Occasional editorials written since 2001 

Passion yes, aggression no. Harry Potter All roads lead to God?  
Value of a soul. Homosexuality Passion of the Christ
Islam and Christianity  Love not the world Persecution coming
Biblical or secular worldview? Freewill offering Letter or Spirit?
Faith The sacred and non-sacred Test your self
Discernment The gospel of me Repentance
Sinking sand That awful four letter word Sin
When God offends. Walls, gates and electric fences The curse of pornography

 

Biblical or secular worldview?

 

I think it is safe to say that God believes scripture.

All of it. 

It is God inspired, through men, as a great gift to us all.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, (2 Timothy 3:16)

And because scripture is inspired by God He watches over every part of it to ensure that it will be fully outworked, fully fulfilled.

"For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. (Matthew 5:18)

God even believes the difficult, "doesn't stand up to natural reasoning" parts.

Jesus quoted from the story of Jonah and the great fish and He spoke of Noah and the great flood. The super-natural.

"For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. "The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here. (Matthew 12:40-41)

"For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, "and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. (Matthew 24:38-39)

Yes. God believes His written word. All of it.

The angels, even the fallen ones, believe scripture. All of it.

Those of us who have been involved in deliverance ministry over many years can all recount the times when manifesting demonic would change from arrogance to trembling when scripture was read out loud in the ministry session, especially the scriptures that spoke of satan's eventual God written destiny. (Rev.20:10)

You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe--and tremble! (James 2:19)

When satan was 'tempting' Jesus to obey him he quoted scripture knowing that they both knew it was God given and not open to debate.

Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, "If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here. "For it is written: 'He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you,' "and, 'In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.'" (Luke 4:9-11)

The Old Testament Prophets and the New Testament Apostles believed God's Word. All of it. Much of scripture came through them.

Yes. God's Word is Truth.

We are not to just examine the Truth, or just theologise the Truth, or just learn the Truth. We are not even to just agree with the Truth. We are believe it and do it. 

We are to eat it until it becomes part of us.  Until the Word becomes flesh.

Jesus is the Word. (John 1:1)  The Word became flesh (John 1:14)   And His life was in His Blood  (Leviticus 17:11)

"Whoever eats My flesh (my word) and drinks My blood (my life) has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. "For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed. (John 6:54-55)   [words in brackets and italics mine]

When we take the bread in communion we acknowledge that we are eating The Word and we want The Word to become flesh in our lives. When we drink the wine we want the very Life of Jesus to flow through our lives. The Word of God (His Flesh) and the Life of Jesus (His Blood) are as inseparable as our flesh and blood is. One without the other cannot exist.

There may be many parts of the Bible we do not understand until we receive teaching clarification or parts that seem to conflict and need teaching clarification, but if there are parts of the Bible that we simply choose not to accept as truth because the world or our intellect has successfully persuaded us otherwise, then when we eat the bread we do not properly discern the Body of Christ. Our actions in the sacrament of communion outwardly proclaim that we eat the Word of God when in fact we do not.

Jesus spoke of 'every word' that proceeds from the mouth of God as being Bread.

But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'" (Matthew 4:4)

If you don't eat the Word (every word) as Bread from the Hand of God, it might be wise to not eat the bread and drink the wine.

But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. (1 Corinthians 11:28-29)

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? - unless indeed you are disqualified. (2 Corinthians 13:5)

I recently bought a book in a Christian bookstore on how the Bible came to be translated. Within a few pages I was reading that the story of Moses getting the ten commandments on Sinai never really happened and was really a myth and developed from a Babylonian story.

A learned theologian preaching as a stand in minister some years ago told the congregation that I was then a member of, that the numbers given in the Bible of those who were led through the wilderness under Moses could not be accurate. He pointed out what he believed were inaccuracies in the events surrounding the birth of Jesus. In fact nearly every week in his teaching he undermined a part of God's Word. (When he finally left the church after his stand in duty was over I went to the pulpit when the church was empty and asked God's forgiveness for allowing such a man to speak from the pulpit and I declared from the pulpit that God's Word was Truth)

A ministry leader in conversation told me that the Genesis account of creation was simply a tale for uncivilised peoples in the world.

