Why Worldview Matters
“The worldview of a people is their way of looking at reality. It consists of basic assumptions and images that provide a more or less coherent, though not necessarily accurate, way of thinking about the world” – Michael Kearney 1
A worldview attempts to answer life’s deepest questions such as – what is ultimate reality, what is the nature of God, how did the universe come into being, what is the nature of humanity, why are we here, what happens when we die, and how is truth known?
People from different cultures interpret reality differently because they hold different presuppositions about the way life is or the way they think life ought to be. We are not born with our worldview, we form it within the context of our culture, religious beliefs, and family. Cultural and family standards seem normal to us and are often accepted unchallenged, primarily because an alternative has not been presented to us as an option. Sometimes life events, interacting with someone from another culture or even hearing new ideas while attending college will reshape our worldview. Most of the time, though, we are comfortable with our worldview and resist changing it.
Although not everything we learn from our culture is contrary to God’s truth, the bible challenges us to transform our worldview by incorporating God’s truth into our lives. By doing so, not only are we transformed as a person, we do no less than change our entire purpose for living:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. – Romans 12:1-2 (Emphasis mine)
No matter which culture we grow up in or what kind of upbringing we have, when we are born again we come to a fork in the road of life. We begin to travel a new path unlearning some things we incorrectly believe to be true as we conform our worldview to biblical truth. Though our worldview often changes radically when we come to faith, Christians never stop discovering and removing false beliefs from their worldview. It is a lifelong process.
Why Worldview Matters
Worldview matters because we make decisions in life, even the most important ones, based upon it. It is our set of directions, a sort of internal map by which we perceive reality and navigate through it.
Worldview matters because some are cognizant of the spiritual realm while others are not. One cannot effectively battle a foe he doesn’t believe exists. 1 Peter 5:8
Worldview matters because it influences our morality and whether we live for this life or for the next. 1 Peter 4:3
Worldview affects a people’s prosperity. A worldview such as Hinduism that believes one should accept his lot in life will foster more entrenched poverty than one that believes God has given humanity dominion over the earth.
Worldview matters because we act on what seems right to us, even if its end is destruction. Proverbs 14:12
Transforming our worldview with biblical truth is necessary because the heart is deceitful. Jeremiah 17:9
Transforming our worldview with biblical truth is important because Satan continually challenges those he deceives with the question – has God said? If he can get us to substitute man’s folly for God’s wisdom then he promotes his cruel, hateful goals.
Worldview matters because the non-Christian worldview is blinded by Satan. 2 Cor. 4:4
Worldview matters because if we don’t know the truth (as revealed by God in the Bible) about ultimate reality, or the nature of God, or how the universe came into being, or about the sinful nature of our own humanity, or the source of morals and ethics, or the reason for the human condition or the solution to the human condition, or what happens when we die or the meaning of history as revealed in God’s word, then our hearts or Satan will deceive us and blind us to the peril we face in this life and in the next.
1. Michael Kearney, World View, (Chandler and Sharp, 1984), 41