What is a worldview?
This Sabbath I want us to talk about something different it is not going to be your normal sermon. I was speaking to your pastor and he said that you are intelligent and wise people so I don’t think we will have any problems.
Turn or slide with me to 1 Corinthians 8:6. Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we exist. And there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we exist.
Has someone ever asked you ‘what is your philosophy?’
Or have you ever given a Bible study to someone that did not believe in God and it was so good, so well, so persuasive and so accurate that if you had given it to Jesus it would convert Him to be an Adventist and yet the person didn’t convert?
Or have you spoken to someone why some things are the way they are and not the way they think things are? They agree with what you are saying and maybe accept that what you are saying is true and right but they want believe it? Well, one of the reasons could be because of the worldview they believe in. What is a worldview? If you were to explain what a worldview is what would say?
A worldview is a set of answer or beliefs you give in order to make sense of reality. These are normally opinions and assumptions we normally believe about something without really thinking, asking or challenging them. That is why sometimes you hear some people say ‘we have never really thought about it but we have always done it this way? Or don’t you know? Everybody knows it.’
So this morning what I want us to do is talk about, why do you believe in what you believe in? Why do you do the things do? There are over 7 billion of people on this planet. Yet we all have our own worldview whether we know it or not? Those who deny that theirs no worldview do so because of the worldview they believe in. It is difficult to deny that there is no worldview because we live in a world where we’re fed different types of world views everyday and from everywhere. The TV (billions of years ago), radio, Facebook, movies (the avatar, star wars, the force), billboards and in adverts. Movies are the best ways to sell world views if you watch any movie within the first 5-10 minutes you will see what kind of worldview it is trying to encourage.
Every worldview must answer certain questions.
- Is there a God or higher being or power? If yes, who is He or She and what is He or She like. If not, then why is there something rather than nothing? What is this world is it just the material or spiritual or just a delusion? Who created God? Where did He or She come from?
- Secondly our origin, Where do we come from? How did we get here? What is man is he a created being or a product of evolution or an animal or a higher being or part of the earth?
- The fall, Every worldview will tell you that there is something wrong in this world something is just not right. Therefore it asks questions why is there suffering? So they come up with explanations as to what happened and how did this World get so bad.
- How do you know what you know? How well does what you know and believe line up with reality? How do we know anything is it through our five senses? Science? Nature, feeling, intuition, reasoning and revelation. For example Instinct = believing because it seems true to me. Feelings = because it has a strong emotional appeal to me of some kind. Wishful thinking = seeing what you want to see even though evidence points the opposite way. Norms and costumes = from parents culture , etc. Popularity = everyone believes therefore it is true. Pragmatism = it works for me so you do you I will do me. Significance = because it gives my life meaning.
- Fourth, morality, ethics, values and meaning. Where do they come from? Why do we value certain things more than others? Does our life have a meaning and a purpose and what is it? Pro life
- Salvation, We recognise that as humans we are fragile and we decay so we are doomed we cannot save ourselves our salvation will need to come from somewhere else.
- Lastly eschatology, what happens to us after death? Where do we go?
I am sure by now you are beginning to get a good idea about what I am talking about and you can actually see what are the answers you give to these questions in your lives. You see every worldview should answer these questions. The answers to these questions makeup a story we call a worldview. The worldview must be able to answer all the questions clearly, consistently and logically. They’re so interlinked that if one falls the whole Worldview falls. From the question of our origin to what happens when we die, it all must make sense.
For example if you are going somewhere and you are using a map and it is a faulty map are you going to get there? No, you are going to get somewhere but you are not going to get where you want to go. Same as a worldview it is supposed to answer to tell us what is real and truth. If our worldview is faulty will it take us to the truth? No.
- What we believe about where we came from and where we going influence the way we live our life.
- Our worldview is the lenses in which we view our whole life. It brings what’s real and true into focus. If we have a faulty worldview we see the world partly or darkly and not as it is. Have you heard the saying we see the world as we are and not as it is? The way we see the world does not match reality. Reality is what it is. It doesn’t change or go away just because you don’t believe in it. Like what Jesus did to Paul on the road to Damascus.
- What and how we do with our money, the things we buy or don’t buy reveals our worldview. What and how we do and with our time reveal our worldview.
- Everything we do or don’t is mostly influenced by the worldview we believe in.
So what about us as Christians living in the 21st century what is our worldview?
Does the bible have a worldview? Is there such a thing as a Christian worldview? Yes, God seems to care a lot about our worldview and He wants us to have the right worldview. There’s a way of thinking about everything in a biblical way. Where is the best place to start is the Bible right? And where do we begin? The book of Genesis. Can someone read Genesis 1.1 for us? Ok this is where I need your help. I cannot do this part by myself.
- The Bible does not prove the existence of God it assumes that there is God. Then goes on to move to tell us about whom this God is and what He is like. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” John 1:1-2. Also “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible” Hebrews 11:3. “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” Romans 1:20. He upholds the universe by his power. No sparrow falls without the father knowing. In him we move breath , etc. He is he now with us.
