Discover why many Christians act in ways that are completely unbiblical… The meaning of worldview… The significance of your worldview… 5 big worldview questions… How to discover your child’s worldview… And much more!
HELP YOUR CHILDREN DEVELOP A BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW
Raising Champions for Christ – Week 4
By Andy Manning
The title of this sermon is “Help Your Children Develop a Biblical Worldview.”
I am amazed when I hear about Christians who believe things and act in ways that are completely unbiblical.
Barna Group and Summit Ministries did a study in 2017 that found the following: 32% of practicing Christians believe in Karma – that if you do good, you will receive good, and if you do bad, you will receive bad. That’s Hinduism. 28% of practicing Christians believe that all people pray to the same god or spirit, no matter what name they use for that spiritual being. That’s New Age Spirituality. 27% of practicing Christians believe that meaning and purpose come from becoming one with all that is. That’s Buddhism. 10% of practicing Christians believe that a belief has to be proven by science to know that it is true. That’s called Scientism.
How is this possible that practicing Christians – people who call themselves Christians, attend church at least once a month, and who say that their faith is very important in their lives – believe things that are so unbiblical? Worldview. If you are a Christian, but do not have a biblical worldview, then you will believe things and act in ways that are completely unbiblical.
WHAT IS A WORLDVIEW?
What is a worldview? Your worldview is the way that you see the world. It is your ideology.
It is the way that you answer life’s biggest questions. Where did we come from? What is the purpose of life? Is there a God? Why is there so much evil and suffering in the world? What is the solution to the world’s problems? What happens when we die? What does it mean to be a good person?
Everyone has an answer to these questions. And therefore everyone has a worldview. Christians, atheists, Muslims, etc.
Your worldview is important because it is the basis for everything you do. Your worldview determines how you behave; the choices you make; how you relate to people; how you vote, etc.
To illustrate the importance of worldview, consider the statistics that show that 70-88% of Christian young people leave the faith after high school. Why do they do that? It’s really simple. Worldview. When they were under their parents’ roof, they went to church because their parents made them. But when they moved out, and the parental restraints were removed, their worldview took over. We cannot help but act according to our worldview.
THE FIVE BIG WORLDVIEW QUESTIONS
If you want to raise champions for Christ, children who live for Christ all the days of their life, then you must help them develop a Biblical worldview.
How do you do that? You must help them find biblical answers to five big questions.
The most dominant worldview in our culture is secular humanism. This is the primary worldview that Christian young people are being exposed to, and the primary competitor for their heart. Secular humanism is the worldview in the public schools, on TV, in music, at the movies. So you must help your kids see the difference between Christian Theism and secular humanism, and then show them how Christian Theism is superior.
ONE: GOD. WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE ABOUT GOD?
According to secular humanism, there is no God.
Atheism is the religion of the day.
Sadly, many Christians are practical atheists. They say they believe in God, but they don’t live like it.
A study by Barna in 2015 found that 76% of practicing Christians believe that “the best way to find yourself is by looking within yourself.” 72% believe that “to be fulfilled in life, you should pursue the things you desire most.” 66% believe that “the highest goal of life is to enjoy it as much as possible.”
If these Christians actually understood and believed in the God of the Bible, then they would not believe any of those things. Because these are the types of things that atheists believe, not Christians. These are the types of things that Secular Humanists believe, not Christians.
According to Christian theism, there is a God who created, rules, and interacts with the world. To understand God’s nature, consider five attributes of God.
One: The God of the Bible is personal. God is not an idea or a force or an energy. He is a person. This means that you can have a personal relationship with Him. You can communicate with Him. Hosea 6:3 “Let us strive to know the Lord.” God has emotions and feelings. He feels compassion (Is 30:18), jealousy (Ex 20:5), love (Ex 20:6), and anger (Jer 4:3-4).
Two: The God of the Bible is great. Jeremiah 10:6 “Lord, there is no one like you. You are great; your name is great in power.” God is omnipotent – almighty. There is nothing He cannot do. God is omniscient. He knows everything about everything – even the future; even our thoughts and motives. He is omnipresent. He is everywhere at the same time. God is sovereign – in charge of everything that happens; nothing happens without His knowledge and consent. God is eternal – He has always existed.
Three: The God of the Bible is good. 1 Chronicles 16:34 “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his faithful love endures forever.” He is holy – complete moral perfection. He never does wrong; He never does evil. God is caring, compassionate, faithful, forgiving, gracious, impartial, just, kind, merciful, patient, righteous, truth, and wise. There is everything to adore in God, and nothing unattractive about Him.
Four: The God of the Bible is involved with His creation.