Various commentaries tell me that this creation is not the original but a re-creation. That there was another creation before ours that was destroyed by a flood. That what Jesus called 'the beginning' (Mark 10:6) was actually a new beginning.

A friend of mine and a well known international speaker was taken aside at the end of the first session in a full day conference and chastised by the Church pastors for speaking on creation since they had affirmed evolution to their flock and the speaker was undermining them.

On and on I could go with such stories. All from Christians. All drilling hole after hole in belief in the Word of God.

Jesus came that we might have abundant life but the 'god of this world' begins his work in our lives by stealing the Word from our hearts line by line. Did God really say...?  If that is the word of God then how come..?

He thus kills our certainty about the inerrancy of God's Word and thus our wholehearted faith which destroys our inheritance of abundant spiritual life.  Where we deny God's Word in one area we have no faith in that area. One area soon becomes two, and two three, as the 'rot' sets in. We become double minded, gaining nothing.

"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10 )

Either the word of God is a sturdy reliable lamp (full of oil) unto our feet and a bright light on to our path or it is merely a flickering candle in strong wind and in real danger of going out and leaving us in darkness.

I have made my choice.

Whatever we truly believe will become flesh and then be naturally out-worked by our doing, or our not doing.

Mere lip service belief in scripture without the transforming evidence of that belief at work is of little value.

The Apostle James wrote a lengthy portion of scripture to emphasise this.

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe-and tremble! But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. (James 2:14-26)

What James was saying was this..

Truth that does not transform.. is truth that is not believed.

And that brings us to the clash of what is called 'worldviews'

What is a 'world view'? James Sire in his book ‘The Universe next door’ said a  world view is..

‘A set of presuppositions or assumptions which we hold (consciously or unconsciously) about the basic make up of the world.

In my words I would say that a worldview is a mind set. It's what we really think, not what we say we think.

Everyone of us, quite naturally 'do works' according to our worldview.

A very obvious example is how Muslim fundamentalists do 'works' according to their worldview. Part of their worldview is that “America is the great satan and Britain is the little satan” and thus they serve 'god' accordingly by attacking 'satan'. Thus 9/11 in America and 7/7 in England. Part of their worldview is that Israel is an anathema to their 'god' and thus they 'work' towards seeing Israel being wiped from the face of this world along with all Hebrews. 

Thus a worldview, bears its own fruit. It out 'works'

Let's look briefly at two worldviews which are at opposite ends of the spectrum.

Animism is the belief that spirit power and spirit beings play a role in everything that happens. This world view is most common among indigenous peoples around the world. Their world view is made up of ancestral spirits, nature spirits and good and evil spirits. Usually there is a belief in a supreme spirit being, but he would be seen to be far away and impersonal so that everyday matters were always in the domain of any number of spirit beings with varying degrees of influence, temperament and power. All these spirit beings may at various times apply themselves to exert their influence for good or evil in a person’s life.  The shaman or witchdoctor is the tribal person who - it is believed - can appease or manipulate these spirit beings in order to bring about certain events in the lives of individuals or tribes.  Therefore with faith in this worldview when someone becomes sick it is immediately seen as a spiritual matter. Either someone has manipulated the spirits to bring a curse upon that person, or the person has upset one of the spirits and therefore that spirit must be appeased by ritual or / and sacrificial offerings. If an enemy becomes stronger it is believed that they have become more successful in manipulating the spirit realm.

The western worldview could not be more opposite.

The western worldview is that, while their may or may not be a ‘Deity’ out there and up there’ He and his angels play very little part - if any - in day to day events on the ground. Occasionally there may be a miracle which might imply a momentary involvement in earthly matters, but in general all events are explainable through purely scientific, medical or psychological knowledge

In other words if there is a spiritual realm it is far removed from the comings and goings of everyday life.  Natural logic and reason rule leaving little or no room for the super – natural.

