As the word itself suggests, a worldview is an overall view of the world. It’s not a physical view of the world, but rather a philosophical view, an all-encompassing perspective on everything that exists and matters to us.
A person’s worldview represents his most fundamental beliefs and assumptions about the universe. It reflects how we answer all the “big questions” of human existence: fundamental questions about who and what we are, where we came from, why we’re here, where (if anywhere) we’re headed, the meaning and purpose of life, the nature of the afterlife, and what counts as a good life here and now.
A Christian worldview is a comprehensive view of the world from a biblical standpoint. A Christian’s view of the world is comprised of a number of distinct, biblical elements. The Christian filters their day through a biblical/spiritual prism and sees the world as a harmonious set of beliefs and perspectives.
- Christian Theology – Theism (Trinitarian)
- Christian Philosophy – Supernaturalism (Faith and Reason)
- Christian Ethics – Moral Absolutes
- Christianity and Science – Creationism
- Christian Psychology– Mind/Body Dualism (Fallen Nature of Man)
- Christian Sociology – Traditional Family, Church, and State
- Christianity and Law – Divine / Natural Law
Romans 2:12 NIV All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.
God established human government and the rule of law primarily to keep in check man’s sinful nature and passions.
Romans 13:1-5 NIV Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.
- Christian Politics – Justice, Freedom, and Order
Romans 13:1-7 NIV Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.
1 Peter 2:13-17 NIV Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
Christianity also believes in the depravity of man and his moral responsibility. Therefore, government is a necessary institution. However, government has limited obligations, not totalitarian powers.
- Christian Economics – Stewardship of Property
- Christianity and History – Creation, Fall, and Redemption
The Secular Worldview is a comprehensive view of the world from a materialistic, naturalistic standpoint. The Secular Humanist sees no place for the supernatural or immaterial. There is no place in the Humanist worldview for either immortality or God in the valid meanings of those terms. Humanism contends that instead of the gods creating the cosmos, the cosmos, in the individualized form of human beings giving rein to their imagination, created the gods.
- Secular Theology – Atheism
- Secular Philosophy – Naturalism
- Secular Ethics – Moral Relativism
- Secular Science – Neo-Darwinian Evolution
- Humanist Psychology – Monism (Self-Actualization)
- Humanist Sociology – Non-Traditional Family, Church, and State
- Secular Law – Positive Law
- Secular Politics – Liberalism, Progressivism, Secular World Government
- Secular Economics – Interventionism
- Secular History – Historical Evolution
Your View Of God Shapes How You View The World
Editor’s Note:. The following article, 8 Misconceptions About God That Are Holding You Back written by Wesley Baines was originally published on beliefnet.com. Bold emphasis mine.
Christianity is the largest religion on the planet in terms of believers. It’s also one of the most misunderstood—even by its own adherents.
The truth is that Christianity has changed a lot since Jesus walked the earth, and not all of that change has been positive. Between people and God have come obscuring layers of tradition, misinformation, ignorance, and wishful thinking, making it difficult for anyone—believers and non-believers alike—to find out who God is anymore.
This is a huge problem. Christianity purports to teach believers how to live a moral life, and how to go about making our world the best place it can be. When we misunderstand the character of God, both missions can become seriously warped.
And with Christianity having 2.2 billion adherents, this warped view stands to do some serious damage—when you don’t truly know what scripture says about God, you can justify just about anything in the name of Christianity.
That’s a scary thought.
But there’s an answer to this: a close, educated, and careful reading of scripture will begin to reveal what has been obscured. Reading each verse with the context in mind—who is speaking, who is being spoken to, and what historical environment they’re in—will go a long way toward helping you find the truth of God’s character.
“God supports my political party.”
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking God backs one political party or another, but this type of thinking is in error. God is not a Republican. God is not a Democrat. God is God.
Each of our human political parties is deeply flawed, and neither can live up to God’s standards. Blind loyalty to one party or another, because you believe that God backs that party, will result in blind devotion to that party’s leaders.
