Where are we headed? That’s a question for individuals and also for our nation and indeed the world. Where we are headed is in some ways related to what we believe and how we act, and this leads Christians to what is often called their need for a “Christian Worldview.”
‘Christian Worldview’ is a phrase we hear more and more, but what is a worldview? A worldview is how we or a group of people view reality (i.e., the world as we know it) and, as such, seek to embrace a comprehensive understanding or concept of the world as we see it. The word “worldview” is a comparatively new term that was probably first used in 1848.
“WORLDVIEW” AND THE BIBLE
You will not find the word ‘worldview’ in the Bible. One can suggest that the early church sought to give a worldview in the form of the creeds of the church; statements of faith that expressed a worldview, such as the Apostle’s Creed. A statement of what we believe and believe to be true.
WHAT IS A ‘WORLDVIEW?’
Ravi Zacharias, a theologian and a Christian apologist, says four main questions determine a worldview.
- Origin – How did I get here? Where did I come from?
- Meaning – Why am I here? What is the purpose of life?
- Morality – How do I define good and evil? How do I know right from wrong?
- Destiny – What happens to me after I die? Is there hope beyond this existence?
With this in mind, let us look at two worldviews that impact us both in America and the Western World. A secular worldview and a Christian worldview. By secular, I mean a viewpoint with no religious or spiritual basis, a prevalent position in today’s world.
Let’s look at those four main questions:
ORIGIN – While not restricted to a secular worldview, indeed, there are Christians who embrace evolution. Evolution is the most common position of secularists. It is what is being taught in schools and colleges today.
Richart Morris, the pastor of a megachurch complex in Dallas, Texas, has written a fine little book, “How Do I Know?” Morris is often called “the explainer.” Here are his comments on evolution,
“Charles Darwin wrote a book in 1859 called The Origin of Species: By Means of Natural Selection, and in it, he laid out the theory of evolution. However, it doesn’t address the questions of origin or original cause. In fact, when Darwin wrote the book, he doubted his own theory so much he devoted two whole chapters to disproving it. He said if evidence didn’t come forth in the scientific world in a reasonable amount of time, this theory would be disproved. Over 150 years later, no scientific evidence exists proving that one species mutates into another unique species. Even Darwin admitted the idea of the human eye being formed by natural selection ‘seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest possible degree.’ Most people who believe in evolution haven’t even read his book, yet they accept it as truth. I encourage you to study this for yourself. Don’t just take my word for it. Ultimately, we must answer this question: ‘If life mutated from one simple species to another and another, where did the first living cell come from?’ Evolution cannot answer this question of original cause.” (Morris).
MEANING – Secularists have no real answer in regard to personal meaning. Worldviews such as socialism and communism believe that society is more important than the individual because society lives on longer than the individual.
The individual has no real purpose outside of the society in which he exists. That is why dictators like Hitler and Stalin had no problem seeing people murdered in places like the Auschwitz camp. Why? Because the society (Government) lives on beyond the individual, and it alone has meaning and purpose.
MORALITY – Many secularists reject absolute truth and instead make it a matter of personal belief. Relativism sees all truth as subjective and does not believe there is any objective or absolute truth. You can believe something is true for you, but someone else can believe something else, and for them, that is truth. Nowhere is this seen more than in the issue of “transgenders.”
Absolute truth or reality would affirm what people for centuries have believed to be true: namely, there are two genders, male and female. However, today, people believe that a person can be a female in a man’s body (or vice versa). The first position is objective, and the second position is subjective.
DESTINY – Secular humanists do not have any answer to the question of what happens to us after we die. For them, this life is all there is. There is no hope beyond this existence. So for many, it is “eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die.” Even some of the greatest thinkers among secularists would not accept the idea of life after death. For them, this is all there is.
Let us look at a Christian worldview and see how it contrasts with a secular worldview. A Christian worldview based on the Bible, the authoritative Word of God, answers all four questions posed.
ORIGIN – The Christian worldview declares, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1, NKJV), and God created man and woman (Genesis 1:27). The question of origin is all set out in the early chapters of Genesis. It is a foundational belief. Man did not just evolve. As Robert Morris put it, “If life mutated from one simple species to another and another, where did the first living cell come from?” (Morris). No, we were the creation of an infinitely powerful God. Our origins are in God. “In the beginning, God…” Genesis 1:1.
MEANING – For the Christian, there is the conviction that meaning comes from God, the One who created us. The belief is that it is God who gives us meaning and purpose. God is love, He loves us with an everlasting love, and He has plans and purposes for us in life. Jeremiah penned these words, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11, NKJV). Our meaning comes from a relationship with the One who made us.
MORALITY – In contrast to those who believe that people should decide what is right and what is wrong for themselves, the Christian worldview declares that the God who made us has given us clear direction, particularly through the Ten Commandments and the rest of the Bible.
Ravi Zacharias tells the story of a time when a college student asked him why he was afraid of ‘subjective morality,’ where each person deciding what is right for himself or herself. Zacharias responded with a rhetorical question, “Do you lock your doors at night?” His question revealed that the student himself was afraid of subjective morality. If morality is subjective, then someone might decide it is moral to put a bullet between his eyes (Morris).
DESTINY – The Christian worldview declares there is life after death. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was crucified, buried, but then on the third day, rose again. He declared, “Because I live, you will live also” (John 14:19, NKJV). There is hope beyond this existence. Death is not the end; it is the entrance into a new life beyond. Be it heaven or hell; there is a destiny awaiting all of us beyond the grave. Jesus declared, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25, NKJV).
There is no way you can reconcile these two different worldviews. They both can’t be right. Consequently, there is a battle going on in the world today and especially in America over which worldview we should follow and which should guide our nation. Stephen Strang of Charisma had this to say, “Our country is incredibly divided right now. That divide between God’s way and the enemy’s way seems to be deepening at an accelerated rate. Some people nowadays want to push Judeo-Christian values out of the public sphere entirely. Because of that, Christians have found a new comrade in the arms of the Jewish community. For instance, Dennis Prager is a committed Orthodox Jew but also a strong supporter of evangelical Christians.
David Horowitz and Mark Levie are also committed Jews who have a deep respect for Judeo-Christian values. Horowitz wrote a book called The Dark Agenda in which he exposes the left’s radical agenda to rid America of Christianity forever. And Levin, a conservative radio personality, often speaks up about the danger we are in as a nation (Added note – Levin has also written a book ‘American Marxism’).
But the danger goes deeper than just losing our constitutional rights. Even if that were to happen, the Bible would remain true, and the Christian community would still survivie. But we would not have the same freedoms we do now. In fact, we would likely face strong persecution.”
So the battle today is a spiritual battle that has implications to how life will be in the days to come. Paul put it so clearly in Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV), “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”
This is a spiritual battle, and it is time for believers to recognize that and pray for God to move in our midst once more.
In subsequent Langstaff Letters, we will look at three major areas of this conflict. These are (1). Sexual Issues, (2). Education, (3). Religious Freedom. The views on these areas are wrapped up in the belief that we are moving into the end times.
What is your worldview? Do you have one? Have you examined what you believe and what you stand for? I encourage you to seriously consider the question of having a Christian worldview in the midst of a non-Christian world?
After Ravi Zacharias died in 2020, it was discovered he had been involved in immoral behavior. Nevertheless, his teaching on this topic still contained truth. The references to him in this Langstaff Letter are from a book by Pastor Robert Morris titled “How Do I Know.”
Morris, R. (2018). How do I know? Gateway Press.