Scriptural accounts of God's super natural - such as Noah's flood, Jonah and the great fish, the parting of the Red Sea, the fall of Jericho's walls are politely dismissed as extracts from pagan myth.  Jesus' miracles are reasoned away. Demons are something that only uneducated superstitious peoples believed in. Angels are cute, but not reality. Etc

Living in the wonderful freedom of democracy we get used to having our rights and voting for who we would have rule over us at any time. Humanism rules. Unlike, say Muslim countries, everyman is free to set his own moral plum line as long as the out-working of that personal morality does not adversely effect his neighbour. 

We are offended at being told how to live, yet like blotting paper, we are incredibly open to having a lifestyle and worldview modelled for us on television or cinema.  Like the pied piper, where the media takes us, we go. We like the tune they play. Nudity, sex, sexual perversion, extreme violence, witchcraft and swearing no longer offend us since these things, once repugnant to our society, have been normalised by years of media soaking.  Pornography has now become main stream as available options on our television and computer screens. 

We worship celebrity status and great wealth, irrespective of how that status and wealth was gained. As the host of celebrity magazines prove, we have an insatiable appetite to see how the rich and famous live, what they wear, what they believe in. What Madonna believes will effect millions.

Despite being carnal we have become very open to spirituality, as long as we are in control of that spirituality. New age philosophies that emphasise our 'god nature', crystals, mantras or furniture arrangements that promise us greater control over events in our lives. Buddha’s abound as a design accessory.. Witchcraft spells that may bring us a lover and Voodoo kits to get even with are on sale in some craft shops.  Yes, spirituality is currently in.

Harry Potter arrived on the scene with perfect timing

As a left over from earlier days when we still call our society 'Christian'.

This worldview is the one which we in the western world get 'saved' out of.

The Biblical worldview is at absolute odds with this western worldview.

The Biblical worldview is that in this God created, God sustained world that we live in, God is Sovereign, God is all powerful, and God is everywhere, with us, interacting with us.

For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. (Colossians 1:16-17)

‘Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, "Surely the darkness shall fall on me," Even the night shall be light about me; Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You. (Psalms 139:7-12)

The Biblical worldview is that while man has freewill choice of who to submit his heart and will to, God has final and sovereign authority over all matter. For example..

Fish.. Then Jesus said to them, "Children, have you any food?" They answered Him, "No." And He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish. (John 21:5-6)

Wind and waves.. Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still!" And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. (Mark 4:39)

Demonic powers and sickness. When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, (Matthew 8:16)

The Biblical worldview is that satan, as the 'god of this age', has every layer of fallen society fully under his sway. 

We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. (1 John 5:19)

..whose minds the god of this age has blinded... (2 Corinthians 4:3-4)

The Biblical worldview is that we are always wrestling against the influences of high spiritual powers of darkness working through or manifesting their 'works' through flesh and blood

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (Ephesians 6:12)

The Biblical worldview is one of blessings and curses, depending on whom and whose words one chooses to live, or abide in.

"If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. (John 15:7)

"If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. (John 15:6)

Upon salvation (being 'born again') the 'old things' - the western worldview - must pass away and make way for the new Kingdom worldview.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

However a recent study by the Barna Group showed that only 9% of born-again Christians now have a Biblical worldview. The same research showed that only 51% of Pastors had a Biblical worldview.

(A random survey of 200 Anglican ministers by the Sunday Times in January1997 showed somewhat similar figures. 31% did not believe in the virgin birth. 21% did not believe there was 'a devil'. 33% said that sexual intercourse before marriage was not sinful. 33% said the same about homosexuality. Some did not believe in the miracles of Jesus or the second coming. Four did not believe there was a place called Heaven)

If those Barna Group figures do represent the Body of Christ throughout the western world - which I have no doubt that they do - then that means that just over 90% of born again Christians and about half of all Pastors have a dual world view. A mixture.

Part Biblical worldview / part secular worldview.

And there lies the terrible problem. God will only bless what He can bless.

God hates mixtures.

Jesus likened God's Word to seed, telling His listeners that when it took root it would produce a harvest in due time. Only Kingdom seed should be allowed to take root within the field of our hearts. A mixture of Kingdom seed and world's seed is utterly unblessable.