But instead of thinking in terms of party loyalty when it comes to electing candidates, why not think in terms of loyalty to God? Closely examine the worldview of each candidate, and vote according to which most closely aligns with the goodness of God.
Remember—the two most important of God’s commands are to love Him, and to love one another. All too often, we forget that second command in favor of the first when we vote.
Don’t let that happen. God supports no political parties—He supports righteousness and love. Vote
“There’s no way God exists in a world full of suffering.”
There’s no doubt that it’s difficult to reconcile the existence of a loving, all-powerful God with the reality of suffering and evil. Why wouldn’t God stop the Holocaust? Why doesn’t He heal children who have cancer? Why do natural disasters kill innocent people?
If God was really all-powerful and loving, wouldn’t He stop these things from happening?
This is the question that eats at the heart of many Christians, holding them back from a close relationship with God. Fortunately, there’s an answer to be had, and it lies in two words.
God didn’t allow the temptation of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden just so that the first humans could bring about the fall of creation. In the tree, He gave them a gift: choice.
Adam and Eve were free to choose God’s rule or their own. And despite the consequences, they chose their own rule.
God gives every creation that same free will—we can choose to live by His commands, which are meant to make the world as lovely and livable as possible. Or we can choose to live selfishly.
Consider this. Imagine a world where God stopped all sin. The moment you think about taking your sibling’s pencil, the thought disappears. Someone tries to jaywalk, only to be stopped by an invisible wall. A married man finds his eyes on another woman, and simply disappears.
Further, imagine that God changes your very mind in this world, forcing you to love and adore Him.
You wouldn’t be very free, would you? You’d be a slave.
God doesn’t make slaves, and so because we have free will and live in a fallen world as a result of our choices, bad things happen. God still loves us, and because of that love, He doesn’t try to control us.
“I can’t believe in both science and God.”
The belief that rational thought and religion don’t belong in the same room is one of the great errors of our time, and is a misconception that’s probably holding you back in more ways than one.
Consider this. God created all the universe, placed the stars and planets in their orbits, and laid down the physical laws which make it all go round. These laws of nature are constant, observable, and usable by us humans.
God made things this way for a purpose.
Remember Genesis 1:28? It features God telling the first humans to “fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
God invites us to not only be on the earth, but to “subdue” and “rule” it. And you can’t subdue and rule what you don’t know.
That’s where science comes in. The goal of the scientist isn’t to disprove God, but to reveal natural truth—to reveal the way our universe works so that we can explore it and take advantage of its properties.
Because all truth belongs to God, the findings of science are not a threat to Christianity, but an ally—science simply reveals more and more of God’s creation.
“God is like us.”
We like to anthropomorphize God, ascribing human behavior, feelings, and thoughts to Him, but this is a grave mistake that can keep you from fully knowing God.
The truth is that although we are made in God’s image, God is not like us. He does not think like us, feel like us, or behave like us. This is because God is transcendent, immanent, omnipotent, and all-powerful.
To be transcendent is to exist apart from the limitations of reality—God is beyond space and time. To be immanent is to be within all things, pervading and sustaining the universe. To be omnipotent is to be aware of all things. To be all-powerful is to be able to act in any way.
Still sound human to you?
God is perfectly loving, perfectly just, and perfectly good in ways we cannot understand in this life—His motivations are not human motivations, and so it’s not helpful to understand Him in this way. To do so diminishes God in our minds, and may move us to question His edicts in the same way we might question the edits of a human leader.
Realize just how different God really is, though, and you’ll find faith far easier to come by.
God wants to ruin my fun.”
How many of us have been out at a party, enjoying the embrace of a loved one, or just relaxing during some free time, only to feel a pang of divine guilt. We’re having fun, and so we must be doing something wrong, right?
Not so fast. The idea that God is anti-fun holds many Christians back from full, satisfying lives.