This is opposed to Deism. Deism is the belief that there is a God who created the universe, but He is completely uninvolved in it. He wound up the universe like a clock, let it go, and then has nothing to do with it. The Biblical God is involved with His creation.
Deuteronomy 32:11 “He watches over his nest like an eagle and hovers over his young; he spreads his wings, catches him, and carries him on his feathers.”
Consider the way that the Bible describes God. He is an avenger, taking vengeance against His foes (Nah 1:2-3). He is our Heavenly Father (Num 14:18). A father is not uninvolved, but is ever-present, accessible. God is near (Deut 7:21). Not only is He omnipresent, everywhere, but He is always near. Always very close. Closer than you can imagine. The New Testament teaches that God lives inside of believers. God guides His people. He helps us find the right path; the best path for our lives (Deut 32:12; Ps 25:12). God hears us. God commanded Hagar to name her son Ishmael, “for the Lord has heard your cry of affliction (Gen 16:7-11).” God is judge. He is called “the Judge of the whole earth (Gen 18:25).” He keeps track of our deeds and will one day repay us according to what we have done (Pr 5:21). God cares for us and provides for us (1 Pet 5:7). God protects His people (Deut 32:10-11). God is our Savior, saving us from sin and Satan (Is 45:21). God sees us. He sees what we are going through; what happens to us (Ex 32:11). This is not a God who is uninvolved, inaccessible, uncaring, far off. This is a God who is intimately involved with every detail of His creation.
Five: The God of the Bible is the creator of the universe. Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” This one truth is the foundation of a biblical worldview. If God created the universe, then there is a God who is almighty, all-knowing, and we are accountable to Him.
Listen to how the Westminster Confession describes God (2.0). “There is but one only, living, and true God, who is infinite in being and perfection, a most pure spirit, invisible, without body, parts, or passions; immutable, immense, eternal, incomprehensible, almighty, most wise, most holy, most free, most absolute; working all things according to the counsel of his own immutable and most righteous will, for his own glory; most loving, gracious, merciful, long-suffering, abundant in goodness and truth, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin; the rewarder of them that diligently seek Him; and withal, most just, and terrible in his judgments, hating all sin, and who will by no means clear the guilty.”
TWO: MAN. WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE ABOUT MAN?
According to secular humanism, man evolved from lower life forms over millions of years. Man is just a naked ape; a highly intelligent animal. Voddie Baucham wrote, “Secular Humanism views man as the end result of random evolutionary processes.”
Christian Theism views man as a special creation of God. This can be explained with four statements about the nature of man.
One: God created man in His image.
Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, the whole earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.’”
Mankind is the only part of creation made in God’s image, and God placed man in charge of the rest of creation. What does it mean that man was created in God’s image? It means that people were created to reflect God’s glory; they were created to be like God. The rest of creation does not have this privilege. In contrast, Secular Humanism believes that people were not created; they evolved accidentally over millions of years.
Two: Because people are uniquely made in the image of God, they have unique dignity.
People are worthy of honor and respect just because they are people made in the image of God. Regardless of race, socio-economic background, religion, intelligence, age, talent, physical attractiveness, each person is worthy of the utmost honor and respect.
We see this in the way that God punished murder, as opposed to killing an animal. God allowed people to kill and eat animals, and in fact ordered the Israelites to offer regular sacrifices of animals. On the other hand, God prohibited murder – the unjust killing of a human being.
To uphold the sanctity of human life, God prescribed the punishment for murder to be execution. Genesis 9:6 “Whoever sheds human blood, by humans his blood will be shed, for God made humans in his image.”
Secular Humanism, on the other hand, believes that human beings are just highly intelligent animals.
This leads to two errors. On the one hand, Secular Humanists overvalue animals, ascribing to them the same dignity as human beings. On the other hand, Secular Humanists devalue human beings, treating them as no more important than animals.
Three: Because of the Fall, people are inclined to sin.
When God first made people, there was no sin. There was only one rule. Do not eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But Adam and Eve disobeyed God, and their sin changed everything. Every one of their descendants was born into sin.
Psalm 51:5 “Indeed, I was guilty when I was born; I was sinful when my mother conceived me.”
From the moment of conception, people are sinful.
Our natural inclination is worship creation rather than the creator. Our natural inclination is to serve ourselves rather than God. Our natural inclination is to love what feels good rather than what is good. Our natural inclination is to rule, not to be ruled.
According to Christian Theism, people are not inherently good; they are inherently bad.
Anyone who disagrees must not have children of their own.
As a result, people need restraints; children need parents; people need the church; people need the government; and the government itself needs checks and balances – limited power.
