freedom from sin and its consequences.
Do you have a Christian worldview?
You can evaluate your view of the world by comparing it to these key aspects of a biblical worldview:
- There is one, true God who created all things (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, John 1:1-2).
- God has revealed Himself to us through creation, His Word, and ultimately through Jesus (Romans 1: 19-20, 2 Peter 1:20-21, John 1:14).
- Mankind is created in the image of God; we are made for relationship with God, to bring Him glory (Genesis 1:27, Colossians 3:16, Revelation 4:11).
- Jesus is fully God, come in the flesh, and is the only way of salvation (John 14:6).
- The Bible is true, accurate, and authoritative for our lives today (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Hebrews 4:12).
- Absolute truth exists as revealed by God through His Word and through Jesus (John 14:6).
- Every person is spiritually dead, separated from God by sin. Reconciliation and eternal life can only be received through the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Acts 4:12).
These foundational truths are merely a beginning framework for building a comprehensive biblical worldview. If you want to foster a worldview that aligns with God’s, see the post “What are You Feeding Your Mind?”
What about you? Do you consider yourself to have a Christian worldview?