It’s true that God gives us guidelines on how to live, but when we examine the motivation behind these rules, we can see that they’re not in place to curb our enjoyment, but to keep us happy and safe.
Take sexual sin, for example. Christ taught that adultery is a sin, and it’s no wonder that he did—simply look at the consequences. Broken hearts. Depression. Health and financial trouble. Troubled children. The list goes on.
God created us and is all-knowing, and so He knows what behaviors are good and bad for us in the long run. Scripture helps us to home in on behaviors which are good for us, and avoid those which are bad.
Otherwise, God wants us to enjoy life! The writer of Ecclesiastes 2:24 proclaims that “There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God.”
Don’t pass up on the fun parts of life for the sake of your faith. It’s because of God that such enjoyment exists
“God will solve all of my problems.”
There’s one Christian ministry that has done more damage to the Church than any external enemy has ever managed to do.
This bending of the Christian faith revolves around the idea that God is like a vending machine. Drop in your tithe, and out pops a brand-name blessing in the form of a new car, a miraculous healing, or even a win for your favorite football team.
Thinking that God will solve all of your problems is the fast-track to losing your faith when none of those problems are solved.
The truth is this: God gives us no promise of happiness, health, or financial security in this life. Our treasures, rather, lie in heaven, as Christ proclaimed in His famous Sermon on the Mount.
Scripture, in fact, promises that difficulty will come to us in this life—it promises this from the very beginning, in Genesis.
Genesis 3:17-19 NIV To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
John 16:33 NIV “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
1 Peter 4:12-13 NIV Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
God does promise healing, rewards for the faithful, and perfect happiness, but only after He remakes heaven and earth without the curse of sin.
For now, keep your eyes on this end goal, and follow God’s commands to love Him and your neighbor. You may not be made rich, but you’ll live an absolutely fulfilling life that will end in the ultimate blessing.
“God is male.”
This is a contentious topic, no doubt, but an important one. God is referred to using male pronouns throughout scripture, but just as we should avoid ascribing overly human motivations to an infinite being, we should avoid ascribing gender norms, as well.
In Genesis, God created humankind, both male and female. Both were made in His image.
Think about that. Women were made in the image of God just as much as men are. God has the qualities of both.
For example, in Matthew 23:37, Christ laments that he wishes to gather His people “like a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.” In Hosea 13:8, God is compared to a protective mother bear, and in Isaiah 66:12, He is compared to a mother comforting her child.
In God, we don’t just have a stern and watchful father to guide us, but a warm and protective mother, as well. If this seems sacrilegious, remember that God is a spirit—He doesn’t have a physical body or a gender, and so this isn’t to say that God is literally a man and a woman as we know these terms. God simply has the attributes of both.
In this, God is able to be everything we need, and so don’t be afraid to ask for the love and comfort you’d expect from a mother. God is fully able to give these things.
“I know exactly what God wants.”
Of all the misconceptions about God, this may very well be the most harmful. A sense of pathological certainty regarding His Will can give us license to do whatever we want in His name—no matter how selfish or hurtful.
This often stems from a misconception we’ve already discussed—mistakenly assigning human motivations and behavior to God. But this problem can also take root in those who don’t carefully read scripture, and who simply see what they wish to see within God’s Word, closing their minds to other points of view.
Too often, those suffering from this error use scripture to justify sinful actions, such as treating others badly or hoarding power. At the very least, it results in a Christian who doesn’t truly understand God’s direction for their life.
Absolute certainty stops the process of learning about God. We should always be open to changing our point of view upon gaining a greater understanding of scripture, and subsequently, of who God truly is. This means seeking out spiritual mentors, studying scripture closely, and being willing to entertain new ideas.
Stay teachable, and God will speak to you.
Get to Know the Real God
Knowing God takes time, humility, and a teachable spirit. But as you grow closer to Him through your studies, you’ll find that the Fruits of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and self-control—will manifest in your life and personality.
That’s one of the major ways in which God touches the world—through you, and His Church. Get to know God properly so that you can truly represent Him on earth.