Secular Humanism, on the other hand, begins with the assumption that human beings are naturally good, and that corruption is the result of their environment. This leads to Utopianism, the idea that if we just set up the right government system, if we just passed the right laws, if we just gave people the right medicines for their mental illness, then we could achieve a perfect society – heaven on earth.
Four: The remedy for man’s sin is the atonement of Jesus Christ.
Colossians 1:13-15 “13 He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves. 14 In him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.”
The only way that people can be reconciled to God and cured from the disease of sin is through salvation. And that salvation is available to us when we put our faith in the person and work of Jesus Christ. When God saves us, He forgives our sins, and He gives us a new heart with the desire and power to please Him. Through Jesus Christ we are reconciled to God, and can achieve peace and harmony with our neighbors.
THREE: TRUTH. WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE ABOUT TRUTH?
According to Secular Humanism, truth is relative. What’s true for me is not necessarily true for you.
But according to Christian Theism, truth is objective, absolute, and universal. The same is true of morality, as we’ll see in a few minutes.
Paul Shockley defines the Biblical notion of truth like this: Truth is “that which corresponds to reality, identifies things as they actually are, can never fail, diminish, change, or be extinguished, must be able to be expressed in propositional statements, and is sourced in the God of the Bible who is the author of all truth.”
When Jesus was on trial, Pontius Pilate illustrates the Secular Humanist view of truth. John 8:37-38
37 “You are a king then?” Pilate asked.
“You say that I’m a king,” Jesus replied. “I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”
38 “What is truth?” said Pilate.
According to Pilate, truth either does not exist, or it is relative, or it is unknowable.
But Jesus was very clear about the nature of truth. He claimed to testify the truth. And He said that everyone who is sincerely seeking the truth listens to Him.
John 8:32 “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
The Old Testament refers to the Lord as the “God of truth (Ps 31:5).”
According to Christian Theism, there is such a thing as true truth.
There’s not your truth, and my truth; there is only the truth.
We only hold to the truth when agree with the truth.
Something is true regardless of how you feel about it; regardless of where you live; regardless of when you live; regardless of who you are.
According to Christian Theism, truth is exclusive. Every idea is not equally valid. Everyone’s opinion is not equally correct. Some ideas are false. Some ideas are true. Some opinions are true, and some are false.
Sadly, this is not what most young people believe today. The Nehemiah Institute has discovered that 85% of Christian teens do not believe in the existence of absolute truth. They believe that truth is situational and relative.
According to Secular Humanism, we must be tolerant of all ideas, because truth is relative. We must not criticize another person’s ideas. We must not say that another person’s ideas are wrong. Or another person’s religion is wrong. Because there is no true truth. Truth is relative.
But according to Christian Theism, we must be tolerant of people, but intolerant of ideas.
Why? Because not all ideas are equally valid; only those which correspond to reality.
And second, ideas have consequences. The Communists murdered over one hundred million people in the twentieth century. Why? Because of the ideas that they believed to be true. Hitler and the Nazis murdered over three million Jews. Why? Because of the ideas that they believed.
We must stand up for the truth and point out falsehood, because truth is absolute, objective, and universal, and because ideas have consequences.
FOUR: KNOWLEDGE. WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE ABOUT KNOWLEDGE?
How do we know what we know?
Secular Humanism believes that all knowledge is derived from the study of nature through reason and the scientific method. There is no God. Nature is all that exists. Therefore, we can only know things through reason and science. In other words, “I don’t believe anything unless science proves it.”
This view is called scientism. Scientism is the belief that science is the only valid source of human knowledge. It is a religion. And according to Barna Group, 10% of practicing Christians believe this.
Christian Theism believes that there is a God who created everything, and therefore we can know things through reason and revelation.
Proverbs 9:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
How do we grow in knowledge? Through a right relationship with God. By knowing God and His word, we can come to an accurate understanding of the world around us.
Colossians 2:3 “In Him [Christ] are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
In order to understand the world around us, we must know Christ.
Christian Theism says that God has made knowledge available through two books – the book of nature, or natural revelation, and the Bible, or special revelation.
Through the study of nature, or science, we can learn much about God and about the world (Ps 19:1; Ps 50:6; Rm 1:18-20). But because our reason and understanding are limited, we must also study the Bible, which is truth without any mixture of error for its matter (Jn 17:17). As we study the world through the lens of Scripture, we can come to an accurate understanding of the world around us.
Christian Theism is not opposed to science. The so-called war between science and religion is not real. It is a false dichotomy. Christian Theism is not opposed to science at all. In fact, Christianity gave birth to science.
James Sire wrote, “Galileo as well as other renaissance scientists such as Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), Francis Bacon (1561-1626) and Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) held fully Christian worldviews.”
