Everyone has a worldview, a perspective from which they approach life and a lens through which they view events. Some people may have put more thought into their worldview and be able to articulate it better than others. Some are certain that they don’t have any particular view; that they just go with the flow…but even that is itself a worldview.
In order to be useful and have a chance of being a dependable basis for life choices, any worldview must be consistent. If it simultaneously says “Everything is an accident and humans are nothing special” but also “Humans have a responsibility beyond that of all other accidental animals”, then that worldview is contradicting itself. If it says “Everything is an illusion; nothing is absolutely real” but “You must behave in a certain way”, then it is again being contradictory.
The Biblical worldview is that everything starts and ends with God, and that each human being is evaluated according to their relationship with Him through His Son Jesus. That view makes sense of topics like those below.
Truth and Reality
What is “real” or “true”? How can we know? Is it:
- Nothing is real, and there is no absolute truth. Everything is illusion, shifting and changeable.
- We can’t know, and it doesn’t matter, anyway. We just go along doing the best we can at what’s in front of us.
- Only what we can see, touch, and prove scientifically is real. Anything “supernatural” is just imagination.
- Only the greater force outside of ourselves is real. Everything that seems to be physically real is just transitory as we search for deeper truth.
The Bible teaches that reality flows from God. He is beyond the physically tangible, but is the source of the physical world. He became physically tangible, though, a human man, in order to communicate with and redeem His broken creatures. (See Colossians 1:16-17, John 1:14.)
The Physical World
How did the universe come to be organized the way it is, with atoms within molecules within rocks and trees and plants and animals and planets and stars? Was it because:
- They just happened by random accident?
- They don’t really exist; everything is illusion?
- There are gods and goddesses each overseeing a portion (Gaia for earth, Poseidon for oceans, etc)?
- Don’t know, and don’t care?
The Bible teaches that everything that exists does so because God created it. When we see intricate design within a single cell, that is His doing. When we see precise balance of chemistry, physics, and scientific forces, that is because He designed everything to fit together precisely. (See Genesis 1:1, Psalm 24:1-2, John 1:3.)
Why do we suffer? Why isn’t everything always easy and comfortable and just the way we want it to be? Is it because:
- It’s a jungle out there, and sometimes we lose?
- We’re not in tune with the universe, so we don’t flow with it as we should?
- We are being punished for wrongs committed in a former life?
- We are wrong to exist, and shouldn’t be here?
- There is a God, or gods, and He/they are against us because He/they are spiteful and nasty?
- There is a God, or gods, and He/they are against us because we have offended Him/them?
The Bible teaches that the world, including humans, was created perfect by God. But humans rebelled, disobeyed, rejected God and decided to strike out on their own. That rebellion caused not only humanity, but the entire natural world to be broken and warped from what God intended. We suffer because of that brokenness; we see the suffering as “wrong” because we still have the instinct for what God originally intended…and what He will bring about again in the future. (See Genesis 3:17, 23, Romans 8:20-22.)
What are human beings? What is their place in the scheme of things? Are they:
- Just another animal?
- The rightful top of the food chain, a result of survival-of-the-fittest evolution?
- Interlopers who have no right to exist, interfering with the otherwise-beautiful natural world?
- Like all of nature, an aspect of the one great Consciousness flowing through the universe?
The Bible teaches that God created humans separately and specially from everything else. Their purpose was loving, intimate relationship with Him. Their charge was to manage and care for the world He had created as their home. They are currently failed and broken, but He is in the process of redeeming and fixing them, one person at a time. (See Genesis 1:27-28, Genesis 2:15, 1 Corinthians 15:21-22.)
What is to be considered “right” or “wrong”? What is the basis for those judgments? Is it:
- Whatever the society, or the government, or other leaders or influencers decide?
- Whatever each person individually decides at the moment?
- Nothing in particular; it can change depending on circumstances?
- Whatever is best for: the individual? the family/tribe/nation? the planet?
- Whatever has been handed down by ancestors? Or the opposite, because the ancestors were wrong?
The Bible teaches that, since it is His world, God is the authority to decree right and wrong. It further teaches that He is the desired authority because He both knows the best and wants the best for His creation. It also teaches that His decrees are not arbitrary or callous; rather, that they flow from His own character of love and righteousness. (See Psalm 111, Psalm 119.)
Why do world events happen as they do? What causes a nation or kingdom to rise up, or to fall? What brings both good and bad leaders into power? Is it because:
- It’s a jungle, and the best predator wins?
- Mankind has not yet found the perfect system of government, but it will someday?
- It’s a cycle: Someone oppresses someone else; the little guy fights back and wins; then becomes the oppressor; so the victim fights back; and so on forever?
The Bible teaches that God plans the times and boundaries for each nation. It gives examples of His raising and protecting those who honor Him, and raising others to punish those who don’t. (See Acts 17:26, Daniel 5:18-20, 22-28, 30-31, Isaiah 45:1.)
Purpose and Destiny
Where is the world heading? What reason does it have for existing, and what goal is it working toward? Is it:
- Nothing in particular, just “here”?
- Building up, getting better and better until all is good (due to human effort *)?
- Running down, getting worse and worse until all is destroyed (due to human flaws *)?
* What about the rest of the universe, the parts that humans have not touched?
The Bible teaches that the world exists because God chooses, and that it will be completely transformed when He is ready. In the meantime, it continues as a place for humans to choose whether to accept or reject His authority. That choice will determine each person’s destiny. (See Deuteronomy 30:19-20, 2 Peter 3:10-13, Revelation 21:1.)
Death and Eternity
What happens to us after we die? Do we:
- Disappear into nothingness?
- Start over as another person, with no memory of who we were before?
- Join with the universe, no longer being an individual?
- Live happily ever after?
- Burn in Hell?
The Bible teaches that we will live forever. There are only two options as to where we will live, however: In heaven with God, or in hell without Him. As fallen sinners, rebels against God, the default is the latter option. God does not want that, so He provided a way to offer us the former through trust in Jesus as a sacrificial substitute. (See Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, John 3:16.)
Jesus told a story comparing two builders (Matthew 7:24-27). One built his house on a foundation of solid rock; when the storms came through, the house stood firm and was undamaged. The other built on sand; his house was destroyed by the storm.
As you go about your life, making choices and decisions, think about the worldview that is acting as your foundation. Is it rock, or sand? It affects your life more than you may realize.
Is your worldview stable, logical, and consistent? Does it adequately explain things like the topics above? Does it match the world that you see and feel for yourself?
If not, I invite you to give the Biblical view a try.