In Christian circles, there is a lot of talk about postmodernism, Biblical worldview and the effects one's worldview has on behavior.
There is no doubt that what we believe influences how we behave. The old saying, "We are what we eat," could also be stated as, "We are what we think."
Proverbs 23:7 states: "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he." Solomon is telling his audience it is impossible to act differently than you think. Our worldview defines who we are. What is a worldview?
According to dictionary.com, a worldview is "the overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world." My favorite definition says that a worldview is defined as "the lens, or grid through which we interpret the world, the universe, and every principle of what is right, or wrong, with all individuals, families, cultures, and nations."
For many decades, the predominant worldview in the United States was a Biblical worldview. The guiding principle for decisions was based on the teachings found in the Bible. Even people who may not have been Christ followers were influenced by the Biblical culture.
While Christianity may still be the religion of preference in the U.S., this does not mean that its teachings are the main source of our decision-making. In fact, a survey completed by the George Barna research group confirms that very few people in the U.S. hold a Biblical worldview. According to the survey, only 4 percent of adults in the U.S. "have a Biblical worldview as the basis of their decision-making."
A Biblical worldview includes the belief that absolute moral truth exists, and a belief that absolute truth is defined by the Bible. For a worldview to be Biblical, it must also hold the belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, He lived a sinless life, He died for the sins of humanity and that He rose from the dead.
Other essential elements are that God is the Creator of the universe, that salvation is the free gift of God, that Christians are commanded to share their faith in Christ with others, evil exists and that the Bible is the inspired, accurate Word of God.
The same Barna study also concluded that the predominant worldview in the U.S. is now postmodernism. The core beliefs of postmodernism are that truth is relative and there are no moral absolutes. This belief system leads to each person doing what is right in his, or her, own eyes, and blurs the line between right and wrong. Proverbs 14:12 says, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death."
God allowed humanity the freedom of choice. It is the freedom to obey, or disobey, Him and His Word, the Bible. The positive of this choice is that it allows the love relationship between God and humanity to be deep and real. The negative of freedom is that if we choose to disobey God and His Word, there are consequences that affect our lives, and the lives of those around us.
The downfall of postmodernism is its ambiguity. Without absolutes, there is chaos. People begin to do what is right in their own eyes. This chaos affects our economy, our culture and our communities. Without absolutes, our economy falters because of greed. Without absolutes, our culture looses respect for human life and property. Without absolutes, our communities are known more for robbery, than respect.
Is there a way of hope? Yes! II Chronicles 7:14 offers to us the ultimate answer for recovery. It says, "If My people who are called by name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."
The hope for our land is a return to the God who created it. God tells His people in Zechariah 1:3, "Return to Me... and I will return to you."
I encourage you to seek the Lord. A great place to start is in a church that believes and preaches the Word of God.
Rev. Chris Reynolds is pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church and Christian Academy in Jonesboro.