I hear all the time on podcasts or read a bunch of articles from authors claiming to have a “biblical” worldview. The speakers and authors generally do a good job of listing the problems of our progressive culture, and have a few good opinions on how to fight back. For instance, Alisa Childers writing on Harbingers Daily website in an article titled The Spiritual Battle Over Our Children: Training Our Sons and Daughters to Stand Strong in a Chaotic Culture says we should “speak truth to lies” and “equip yourself.” Not bad concepts, as far as they go. Many other teachers say similar things. The problem is, while there may be some good ideas here and there, they are most assuredly NOT from a biblical worldview, and therefore not nearly as effective as the Bible itself. They are from a “Church” worldview. There’s a big difference. “Church,” of course, is a general name for all organizations claiming to follow the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
For one thing, a Church worldview uses a lot of philosophy in their suggestions and very little Scripture. Sure, churchgoers throw in a verse here and there to add validity to their philosophies, but that’s not really a biblical worldview. Using a little of the Bible doesn’t show a real worldview. You have to use a lot. All of it, actually. The philosophies have to give way to real biblical help. The Bible isn’t a source for fortune cookies. It’s not helpful to throw out a little slip of a verse and expect it to do more than tickle the ear. All of the Bible is a lifestyle and discipleship method, in particular The Law. That’s where Church philosophy falls down. Teachers shy away from the Law because they’ve been taught that it’s “legalism” or “for the Jews” or “not a salvation issue;” concepts that the Bible itself doesn’t endorse.
Deuteronomy 6:5–6 ESV. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
A biblical worldview regards all of God’s Word as something to be held in the heart with love and lived as literally true. A Church worldview regards the Law as something to be avoided, giving lip service to some of it while holding most of it at arm’s length as if it was a skunk waiting to spray them. The Church contends that The Church was the goal of God all along and a “new thing,” grabbing authority and giving itself permission to redefine the Word at will. After redefining the Word, churches condone the destructive immorality of homosexuality and abortion because they are “tolerant.”
George Barna, as he has many times over the past decades, has again revealed more results of his studies in a new book titled, “Raising Spiritual Champions: Nurturing Your Child’s Heart, Mind and Soul.” He is sounding the alarm about only about 2% of Christians have a biblical worldview, which he defines as “living like Christ.” As much as I like his work, he still misses a huge point because of his Church worldview. If we are to live like Christ, we follow the Law as He showed us how to walk in it.
1 John 2:4–6 ESV. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.
In his book, Mr. Barna is “Carefully blending scripture and sociological insights,” which is an obvious sign of a Church worldview. The Word of God does not need blending, it needs to be lived. If churches are not teaching it, and parents are not living it, the kids are not going to pick it up either. If the main “cultural influencers” in a kid”s life are playing fast and loose with the Word, why would the kids turn out any different? Those who claim to be following the Bible would have more success influencing with a direct, literal understanding of the Word if they believed and lived it themselves.
A person with a Church worldview tries to make the world obey God’s Law without obeying it themselves. They will point fingers at those who practice sexual immorality, yet at the same time practice immorality themselves such as divorce (or agree with those who think it’s okay in the Church). A Church worldview is lacking in answers, because it is missing large portions of the complete nutrition of the Word.
A biblical worldview has the answers for all of our problems. The root of the problems is sin, and God’s Laws are the answer to sin. Teach and follow all of God’s Laws, all the time, and the problems go away. Yeshua died to pay for all of the sins, so now we just have to live like it. Make mistakes still? Sure. If we say we have no sin we lie and the truth isn’t in us. Fall down or backslide occasionally? Probably. The Law contains the answers for that too. We have an advocate with the Father in our Messiah, so confess, repent, and try again.