- In the beginning = this is our origin what you believe about this verse influences your worldview. Isaiah 45:18 For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (he is God)!, who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it a chaos, he formed it to be inhabited)!: I am the Lord, and there is no other. Lastly, Acts 17. 24-28 The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. 26 From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, 27 so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him though indeed he is not far from each one of us. 28 For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring.’
- The fall Genesis 3 the whole chapter gives us an explanation as to what happened and how did this world get so bad. It is because we chose to disbelief the truth of God and believe the lies of Satan. Thus we have sin in the world, sin kills everything, and it separates us from God. Sin is not what we do but what makes us do what we do. Now because of sin we lie, murder. Psalm 51:5-6 5 Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me. 6 You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart. Romans 3:9-10 What then? Are we any better off? No, not at all; for we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin, 10 as it is written: “There is no one who is righteous, not even one; Romans 7. 14-20 For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin. 15 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. 17 But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.
- We know everything from God. What did Eve say to the serpent? Genesis 3.3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’ God has told us. Deuteronomy 29:29 The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the revealed things belong to us and to our children forever, to observe all the words of this law. Hebrews 1. 1-2 Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds.
- Morality what is good and what is bad we get them from the Ten Commandments and the life of Jesus? Ethics what is right and what is wrong, morals what is good and what is bad. Something can be good and be wrong same as something can be bad and be right. Our life meaning, value and purpose Genesis 1. 26-28 Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” That is why we must worship Him with everything we have. Therefore the judge or criteria of what is good right wrong and bad is Jesus. We are valued not because of who we are but because of who He is.
- There is no other name in heaven and on earth that is greater or able save us than Jesus Christ. We cannot save ourselves there is no one or nothing but Him. Only He can and did on the cross. Isaiah 53.4-5 But it was our pain he took, and our diseases were put on him: while to us he seemed as one diseased, on whom God’s punishment had come. 5 But it was for our sins he was wounded, and for our evil doings he was crushed: he took the punishment by which we have peace, and his wounds make us well. John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
- Eschatology, the Bible teaches of a recreation story not that we will be in heaven forever while others suffer eternally. The Bible tells us how the fall problem will be resolved. Revelation 20. 11-15 11 Then I saw a great white throne and the one who sat on it; the earth and the heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their works, as recorded in the books. 13 And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and all were judged according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death; the lake of fire; 15 and anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 21 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; 4 he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.”
Are you with me church? Jesus came to show us that He cares about the well being of our spirituality, physical, mental, emotional and social aspects of our life because that is what makes a whole human being. Now do you see this is what Jesus was doing He was constantly updating the people’s world views. Most of the times their worldview would crush because Jesus was too real. The more they adjusted their worldview to be like His the more they saw and understood the world and who He is. The more the rejected Him the more the hated and wanted to kill Him.
That is why Jesus could say I am the way, truth and light. Those who deny it, deny it because of the worldview they hold. In their worldview there is another source of truth, light and the way. But every reality must conform or be inline with the truth. The truth does not conform itself to our worldview. The truth is Jesus. He is the ultimate reality. That’s why I always say is there anyone or anything who is more real than God.
So why is it important to be aware that we have a worldview?
It’s important to know our worldview so that we can teach our kids and kids it’s important for you to know your worldview so that you can navigate through life easier. If we don’t teach our kids and ourselves what the biblical worldview is then how can we call ourselves Christians. If we don’t teach ourselves the biblical worldview how will we able to know and filter out all the other world views the world is throwing at us.
- Our kids will continue to leave the church and embrace other world views because we haven’t told them our worldview.
- Christians are in a war and the battles are fought with ideas not who is behaving the best. A worldview is ideas as Christians we are always fighting with other world views. We need to be the salt and light.
- A faulty and bad worldview leads people to make bad decisions choice and live a bad life.
- A Christian worldview gives you hope and you know where’s there’s hope there’s life. The biblical worldview gives life a meaning. Many people are committing suicide because they have lost hope. Many people are committing suicide because they say their life has no meaning why live? All the other worldview takes away your individuality either by becoming part of nature or by going back to atoms and molecules.
- As Christian were in the world but were not of the world. The world and its things are passing away. So we must have a template of how we judge, look at and filter the things we see everyday in our lives that are telling us what do , etc.
Most importantly we need to be humble and willing to change our worldview. No one knows everything. No one has the perfect worldview. So when there is something that goes against our core beliefs and values we must be humble and willing enough to challenge, look, think and question our worldview. Do you remember what happened to job? He thought He knew it all and when God came He asked him so many questions he couldn’t even answer one. God being gracious as He is broadened his worldview and Job repented. I am sorry God I now know I know nothing and everything I thought I knew I know now that it is nothing.
Normally preachers make alter calls to change your behaviour but this Sabbath I would like to ask you to change you’re thinking. For if you’re thinking is right, then your behaviour will also be right. You can have the best behaviour in the world but if you don’t know why you’re doing then it is pointless. Therefore you need to ask yourself does my worldview match reality. As a Christian, is it biblical or worldly? What would Jesus do or say in order challenge or change my worldview? I can’t answer these questions for you or the pastor only you can.
What is your worldview and what does it say about God?