But Christian Theism recognizes the limits of science. Think of how often science gets it wrong. Have you been to the doctor lately? Think of all the cases in which science has changed its mind.
There was a debate between the Christian apologist William Lane Craig and Oxford chemist Peter Atkins. Atkins said that science is omnipotent – there is nothing that science cannot explain. Craig smiled, disagreed, and then went on to list five things science cannot explain: logical and mathematical truths, metaphysical truths like the existence of other minds and the external world, ethical values, aesthetic judgments, and even the scientific method itself.
FIVE: ETHICS: WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE ABOUT ETHICS?
In other words, how do we determine right and wrong? How do we determine what is moral and immoral? How do we determine the way things ought to be? How do we determine what it means to be a good person?
According to Secular Humanism, morality is relative. Similar to its view of truth, Secular Humanism says, “What’s right for you may not be right for me.”
Sadly, this is what many practicing Christians believe. 76% of practicing Christians believe that “people should not criticize someone else’s life choices.” 40% of practicing Christians believe that “any kind of sexual expression between two consenting adults is acceptable.”
Christian Theism believes three big ideas about ethics.
One: God determines what is right and wrong.
Secular Humanism begins with man as its starting point. Right and wrong are what we think they should be, based on our best thinking.
Christian Theism begins with God. He decides what is right and wrong. 1 Chronicles 16:34 “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his faithful love endures forever.”
Christian Theism believes that God is the source and standard of ethics. God is righteous, and just, and loving, and righteousness, justice, and love are defined by His nature.
We are only righteous if our righteousness conforms to God’s righteousness. We are only just and loving if our justice and love conform to God’s justice and love.
Two: The Bible gives us clear instructions on ethics.
The Bible reveals to us God’s judgments; God’s ethics. It tells us what is right and what is wrong. It tells us how life a good life; a life of justice, fairness, and love.
Psalm 119:6 “How can young man keep his way pure? By keeping your word.”
Three: Christian Theism believes that morality is objective, universal, and absolute.
It is objective because morality is not determined by your opinions or feelings. An action may be wrong even if you don’t think it is, and even if you don’t feel that it is.
Morality is universal because it applies to all people of all cultures and all time periods. Even though slavery was legal in the eighteenth century, and many people owned slaves, it was still wrong.
And it is absolute because it applies to all circumstances, regardless of your intentions or the result produced by the behavior.
The Secular Humanist view of ethics is illustrated by the statement that “love is love.” In other words, love is whatever you think it is. And since love is good, then however you define love must be good. If two men want to get married, love is love. Two women? Love is love. A man and two women? Love is love. To men and two women? Love is love.
No. Christian Theism believes that God is love (1 John 4:8). And we are only loving to the degree that our character conforms to the character of God.
Your beliefs determine your choices. Your worldview determines everything about you. If you believe that the world is going to end next week, then that is going to radically affect your choices.
If you want your children to be lifelong followers and servants of Jesus Christ, then you have to make sure that they have a Biblical worldview. Don’t just teach them what the Bible says. Find out what they really believe.
Every once in a while, sit down with your kids and ask them five questions:
One: Does everyone pray to the same god or spirit, even though we call him by different names?
Two: Are animals just as important as people?
Three: Is what’s true for you also true for everyone else?
Four: Is science the only way to know something for sure?
Five: Can a person’s behavior be sinful, even if they aren’t hurting anybody?
Their answers to these questions will give you an idea of what their worldview is. And then you can get to work helping them develop a Biblical worldview.
- What is a worldview, and why is it important?
- To help your kids develop a Biblical worldview, you must help them answer the five big worldview questions. The first question is What do you believe about God? How does secular humanism answer this question? How does Christian theism answer this question? Why is the answer of Christian theism superior?
- Read Jeremiah 10:6 and 1 Chronicles 16:34. What are some of the attributes of God according to Christian theism?
- Read Genesis 1:27. The second worldview question is What do you believe about man? How does secular humanism answer this question? How does Christian theism answer this question? Why is the answer given by Christian theism superior?
- Read John 8:32. The third worldview question is What do you believe about truth? How does secular humanism answer this question? How does Christian theism answer this question? Why is the Biblical view of truth superior?
- Read Proverbs 9:10. The fourth worldview question is What do you believe about knowledge? How does secular humanism answer this question? How does Christian theism answer this question? Why is the Biblical view of knowledge superior?
- Is Christian theism at war with science? Explain.
- Read Isaiah 45:19. The fifth worldview question What do you believe about ethics? How does secular humanism answer this question? How does Christian theism answer this question? Why is Christian theism superior?
- What does it mean that morality is objective, universal, and absolute?
- What can you do to help your children resist the pull of secular humanism and cultivate a Biblical worldview?