'..You shall not sow your field with mixed seed...'  Leviticus 19:19

God's Kingdom worldview is like a hot tap and the world's world view is like a cold tap. Mixing the two to produce a lukewarm worldview with accompanying works will cause Jesus to vomit us out of His mouth.  Very strong words. Very strong warning.

"I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. "So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. (Revelation 3:15-16)

God asks that His children believe Him and desire to live out of a 100% Biblical worldview. Not a 60% Biblical worldview, or a 75% Biblical worldview. 

In other words 'Our Father who art in Heaven' asks us to see the world around us and events that we encounter through new Kingdom eyes of faith. For without faith it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6)

God states with a clear note and a clear warning that anyone who makes friends with the world (and thus its worldview) makes an enemy of Him.

Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (James 4:4)

The god of this world - the prince of the air - has rulership over the minds - and thus the mindsets - of unredeemed men and women, and of course over the secular media.

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, (Ephesians 2:1-2)

The Bible tells us that while Jesus 'the Truth' came to bring us life abundantly, the thief - the devil - comes only to steal, kill and destroy. (John 10:10)

Why that order?  To steal.. to kill.. to destroy.

If the Truth sets us free, if the Truth brings us into God's abundant life, then the first thing the thief must do is to steal the Word from us. That in turn kills the life of God within us, and that leads on to our destruction.

While we cannot escape being bombarded with our societies 'truths' the good news is that as Christians we can - indeed we are expected to - choose what to allow in and what we keep out. If Jesus cannot agree with our thinking, we are to cast our thinking down. As Carl Tuttle said "their is nothing wrong with your culture until it conflicts with the culture of the Kingdom of God"

..casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, (2 Corinthians 10:5)

In Romans 12:2 Paul tells us

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:2)

If the world sways our outlook on life - our worldview - then we have been cheated of the truth that sets us free. (John 8:32)

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. (Colossians 2:8)

In other words the world's views are not to judge scripture, but rather scripture is to judge the world's views.

That bears repeating. 'the world's views are not to judge scripture, but rather scripture is to judge the world's views'

Will the world mock you?  Yes   Will God care?  No.

Canadian philosopher Darrell Furgason in an article written for Creation magazine (Sept 2006), addressing the issue of worldviews, said "western missionaries generally brought the gospel in the way they learned it, as a purely soul saving faith, with no real bearing on anything else - religion was mostly a personal matter, nothing to do with things like politics, science, law, economics... we taught them what to believe but not what to do about it"

This is indeed an accurate picture of how we as western Christians have (in general) been taught to develop our worldview. We have two separate compartments for life. One for private spiritual matters of faith which may include a manicured behaviour pattern for church, prayer meetings etc and the other a 'natural' behaviour pattern for every day matters in home, business and recreation. With very little overlap between the two compartments.

We see our Christianity as something to save our souls but not as something that naturally outworks in everything that we do twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.

'And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord..' (Col 3:23)

We may read the Psalm which says "this is the day the Lord has made we will rejoice in it and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24) but never think for a moment that we were actually expected to rejoice and be glad in each new day.

We may read that scripture tells us not to grumble (1 Peter 4:9), but never think for a moment that we were 'not to grumble' 

We may read that we are to 'have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them' (Eph 5:11) but never translate that into not taking the kids off to see the latest Harry Potter film promoting the idea of good witchcraft versus bad witchcraft.

Perhaps biggest of all, we are commanded to forgive as we have forgiven. We can quote the Lord's prayer religiously without it ever dawning on us that we are actually meant to forgive those who have trespassed against us. (Matt 6:12)

When I do a teaching on forgiveness and ask those who now understand that they are to forgive those who have trespassed against them, and now need to do so, to stand up, usually the majority stand up. They always knew the scriptures but had never thought of incorporating it into their daily outlook on life.

God doesn't just listen to the words (outward appearance only) he also looks at the heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)

It is when words and heart are in agreement that the Kingdom of God activates. It begins with salvation.

..that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9)

Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may." And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God." (Acts 8:37)

God rightly looks for those who worship Him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23)

In other words we mean what we sing, and we sing what we mean. We pray what we mean, and we mean what we pray. We speak what we mean, and we mean what we speak.

