Christian worldview: To think, act like our Creator
Editor’s note: This is the second of a four-part series on a Christian worldview. This series is not meant to be an exhaustive study of a Christian worldview, but merely as a launching point for further study that will provoke thought, generate feedback and hopefully decisive action.
Most Americans do not have a consistent and complete understanding of the Christian faith they profess. A May 21, 2007, Barna Research study showed that 83 percent of Americans identified themselves as Christians, but only 49 percent of the same people said they were absolutely committed to Christianity. The researcher who directed the study said, “Most Americans do not have strong and clear beliefs, largely because they do not possess a coherent biblical worldview.”
Is it any wonder those who profess to be Christians too often “talk the talk,” but fail to “walk the walk?” We see the total disconnect between what Christians profess and what they do in the days leading up to our national election. Christians explain away how they can vote for someone whose cold-hearted public policy positions promote a “culture of death” that threatens the most vulnerable among us: the unborn and the aged. This is why a large majority of the people in pews on Sunday morning give nothing in the way of tithes and offerings that are used to advance the kingdom in which they claim citizenship. This is why the church too often fails to clothe the needy, feed the hungry and care for the sick. When was the last time anyone checked on the widows in your church? I could go on, but I’ll stop here.
Of course all this can be traced to man’s sinful nature and the deathly impact sin has on the world, much less our churches. I do not mean to be judgmental, but I wonder if the trend toward more casual worship, dress and general approach to church has caused us to become too casual in other areas, like our view of the serious, devastatingly corruptible effects of sin? Studies have shown many believers claim to trust what the Bible teaches, but they reject the notion of a real spiritual adversary: the devil, “prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
Like shifting sand, Barna’s May 2007 study noted how Christians’ beliefs fluctuate and why: “Most Americans hold few convictions about their faith. Many Americans have one foot in the biblical camp, and one foot outside it. They say they are committed, but to what? They are spiritually active, but to what end?” This is a dangerous position to occupy. Jesus told the same type of people with the church in Laodicea, “So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth (Rev. 3:14-16).
A worldview is important to every person’s life because it will influence the way we think and act. As the accompanying chart shows, there are at least four major worldviews that are generally held throughout the world today (some add more like cosmic humanism and post-modernism) and everyone, like it or not, allow themselves to be influenced into living a life that reflects one – or parts – of them. This should not even be a consideration for Christians, but as Francis Schaeffer noted, “The basic problem of the Christians in this country … in regard to society and in regard to government, is that they have seen things in bit and pieces instead of totals.” In other words Christians have gradually become concerned over pornography, abortion, gambling, divorce, our public schools, sexual permissiveness and drugs rather than seeing it all in their horrific totality – each being a symptom of a much larger problem.
The answer is for us to start teaching and living a Christian/biblical worldview based on the inerrant, infallible Word of God. For only it provides a consistent explanation of all the facts of reality. The great founding editor of Christianity Today Carl F. H. Henry said, “The Christian belief system, which the Christian knows to be grounded in divine revelation, is relevant to all of life.” A Christian worldview is based on truth, everywhere we look whether in the laboratories of our universities or in nature itself.
It has been said that Christianity is the embodiment of Christ’s claim that He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). When we live according to a Christian worldview we are saying that we choose to live the way Christ told us to live. It is no small matter to think and act as the Creator of the Universe instructs.