A Snapshot of a Worldview

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, June 29, 2018 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

Worldviews can be an interesting topic because few understand what they are or how they function. I have written about these issues several times and have referenced them in other posts, but not for several years. You can view my four posts for February 2014 starting here and each Friday post from April 24, 2015 through June 12, 2015. The study on worldviews deserves a full book and I do have one in the works so this post is never going to come close to giving the topic justice. However, I hope it gives you a quality snapshot of what is entailed.

Your worldview is how you see things around you. It is the framework through which you perceive the world. Answers in Genesis likes to use the image of colored glasses to help show how it works, however, the worldview issue goes much deeper than that. A worldview is a set of filters that often act subconsciously in how you judge what you observe, what you hear, and what you accept or reject. Your worldview determines whether you accept truth or not and how you determine what YOU think is fact or not. So yes, it is very possible to see truth smack in front of your face and still reject it because your worldview tells you to reject it. Psychology experts like to call this “cognitive dissonance.” This raises the question of what your worldview is and what these filters are. It is very important to understand what goes on behind the scenes.

When I teach on worldviews, I emphasize on five key questions. They are very similar to the questions anyone else who addresses this topic asks. These five questions create an acronym I call OPIDA.

O: Origins: Where did I come from?
P: Purpose: Why am I here?
I: Identity: Who am I?
D: Destination: Where am I going?
A: Authority: Who do I listen to?

Some people only address three or four of these questions. Others ask questions like “What is wrong with the world?” and “How can what is wrong be made right?” Yet, those questions are answered by the five I address, and the five I address also address the others. But I will stick with these five. An important caveat is that all five questions are answered holistically. While you can address one question at a time, you will use the answers to the others to do so. There are different angles to take with each worldview question as well. I will not answer these questions in this post. I am simply going to address what the questions entail. Next week, I will show how the Bible answers these questions.

Origins: The question of origins has several angles to take. The most obvious one is the origins debate - Creation/Evolution or something in between or something else entirely. Those of you who have followed me for even a short time know where I stand on this, but I am not going to answer this here. Many volumes have been written on this topic alone. The question of what is wrong with this world is answered here. But there are other angles too.

What is your personal or family past? What is your testimony? What has God done in your life? How were you raised and how has the culture influenced you? This all plays a role in how you see things for good or ill.

Purpose: Why do we exist? What is our role? What is the purpose of living? Why do we do what we do? Most people really don’t know how to answer that question because they’ve never thought about it. Yet the purpose question is frequently the one which drives us to continue with what we are doing or to quit. This is true for jobs, tasks, family relationships, religion, and even suicide. It’s not a question to take lightly.

Identity: Who am I? What makes me “me”? Am I just a clump of biological cells operating or am I a special person created in the image of God? How do you see others? Do you see the potential they can be if God got a hold of them, or do you see them as beyond hope? Who do you cherish or praise? Who do you reject and despise? All the phobias in the political correct world are addressed here. Sexism, homophobia, racism, religious intolerance, and everything in between is answered here. These are all answered by how you address the identity question.

Destination: Heaven, hell, or oblivion? What is after death? What lies beyond the grave, if anything? People have been asking this question since antiquity. This also deals with how what is wrong will eventually be made right. Is there a final judgment for every wrong done? How you answer that question plays a big role in your outlook and how you make your decisions. But it also has a local destination aspect. Where do you see yourself in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years? Do you even have a plan for that long? This greatly affects your immediate decisions because you seek to head somewhere. Your worldview will determine what to value and what not to in light of that destination in mind.

Authority: This wraps it all up together. Who do you listen to? Which voices do you allow to have influence over your life? Who do you allow to help you answer the other questions? How you answer the other questions influences which voices you allow in. Do you listen to God or to the experts of this world? Do you listen to your parents, church leaders, politicians, or media? The authority question helps determine which voices you allow to shape your outlook.

Now this is also important: your worldview is not truth. Your worldview is how you perceive things to be true. It is your perspective. Truth is truth no matter who looks at it and how. Truth is an objective standard and it simply is. It does not care how you feel or how many people believe it. Yet, truth is very useful as a filter for a worldview to see things correctly. There is only one person who has a totally 100% correct worldview and that is Jesus Christ. Next week I am going to answer these questions, not as how I answer them but as Jesus answers them. He gave us his answers in the Bible. Our job as Christians is to take his answers to these questions and be in a continual process of aligning our worldview to match his. That is actually what Romans 12:2 is all about. Align your worldview to God’s worldview and everything will make absolute sense.

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