I don’t know about you but I find that the times we are currently living in are rapidly changing and values that used to be considered almost without question, are now questioned and sometimes even thrown aside with what sometimes appears as hardly a thought. How we make sense of the world we live in, as Christians, is vitally important, both to ourselves and especially to our youth. This post is just a basic overview, the issues are indeed many and complex and the causes and effects are varied. I have taken the liberty of using source material from a wide variety of authors and included some thoughts of my own. The purpose behind this post is to foster a realization that as a Christian, having a Christian Worldview is important, both as parents of our youth and citizens of our country.
What is a Worldview?
A worldview is a way of looking or interpreting all of reality. It is an interpretive framework through which or by which one makes sense of life and the world. A person’s worldview is the way that they see the world. Merriam-Webster defines worldview as “the way someone thinks about the world.” A worldview should generally contain a particular perspective on at least 10 of the world’s major disciplines: politics, theology, law, history, economics, biology, sociology, psychology, ethics and philosophy. The purpose of looking at our Worldview as a group of perspectives versus as a singular perspective on a particular discipline is important because many of the issues we are dealing with as a society are inter-related, hence the complexity.
What is a Christian Worldview?
A Christian Worldview is also a way of seeing and comprehending all reality. The church fathers summed it up this way; all truth is God’s truth. God’s truth is embodied in Jesus Christ, not only as our Saviour but even more as Colossians 1:16-17 states: “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and earth, visible and invisible …; all things were created by Him and for Him.” Jesus is the beginning and the end of all things, the Alpha and the Omega. Nothing has meaning, or even exists, apart from Him.
A Christian worldview is one in which we adopt Christ’s view of the world. That is to say, we adopt a biblical perspective. As a Christian, we want to have the same view of things that God does.
Once unthinkable, some are casting doubts on capitalism’s reliability and our free market economy. The future of democracy and Judeo-Christian values, as the transcendent norms for Western Civilization, are under siege like never before. The stakes are enormous. So how are God’s people to respond? By engaging society from a Christian worldview perspective.
In this post I will focus on the discipline of politics as an example but any of the disciplines could be used. If our democracy is to survive, then Christians must maintain a Christian worldview when it comes to politics. We should engage by speaking up, by holding elected officials accountable and support preferred candidates for public office. Our Western civilization has remained a liberty-loving democracy for more than 200 years because citizens were ready to stand up and be counted, and to give a reason for their position on a particular side of debate. Christian viewpoints need to be heard.
The Basis of a Christian Worldview
So what is the basis of a Christian worldview? It is God’s revelation in Scripture.
Unfortunately, many believers do not understand that Scripture has been given to be the basis for all of life. Christians often take too narrow a view because of the emphasis placed on personal commitment. While this has been a strength because it has led millions to a saving relationship with Christ, it has also kept Christians from seeing God’s plan beyond our personal salvation.
gotquestions.org has a excellent dialogue on the politics subject that I personally agree with and it fits into the Christian Worldview perspective that I am going to quote here:
“As followers of Christ, what should be our attitude and our involvement with politics? It has been said that “religion and politics don’t mix.” But is that really true? Can we have political views outside the considerations of our Christian faith? The answer is no, we cannot. The Bible gives us two truths regarding our stance towards politics and government.
The first truth is that the will of God permeates and supersedes every aspect of life. It is God’s will that takes precedence over everything and everyone (Matthew 6:33). God’s plans and purposes are fixed, and His will is inviolable. What He has purposed, He will bring to pass, and no government can thwart His will (Daniel 4:34-35). In fact, it is God who “sets up kings and deposes them” (Daniel 2:21) because “the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes” (Daniel 4:17). A clear understanding of this truth will help us to see that politics is merely a method God uses to accomplish His will. Even though evil men abuse their political power, meaning it for evil, God means it for good, working “all things together for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Second, we must grasp the fact that our government cannot save us! Only God can. We never read in the New Testament of Jesus or any of the apostles expending any time or energy schooling believers on how to reform the pagan world of its idolatrous, immoral, and corrupt practices via the government. The apostles never called for believers to demonstrate civil disobedience to protest the Roman Empire’s unjust laws or brutal schemes. Instead, the apostles commanded the first-century Christians, as well as us today, to proclaim the gospel and live lives that give clear evidence to the gospel’s transforming power.
There is no doubt that our responsibility to government is to obey the laws and be good citizens (Romans 13:1–2). God has established all authority, and He does so for our benefit, “to commend those who do right” (1 Peter 2:13–15). Paul tells us in Romans 13:1–8 that it is the government’s responsibility to rule in authority over us—hopefully for our good—to collect taxes, and to keep the peace. Where we have a voice and can elect our leaders, we should exercise that right by voting for those who best demonstrate Christian principles.
One of Satan’s grandest deceptions is that we can rest our hope for cultural morality and godly living in politicians and governmental officials. A nation’s hope for change is not to be found in any country’s ruling class. The church has made a mistake if it thinks that it is the job of politicians to defend, to advance, and to guard biblical truths and Christian values.
The church’s unique, God-given purpose does not lie in political activism. Nowhere in Scripture do we have the directive to spend our energy, our time, or our money in governmental affairs. Our mission lies not in changing the nation through political reform, but in changing hearts through the Word of God. When believers think the growth and influence of Christ can somehow be allied with government policy, they corrupt the mission of the church. Our Christian mandate is to spread the gospel of Christ and to preach against the sins of our time. Only as the hearts of individuals in a culture are changed by Christ will the culture begin to reflect that change.
Believers throughout the ages have lived, and even flourished, under antagonistic, repressive, pagan governments. This was especially true of the first-century believers who, under merciless political regimes, sustained their faith under immense cultural stress. They understood that it was they, not their governments, who were the light of the world and the salt of the earth. They adhered to Paul’s teaching to obey their governing authorities, even to honour, respect, and pray for them (Romans 13:1-8). More importantly, they understood that, as believers, their hope resided in the protection that only God supplies. The same holds true for us today. When we follow the teachings of the Scriptures, we become the light of the world as God has intended for us to be (Matthew 5:16).
Political entities are not the saviour of the world. The salvation for all mankind has been manifested in Jesus Christ. God knew that our world needed saving long before any national government was ever founded. He demonstrated to the world that redemption could not be accomplished through the power of man, his economic strength, his military might, or his politics. Peace of mind, contentment, hope and joy—and the salvation of mankind—is accomplished only through His work of faith, love, and grace.”
So this is just one overview on Politics as it pertains to developing a Christian Worldview. You may not agree with the perspective that I personally hold and that is alright. What is important to focus on is that you take the time to develop your own Christian Worldview on most or all of the world’s 10 major disciplines. As you go through them you will begin to understand how many of them are inter-related and how it is important to get a bird’s eye view of the bigger picture.
Our youth are going to encounter these discussions when they go to university and they talk with their friends. How will our youth have confidence in their Christian faith if we can’t give them guidance?
When elections come up, issues will be raised that centre on these disciplines. How will you know who is the best candidate to vote for if you aren’t aware of the root issues being discussed and the opinion of the candidates you have to chose from and more importantly, how they apply to our Christian faith?
Please note that I have just scratched the surface. Complacency robs us of knowledge, as it pertains to understanding God’s Word and understanding the world that we live in. Don’t let it rob you.
I will provide a few web links to Christian Worldview resources you may find helpful:
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!