Understanding Your Worldview

by Pastor Billy Chidester

Have you ever seen something on the news, read an article or just heard someone say something that made you think: How in the world could they come to that conclusion? How could a person actually think that we were created by aliens from another galaxy? How could people actually look at the beauty and complexity of creation and think it all happened by evolution? How could anyone believe that they were “born that way”? How could anyone believe that there is no such thing as objective truth? These and many more questions come to our mind when we hear and see the beliefs that people have. What is going on here? The answer is found in this thing called a worldview.
 
What is a worldview? According to the Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics, a worldview is how a person views or interprets reality. A person’s worldview determines what a person believes or thinks about God, human nature and values. And a person’s worldview influences the way he or she acts and thinks. Think of it this way: our worldview determines what we think when we go to the Grand Canyon for the first time. A person’s worldview will determine whether a person sees the Grand Canyon and says, “Wow! God is awesome.” Or, whether a person sees it and thinks, “Wow! How many millions of years that took to form!” A person’s worldview determines whether we believe that we each choose our own morality or whether there is a God who has put that in us and he has determined what is right or wrong. A
person’s worldview will determine whether he or she believes in heaven or hell, or whether there is an afterlife at all. Depending on what worldview a person holds allows different people to see the same evidence and yet interpret it in different ways.
 
All worldviews answer some basic questions. I’ve read some people who break a worldview down into three, four, or five different questions. The questions that make the most sense to me are from the famous Christian Apologist (defender of the Christian Faith), Ravi Zacharias. Dr. Zacharias breaks a worldview down into these four questions: Origin, meaning, morality and destiny. In other words, every person has a worldview and each person’s worldview will try to answer each of these questions. First, the question of origin is, how did we get here? Did aliens put us here? Did we evolve? If so, then how did the matter come to exist that we evolved from? Or, are we created by God? Every worldview must answer this question. Second, and related to the question of origin is the question of meaning: Why are we here? Do I have purpose in life? How a worldview answers the first question will determine how to answer this question. Everyone desires meaning, and every worldview must answer this question as well. The third question is that of morality. The question here is: what is good? What is right and what is wrong? And, how do we know? Can we know if there is a right or wrong? Does right or wrong depend something deep inside of us, or is right or wrong merely dependent upon a person’s own ideas? The final question that Dr. Zacharias says a worldview must answer is the question of destiny, or where are we going? What happens when we die? Is there an afterlife? Is there a heaven and hell? If so, what must one do to go to heaven? While there are many other questions that people ask, most will fit in some way into these four
questions.
 
As you and I begin to think through these questions we may be tempted to think that these are easy questions to answer, but the reality is, for our younger generations, these are life and death questions. It is very difficult to determine good answers to these questions because of the amount of information that is accessible online. And unfortunately most of the answers are false.
 
So, as followers of Jesus Christ we have a responsibility to know what we believe and why we believe it. And as our young people ask difficult questions like these and many others we must take them seriously and show that they are important to us. We will not be able to answer every question immediately, but there is no reason that we cannot help them find answers to their questions. And most importantly, we must be the hands and feet of Jesus. We must seek to humbly serve and humbly teach the coming generations. We must be a praying people who not only go to the Lord on behalf of our young people, but we must also be a people who prays with them and always points them to God’s faithfulness and mercy. What an opportunity we have to help the next generation know the Lord and to make Him known. Join me as we seek Him and serve the next generation!
 
Below is a link to a short video of Ravi Zacharias explaining worldviews.
 

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