Warm greetings from cold, cold Belarus, a country which is part of the former Soviet Union (between Poland and Russia). My husband and I are here this week to teach Christian worldview and apologetics to Christ-followers. One’s worldview (and everyone has one, whether they know it or not) is comprised of a set of beliefs or presuppositions that are like a pair of glasses through which we interpret the world and our experiences in it.
In order to help our friends understand the importance of viewing reality accurately, which is only possible with a pair of glasses that consist of truths that align with what God has revealed in scripture, we brought along a prop. We brought a pair of goggles called “Drunk Busters” that give the wearer a dizzying approximation of what being drunk does to your vision. State police and drivers’ education programs use them to demonstrate why it’s deadly to drink and drive.
We ask for a volunteer to first navigate a simple obstacle course of chairs, catch an object we toss to them, and pick up that object from the floor. No one has any trouble doing these things.
Then they put on the goggles. They usually say, “Whoa!” It’s very disorienting.
Then we make the point that having the wrong worldview, the wrong set of beliefs and assumptions about reality, is also very dangerous.
It is dangerous eternally for a person to believe that God does not exist, or that God is anything other than what He has revealed Himself to be in His word and in His Son. It is equally disastrous for someone to believe in no God (atheism), and for someone to believe in a divine impersonal force that permeates everything (variations on pantheism).
But the wrong worldview can also be dangerous for Christians whose pair of glasses consists of a prescription with some truth and some error. The majority of American Christians who claim to be born again do not have a biblical worldview. What they believe differs from what the Bible says. For example, many believe in reincarnation. Many trust in astrology. Some believe that God is distant, angry, and doesn’t particularly like us, that this “Gee-Oh-Dee” will begrudgingly let us into heaven only because Jesus died in our place. They don’t understand that God is Father, Son and Spirit, Who have always loved us and welcome us enthusiastically into the circle of Their divine love, fellowship, joy and camaraderie.
Some believers think that they put their trust in Christ to save them when they die, but Jesus has nothing to say about their life between salvation and death. So they live their lives depending on the surrounding culture to give them wisdom and instruction about how to be educated, how to choose a mate and be married, how to parent, what kind of job to get, how to spend their money and other resources, and where to find satisfaction in their lives while they wait for heaven. They miss what Paul meant by “Christ, who is our life” (Col. 3:4). The phrase “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27) is only an abstract concept unrelated to the way they live their lives: essentially, “Jesus is in my heart, and I keep Him stashed there till it’s time to go to heaven.”
It’s dangerous to have the wrong worldview that misses the glorious truth that real life is only found in Jesus, that any love we give or receive comes from Jesus to and through us, that light comes from Jesus and all else is darkness. And it’s far more tragic than bumping into an obstacle course or dropping a ball tossed to us.
How’s your worldview? If your beliefs and the things you assume are not corrected and established by God’s word, invite Him to change your prescription, and expect Him to joyfully start to transform your thinking!
Lord Jesus, transform me by renewing my mind (Romans 12:2). I don’t even know what I don’t know; I don’t know what my blind spots are, and I don’t know what I have wrong in my thinking. I invite You to change me from the inside out so I think like You!
This blog post originally appeared at blogs.bible.org/engage/sue_bohlin/dangerous_worldview on Feb. 15, 2011