He looks for truth in the 'inward parts'

Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts .. (Psalms 51:6a)

When lips agree with the Biblical worldview but the heart really is in agreement with much of societies world view then God is greatly displeased. He calls us hypocrites (people acting out a part)

'He answered and said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honours Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. (Mark 7:6)

Was there ever a day when these words rang truer?

In scripture Egypt stands for 'the world' and Pharaoh stands for satan the ruler of this world.

Getting us out of Egypt is God's work. Getting Egypt out of us is our work. Hence the epistles on how to develop a proper Kingdom worldview. We have choices. Whose voice to we listen to? To whom do we give authority to speak into our lives?  The world or Jesus? 

When we choose right the power of Heaven is ours within and without to help us to succeed. The God of peace will be with us. The truth transforms. Our Kingdom worldview then becomes a powerful witness to a dying world.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. (Philippians 4:8-9)

We hold so easily to a 'form of godliness' but deny its divine power to transform our lives.

We look at the food, study the food, discuss the food, argue over the food, teach about the food, but never actually consider eating it. Thus the Word never becomes flesh.

Thus we are weak and beggarly Christians. Thus our churches have no spiritual power. Thus we are vulnerable to ever increasing levels of deception.

We are commanded not to take the Name of the Lord in vain, and we presume that this means we do not use His Name carelessly, or worse, as a swear word.

However Timothy Warner and Neil Anderson in their book ‘the Beginners Guide to Spiritual warfare’ give another very challenging view. A view I find myself in agreement with. They write ..

‘That is certainly part of the meaning, but God was also talking about His people being called the children of God and then not living in a way that would bring glory to Him. If we profess Him but live for the devil it destroys our witness and brings shame to His name”

In other words if I call myself a 'Christian' - a term which was given to the first disciples (Acts 11:26)- then I am taking the honour God's Name upon my life.

If I call myself a child of God (John 1:12) or a son of God (Romans 8:14) or a man of God ( 2 Timothy 3:17) then I am taking God's Holy Name upon my self.

But dare I take that Name in vain.

Dare I profess to belong to God and live a life that identifies with the god of this world.

"Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity." (2 Timothy 2:19b)

As mentioned in 'the curse of evolution'  an ordained minister, from Lancaster, England, writing to the Times said,

"..Sometimes creationism is smuggled into state schools, often through visiting speakers. That is a great concern as creationism, whether as young earth creationism or intelligent design, can only be described as scientific nonsense.."

In other words he declares as a man who takes God's Name upon his life that the Bible is fallible while man's current scientific finding are infallible. He has a secular worldview mixed in with his Biblical worldview, and his 'works' are in accordance with his worldview.

The man who dares take God's Name upon His life and call himself a Christian - a follower of God's Christ - should be both standing upon the Word of God and standing underneath the Word of God.

Just a little to the right, or just a little to the left and such a man is uncovered. Vulnerable to deception and its consequences.

Just a little?  Yes, just a little. Paul warned the church saying,

    A little leaven leavens the whole lump. (Galatians 5:9)

Paul also earnestly tells us, as believers to

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? --unless indeed you are disqualified. (2 Corinthians 13:5)

Let's check now and see whether we are in the faith by checking our Biblical worldview.

Here are two separate columns.

One has some aspects involved in the Biblical worldview, with the secular western world's counter view in the second column.

Imagine there is a moveable slider between the two columns and that the slider represents your current outlook on life.

As you go through the list where would you position the slider to show what you REALLY believe..

Firmly in the left column - the Biblical worldview, or wholly in the right column.

Or perhaps 'on the fence' somewhere in between the two. Holding to a mixture.

Biblical world view - which has Holy Spirit approval

Western worldview - which has spirit of this age approval
 

God created the world

 Where are we?

World evolved itself by time and chance.

Sin entered the world through Adam

No first Adam - since men evolved from apes

Jesus born of a virgin

Jesus had a natural, man conceived birth

Jesus is God incarnate   Jesus was a good man and a prophet
Jesus rose from the dead   Jesus swooned and escaped from the grave
Scripture is God's true Word   Bible is hugely flawed.  Da Vinci code etc
There is one way to God. Jesus.   Many ways - As long as you are sincere..

