Christians Living in a Fallen World:
There are so many pressing issues in the world today that faithful Christians must wrestle with whether we want to or not. As Christians we recognize that this is not something that is new. We must be aware that those committed to the Lord Jesus Christ have and will always face difficult social issues/situations because we live in a fallen and deeply sinful world. To put it frankly, we live in a world that is rebellious towards God, and Satan is leading the way through a steady production of lies and deceit (John 8:44). Therefore, Christians must be willing to wrestle with the issues at hand due to the immanence of deception, but more importantly because truth exists. Not seeing one from the other has serious if not grave consequences for what we will believe and how we will live. So the question is not whether Christians need to wrestle with the issues of our day, but rather how will we wrestle? How can we discern truth verses deception? And ultimately, how can we live a life that is pleasing to God? This is where the issue of worldview is vitally important for us to consider, and it helps to answer the question of how we can faithfully think and live in a broken world.
What is Worldview?
Not assuming too much, let me quickly define for us what a worldview is. A worldview is how a person views the world. Simple, right? Well, perhaps the following definition may be a bit more helpful. A worldview is the way a person views the world based upon fundamental convictions that he/she believes to be true. The basic idea is that the fundamental convictions that are held by a person assists and shapes their interpretation and understanding of the world. For example, if you believe that God does not exist (fundamental conviction), then you will not believe in miracles (understanding of the world), because miracles are a product of the supernatural.
We All have a Worldview. You may be wondering now, why does all of this talk about worldview matter? It matters because you (and everyone else) have a worldview. This is not something that is hypothetical nor merely intellectual. We are all shaped by certain fundamental beliefs and, therefore, operate in accordance to a worldview. All of the things that we understand in life are impacted by our worldview. From politics, to the Church; from the sexual revolution, to the issue of abortion; from “Social Justice” to Covid19; our worldview - our fundamental convictions - largely determines how we will interpret and take our positions on the issues. And so, here is the trillion-dollar question. Is your worldview fundamentally shaped by the world or by God’s truth, which is revealed to us in the Bible?
The Necessity of a Christian Worldview. As a pastor I have often observed and am often concerned that professing Christians are far more influenced by the world than they are by God’s truth. The things we think and believe, the words that we speak, and the way we live imply an allegiance to the world rather than to Christ. This should not be! And, it cannot be because we have been saved from this rebellious world which opposes God precisely due to the deception of sin! Simply put, should we who have been saved continue to live in the sinful deceptions we were saved from? I hope you will agree that the clear answer is no! As the redeemed people of God, it is clear, then, that our worldview must be shaped by God’s truth rather than by "following the course of this world" (Eph. 2:2).
The Formation of a Christian Worldview. Thankfully, when God graciously calls you to faith in Christ, He promises to give you a new heart and new affections, and to transform your heart and mind from being deceived in sin to delighting in the truth (Romans 12:1-2, John 8:31-32). He does this wonderful work through opening our eyes to the Word of God (John 17:17) and with the help of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22-25) who opens our hearts and minds to embrace divine truth as well as to walk in joyful obedience to Christ. In fact, this understanding should be a fundamental conviction of our worldview that leads us to hunger for God’s word, trusting that the Holy Spirit is our unfailing Helper.
A Worldview Self-Assessment Tool:
Much more can be said, but let me leave you with a practical tool for your toolbox. As you think about the current societal issues that we are face--ultimately for every important question of life--ask yourself the question: “Why do I believe what I believe?” If you cannot find a clear reason that is anchored in a serious study and understanding of the Bible, you may very well have a worldview problem. Please, don’t ignore it, it may have grave consequences.
Jacob Yang (D.Min candidate, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is the husband to Kang and a father to eight beautiful children. Their family is passionate about serving the local church in pursuit of disciple-making to the glory of God. He has nearly 20 years of ministry experience ranging from worship ministries, youth ministries, pastoral ministries, and national leadership. Currently, he is serving as the Executive Pastor at Covenant City Church in St. Paul, MN.