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Miranda Writes: Worldview Wars, Part 1




by Omar Miranda



Last week we used a term that might be new to you: “worldview.” What does that mean? A worldview is, well, how you view the world. Today and next week we’ll be discussing this important term and how it affects not only your life, but how you share your faith.

The apostle Paul warns us in Colossians 2:8: “Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ” (NLT).¹ We need to be very careful that we don’t think ourselves out of our faith and right into hell. I’m not telling you that you shouldn’t study different faiths and what others believe; after all, how else are we to win people over (Acts 17:16-34) if we don’t know where they are coming from? All I’m saying is that you need to be careful so that you are well grounded in your Christian faith, constantly praying for wisdom when reading and studying, and have several people grounded in their Christian faith whom you can bounce all this information off of. I speak from experience: I spent the better part of 10 years being fooled by “empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense.”

Now, the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview provides a helpful explanation of what worldviews are all about:

“Every human being has a worldview, a framework for understanding and interacting with the physical world, other humans, and the Divine.

“Every worldview tells a story—an explanation of life and our place in it—that makes sense to the one who holds it.

“The story line of a worldview typically answers five questions: Where did we come from? What kind of beings are we? Why are we in our condition? How do we improve our condition? Where is all this headed?

“In the Christian worldview these answers come to us by revelation from God, as He speaks to us from His Word, the Bible:

•    Whence? God made us and all things.
•    What? We are His creatures, and human beings are His image-bearers.
•    Why? The creation suffers, and so do people, because of the fall into sin.
•    How? The only way out of our sinfulness into a renewed, restored, and abundant life is through the redemption accomplished by Jesus Christ.
•    Where? Ultimately Jesus will bring His followers home to dwell with Him in a new heaven and new earth, where righteousness dwells.”²

Do you remember last week when we looked at the song “Firework” and explored the worldview behind it? We saw that the worldview behind the singer was one that was focused not on God but on herself—on human beings to be more exact. That worldview is called humanism and it comes in many forms. Many Eastern religions appeal to the same lie, which basically states that everything you need is in you and, if you work hard enough, there’s nothing you can’t achieve. In other words, I don’t need anyone; I can handle things all by myself, and I have what it takes to get things done.

So why is understanding what we believe and what others believe so important? Well, the simple answer is that our thinking controls our beliefs, and both these elements control our behavior. 

Remember my article entitled “Stinking Thinking”? (If not, go back to the archive and find it.) Here’s the bottom line: If we want to behave like Christians, we’ve got to start thinking and believing like Christians.

Paul wrote: “I am not anyone’s slave. But I have become a slave to everyone, so that I can win as many people as possible. When I am with the Jews, I live like a Jew to win Jews. They are ruled by the Law of Moses, and I am not. But I live by the Law to win them. And when I am with people who are not ruled by the Law, I forget about the Law to win them. Of course, I never really forget about the law of God. In fact, I am ruled by the law of Christ. When I am with people whose faith is weak, I live as they do to win them. I do everything I can to win everyone I possibly can. I do all this for the good news, because I want to share in its blessings” (1 Corinthians 9:19-23, CEV).³

 Don’t misinterpret this. Paul was not saying that it’s OK to totally throw out your own beliefs and act like everybody else whenever you feel like it because your Christian beliefs aren’t important. No, he was saying the opposite: Our beliefs are so important that we attempt to understand where other people are coming from (their worldviews) so that we meet them where they are, begin to build relational bridges, and then share Jesus with them! We can’t expect people to come to us just because we’re Christians, can we? We have to try to understand what makes them tick. This is the whole “fishers of men” thing Jesus was talking about.

Next week we’ll discuss some main worldviews, how they’re different from what a Christian believes, and how we can attempt to “bait our hook” in order to catch people for Jesus.

Until then, remember these things: God’s way is always the best way. Life is full of decisions, so make yours good ones. Put God first in your life, and you can’t go wrong.

Feel free to contact me: you can e-mail me at omarmiranda@earthlink.net; or you can keep up with me on Facebook; or you can read more of my stuff on Miranda Writes, at www.insightmagazine.org; or you can check me out or send me a message at my Web site, thriveatlife.org; or you can reach me via snail mail (slow!) at the address printed below.

In Christ,
Omar Miranda, certified Christian counselor
Abundant Life Ministries
155 Earl Street
Plainville, GA 30733
Phone: 770-354-2912

¹Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
²www.colsoncenter.org/search-library/framework-of-truth.
³Scripture quotations identified CEV are from the Contemporary English Version. Copyright © American Bible Society 1991, 1995. Used by permission.

Omar Miranda is a Christian counselor with 20 years of experience working with youth in public and private middle and high schools. He’s married and has two kids. He enjoys teaching the youth at his church, reading, writing, gardening, and camping. He’s a recovering knucklehead who spent a lot of time in the past doing stupid stuff away from God. He’s been back with God for years now and is eager to share what he’s learned from his experiences by answering any questions you may have about life, the Christian life, Jesus, spiritual matters, and relationships in his column, Miranda Writes.
 





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