“They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator.”
(God the Holy Spirit)
In January 2019, David Bowles made a statement in a prominent US newspaper that was later repeated on the American TV program, Meet the Press. The statement is representative of the world view against which Christians must struggle in reference to their faith that is based on the Bible. Bowles’ statement was made in the context of political matters, but represents the neo-liberal thinking of Western civilization. He stated, “Why do people support [President] Trump? Its because people have been trained from childhood to believe in fairy tales ….” Bowles went on to explain what he believed was one of these fairy tales: “Show me a person who believes in Noah’s ark,” Bowles continued, “and I will show you a Trump voter.”
Our concern is not in reference to politics, but in reference to the world view of most citizens of the developed world, particularly the West. The world view of most people of the world is not based on a belief that the Bible is an inspired record of history, and certainly, not a God-given standard of moral values. It is believed by the majority of the world to be a book of fables. For the neo-liberal West, this is an unfortunate conclusion that leads civilizations to build their moral values on the inventions of man. According to the neo-liberal West, belief in the Bible is a hinderance to the ideology of progressive (liberal) thinking. It is a hindrance to social and economic growth.
This is the world in which we now live. It is a world citizenship that has either given up a knowledge of God, or never had such knowledge in the first place. Such societies have narcissistically established their own moral codes of behavior according to what pleases man. God is not a central factor in establishing the civil and moral values of nations throughout the world.
The eyeglasses through which we understand all that we believe to be real is what is referred to as our “world view.” Our world view is how we understand the world around us and how we should relate with one another as world citizens. We establish our world view by considering all the facts we learn from study and experience. Most of the time, these facts come to us through the literature we study. From the assimilation of all these facts and experiences, we establish what we consider to be truth, and thus, our world view determines our behavior. Our world view thus becomes the foundation upon which we write our moral and civil laws.
A good example of the importance of our world view is what we believe in reference to the origin of all life, as well as the origin of the universe in which we live. In reference to all origins, we have only two options: First, all life that now exists came into being as a result of a Creator. Second, life came into existence as a result of the spontaneous generation the atoms of the material world that over billions of years assimilated by chance into the biological function of life that we now experience in our world. Which option we choose in reference to the origin of life is the major building block of our world view.
How we view all that is around us is the primary foundation upon which we build our world view. It is necessary, therefore, that in this world in which we live today, Christians must define their world view. If one lives in an isolated village in the middle of Africa, he or she may have little concern for what his or her world view is in reference to life. This does not mean, however, that the isolated villager has no world view. He or she does. And it is upon the foundation of this world view that decisions and behavioral patterns are established even within those who cohabit in the isolated village.
If one lives in a business/industrial village somewhere in the world, his or her world view is central to existence in a complex society. In the developing world, society as a whole seeks to develop in a world of behavioral competition. Though competition may not be a key part of the social structure in some jungle village, it is a primary function of life for those who live in the social structure of the business/industrial world. In fact, without a sense of competition it is difficult to survive in the business/industrial world.
Therefore, it is important to understand our own world view because our world view governs how we interact with one another in society. Whether we live in an isolated village, or in a suburban residential center of some metropolitan area of the world, our world view, whether consciously or unconsciously, determines how we behave with our fellow human beings. It is imperative, therefore, that as Christians we are conscious of how we understand the world in which we live because this understanding determines how we will relate with one another as Christians, as well as with the unbelievers among whom we most live. Paul recognized this challenge when he wrote to the Christians in Achaia. He wrote that Christians must associate with those of the world, for the only alternative is “to go out of the world” (1 Co 5:10).
More important, understanding our world view will determine how we carry on with our responsibility to preach the gospel to the world. In the case of those who promote some type of religious belief that harbors teachings that contradict the world view of the Bible, the adherents of these teachings actually hinder the implementation of their faith. We are convinced that there are some antagonistic philosophies of the Western world view that have been adopted by Western religionists. These are those philosophies that work contrary to the existence of God, as well as the truth of the gospel. Because of this infusion of Western ideology into some Western religions, some groups thrive in a social environment wherein many of the adherents of some prominent religious groups actually believe that Noah’s ark is a fable. And beyond this, there are many in such groups who question the Bible teaching that our very existence is the result of a God of creation.