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Worldviews Matter!

In my last column I made the statement that “I frame everything within a Biblical worldview.” But what is a worldview and why does talking about them matter? It may seem that many people form their ideas and opinions from a political stance, religious affiliation or even from the education they received, but in reality it is much deeper than that. It is a question of worldviews and the thoughts expressed about politics, socio-economics and other issues extend from that base. Generally speaking, a worldview is the lens by which you see the world and how you answer questions such as: “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” “What is wrong with the world?” “How do I fix it?” “Where will I end up after I die?” In other words a worldview is how you interpret the world around you and how you answer life’s biggest questions of identity, purpose and destiny. Everyone has a worldview, the question is, is your worldview a good one?

Now that last statement was intended to be a little provoking because having a faulty worldview has direct implications on decisions in both a macro and micro scale. For example, if you have a political leader that possesses a fundamentally flawed worldview, their policies will invariably have a negative effect on those whom they are responsible for. One does not have to look very far into history to see this played out; we have witnessed policies and agendas stemming from a particular worldview that have been incredibly damaging and destructive to millions of lives. Like the Scripture says “When the wicked rule, the people groan” (Prov. 29:2). Now moving from the macro to the micro, your individual worldview affects the decisions you make. To illustrate, if I am walking down the street and see a man approaching me, I am faced with a decision. I could choose A) wave and say “hello” or B) punch the man, take his wallet and spend the money on a new pair of shoes. Obviously, I would choose A not only because it is the “right” thing to do, or because I am a pastor but because my worldview (that states humans are created in the image of God and therefore possess intrinsic worth) dictates my decision.

So how do you know if you possess a flawed worldview? One of the main criteria is whether or not it can be consistently lived out. If it inconsistently answers the questions of identity, purpose and destiny then it is a deficient worldview and should be re-evaluated. Let’s see how this works practically in regards to the concept of identity. Now according to some scientist and perhaps the prevailing theory that is taught in schools regarding our identity, is that we evolved over a period of millions of years and that we trace our origin to what Carl Sagan used to say “star stuff”. To put it simply, you and I are nothing more than cosmic dust and our thoughts and expressions are mere forms of chemical reactions. If all we are is material, then relationship, empathy and loving neighbors wouldn’t make sense because there is no difference between humans and the mud on the bottom of your shoe. So when it comes to issues of rights and morality, that understanding of identity makes it a non-issue. It is just star dust bumping into to star dust. Most (if not all) people who subscribe to that understanding of identity do not consistently live it out. They do care about their neighbors. They do get upset when others are hurt. They have some idea of right and wrong and when that is violated, there is a justified reaction. Their actions reflect the reality that humanity is more than just material, even though they profess it to be different and therefore reveals their worldview’s inconsistency.

According to a Biblical worldview regarding the nature of humanity’s origin and identity, it paints a much more brilliant display as opposed to the idea that all we are is “star stuff”. You were created by a relational God in His own image and therefore have inherent worth. Mankind stands above all else as having the ability to create, communicate thoughts and expressions and appreciate beauty. The Bible refutes the idea that you are nothing more than a highly evolved sack of goo and instead shows the amazing reality of what it means to be human, loved and valued by a Creator. You have dignity and significance and because of that, your life is far from meaningless. To see why that’s the case, catch me next time when we answer “What am I here for?”

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