Devil is real

Devil is not real

Heaven is for the redeemed

All go to heaven (except perhaps Hitler etc)

Homosexual sex is sinful

Individual's choice. Homosexual sex is ok

Fornication (sex before marriage) is sin   Each individual makes own moral choices

Every life is precious to God

Good people are precious, bad people are not

God's opinion matters most

Man's opinion matters most

Husband is head of family

Whoever is strongest personality heads family

Discipline children

Do not discipline children

Have nothing to do with occult

Harry Potter / White witchcraft / New age / ok

Marriage is a covenant

Marriage is a contract

Angels and demons are real   Angels and demons are imaginary beings

Israel is special to God

The world would be better of without Israel

Obey authorities, pay taxes

Obey what you agree with. Don’t get caught.

Do it God's way

You decide which way you take

Man is an eternal being

Death ends everything

Do not love this world

Love this world

Love your enemies, pray for them

Despise your enemies. Hope for their harm.

Identify with the least of them   Leave that to the government

Secular opinion is a powerful pressure pad and it truly is a challenging and a daunting task in today's world to hold fast to a Biblical worldview.

There are issues I see being embraced by the church today that are being embraced, not because of scriptural revelation, but solely as the result of pressure from society.

Even as I write this the media are reporting that the Church of England have issued new guidelines, endorsed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, wherein leaders must think twice before they refer to God as 'He' or 'Lord' because of the dangers that it will lead to domestic abuse.

The Daily Mail editorial (October 3rd 2006) responded with a short but cutting comment which read..

'With the full support of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Church of England issues guidelines warning that calling God by the masculine pronoun 'He' could encourage men to beat their wives. Wouldn't C of E clergy earn more respect if they stopped believing such ridiculous drivel-and started believing in God?'

We first start bending under social pressure in order to be 'relevant', then we try and take a fresh look at scripture to make it 'bend' into and confirm our new and improved worldview.

Oh how we need men of God again.

Read these words by A. W. Tozer.

The church at this moment needs men, the right kind of men, bold men. The talk is that we need revival that we need a new baptism of the Spirit - and God knows we must have both; but God will not revive mice. He will not fill rabbits with the Holy Ghost. We languish for men who feel themselves expendable in the warfare of the soul, who cannot be frightened by threats of death because they have already died to the allurements of this world. Such men will be free from the compulsions that control weaker men. They will not be forced to do things by the squeeze of circumstances; their only compulsion will come from within - or from above.

This kind of freedom is necessary if we are to have prophets in our pulpits again instead of mascots. These free men will serve God and mankind from motives too high to be understood by the rank and file of religious retainers who today shuttle in and out of the sanctuary. They will make no decisions out of fear, take no course out of a desire to please, accept no service for financial considerations, perform no religious act out of mere custom; nor will they allow themselves to be influenced by the love of publicity or the desire for reputation.

Much that the church - even the evangelical church is doing these days she is doing because she is afraid not to. Ministerial associations take up projects for no higher reason than that they are being scared into it. Whatever their ear-to-the-ground, fear-inspired reconnoitering leads them to believe the world expects them to do they will be doing come next Monday morning with all kinds of trumped-up zeal and show of godliness. The pressure of public opinion calls these prophets, not the voice of Jehovah.

The true church has never sounded out public expectations before launching her crusades. Her leaders heard from God and went ahead wholly independent of popular support or the lack of it. They knew their Lord’s will and did it, and their people followed them - sometimes to triumph, oftener to insults and public persecution - and their sufficient reward was the satisfaction of being right in a wrong world.

Another characteristic of the true prophet has been love. The free man who has learned to hear God’s voice and dared to obey it has felt the moral burden that broke the hearts of the Old Testament prophets, crushed the soul of our Lord Jesus Christ and wrung streams of tears from the eyes of the apostles.

The free man has never been a religious tyrant, nor has he sought to lord it over God’s heritage. It is fear and lack of self-assurance that has led men to try to crush others under their feet. These have had some interest to protect, some position to secure, so they have demanded subjection from their followers as a guarantee of their own safety. But the free man—never; he has nothing to protect, no ambition to pursue and no enemy to fear. For that reason he is completely careless of his standing among men. If they follow him, well and good; if not, he loses nothing that he holds dear; but whether he is accepted or rejected he will go on loving his people with sincere devotion. And only death can silence his tender intercession for them.

Yes, if evangelical Christianity is to stay alive she must have men again, the right kind of men. She must repudiate the weaklings who dare not speak out, and she must seek in prayer and much humility the coming again of men of the stuff prophets and martyrs are made of. God will hear the cries of His people as He heard the cries of Israel in Egypt. And He will send deliverance by sending deliverers. It is His way among men. And when the deliverers come—reformers, revivalists, prophets—they will be men of God and men of courage. They will have God on their side because they will be careful to stay on God’s side. They will be co-workers with Christ and instruments in the hand of the Holy Ghost. Such men will be baptized with the Spirit indeed, and through their labors He will baptize others and send the long delayed revival.

If you find yourself living in the left hand column - or are gently heading that way - then you are on solid ground. You're on the right track. Hold fast.

Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. (1 Timothy 4:16)

Grow there into a tree of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, for the display of His glory.

If however, you claim to be a Christian, if you take God's Name upon your life, and you find yourself living substantially in the right hand column - or see that you have been heading in that direction little by little - then you are in, or are heading for, the spiritual state known as apostasy. 

In other words you are moving further and further away from God as He reveals Himself through His word. The word of the world holds more authority in your life than the Word of God.

Sadly there are teachers who will allow you to feel comfortable living in that column - as they will slowly but surely bow the knee to the relentless pressures from the world - and teach a mixture from both columns according to what the world would applaud them for teaching.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; (2 Timothy 4:3)

For instance the Guardian Newspaper on 14th October 2006 carried an article by the vice dean of Chester Cathedral entitled 'Face to faith'. It was an edited version of an address to the Modern Church people's Union. The article was entitled 'Lesbians and gays are the Bible's greatest lovers' 

He dismisses scripture's clear trumpet call on such issues with a sweep of his pen saying 'The Bible also celebrates same sex relationships, despite what those persuaded by a few verses in Leviticus and the epistles might believe'

Speaking of 'passionate romance' and not platonic relationships, he names David and Jonathan and Naomi and Ruth as examples of such non platonic relationships. (Such issues are dealt with in an on site study paper)

He also claimed that the song of songs celebrates the 'subversive, pre-marital sexual love of a pair of teenagers' 

He also ridicules the Bible because of its continual teaching that the man is favoured with power and authority. He speaks of the brutality and the nonsense of patriarchy.

When a 'teacher' sows seeds of doubt about God's sure word into a believer's heart it inevitably makes way for a spirit of unbelief to begin whispering 'did God really say' to that believer. Safety comes from trusting God's Word to be both sure and pure.

Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. (Proverbs 30:5)

Please, if you find yourself in a church which teaches mixed worldviews, pray and check that you are where God has placed you. He places us within the Body, and He places us safely.

But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. (1 Corinthians 12:18)

To Pastors and Teachers I would repeat what Moses received from the Lord.

'..You shall not sow your field with mixed seed...'  (Leviticus 19:19)

To Pastors and leaders I would repeat what Jeremiah received from the Lord

'..let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? says the Lord. (Jeremiah 23:28b RSV)

We must never replace Biblical authority with secular authority. Or mix the two. When God has spoken and the world has spoken we must submit to God. 

Everytime.

We must never forget that those of us who are entrusted as teachers within the Kingdom will be judged more strictly. The Bible will be the plum line against which we will be judged.

My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. (James 3:1)

But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts. (1 Thessalonians 2:4)

We always have choices.

Until we die we always have choices, and all choices have consequences.

This is surely one of life's most important choices.

Choose who you will give authority to speak into your life. The Spirit of God or the spirit of this age.

As for me and my house, with God's help we will seek with all our heart to serve the Lord.

God bless.