A Biblical/Christian Worldview – Pt. 1

 

 

By Pastor J.D. Link

Agf-blanco.com

            Luke 6:46-49 says, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?  Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.” 

            Lord means “Ruler, Master, Supreme authority”.  If we say Jesus is “Lord”, this is what we are declaring.  Otherwise, it is an empty confession.  Those who declare Him as Lord in truth, hear His words and do them.  They are the rock on which they stand.  Their worldview is Biblical and Christian.  What then is a “worldview” exactly?

            A worldview is “Any ideology, philosophy, theology, movement or religion that provides an overarching approach to understanding God, the world, and man’s relations to God and the world” – Nobel.  Geisler puts it this way: “A way of viewing or interpreting all of reality. It is an interpretive framework through which or by which one makes sense of the data of life and the world.”  You may say a worldview is the core of what you believe about life, and shapes how you reason, how you act and what you say.

            Raging in our nation is a war of ideologies or worldviews.  We often just look at single issues like pro-life or pro-abortion; biblical or homosexual marriage; Republican or Democrat; Free market or Socialist.  However, these are not just isolated issues. They all stem from a particular system of thought. These views are not at the root political, though they do express themselves politically.  At the root are opposing worldviews.

            The two main worldviews we see in the U.S. are the Biblical/Christian worldview, and the Secular Humanist world view, which we could include Marxism (although SH and MX differ on some points).  Some would say you could classify these views as religious and non-religious.  However, that would not be true.  Both views are religious.  The only difference is in what god they serve – and how they serve him.  One worships The Creator, the others worship creation (man, his intellect, self, and/or living organisms).  One believes in the beginning “God”; the other believes in the beginning “matter” or “nothing”.

            The Christian is told to not be conformed to the world, but transformed by the renewing of our minds (Rom 12:2). To think Christian is to think Bible.  Since Jesus is The Living Word, if you don’t know God’s Word – then you don’t know God.  If God is His Word, how can you say you know Him, and not know His Word?  Think about that.   Some of the areas the Bible has something to say about are: Theology, Philosophy, Ethics, Biology, Psychology, Sociology, Law, Politics, Economics, History and others.  God’s Word teaches a comprehensive worldview encompassing every area of life. 

            As Bonhoeffer expressed, “Ethical thinking can no longer be done in terms of two spheres, one sacred and one secular. In their lives in the world, Christians are called to live responsibly by fulfilling certain divinely imposed and interrelated “mandates”—those of marriage and family, government, labor (or culture), and church.”

            In Genesis, we find God’s word touching on these different spheres.  “In the beginning God” – Theology.  “Created… produce after its own kind” – Biology.  “Be fruitful and multiply” – Sociology. “Good and evil” – Ethics. “Tend the garden” – Economics. “Do not eat of” – Law.  “Man became a living soul” – Psychology. “Shed man’s blood, your blood shall be shed” – Political (government). “Enmity between the serpent and man” – History.  The Person of Jesus Christ is also related to all of these issues.

            Instead of the church influencing this secular humanist society, we have ourselves been polluted with humanist ideology.  God’s house is full of “believers” who have secular humanist worldviews. This should not be.  Christians ought to be in unity when it concerns our worldview – but too often we are on opposite ends of the issue.  God’s Word should influence every area of our life if we call Jesus Lord.  The Bible has something to say concerning every area of our life, so we should humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God and let Him exalt us.  We are to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.  This means there are no issues that should be “off-limits” to God.  We are to cast down vain imaginations (thoughts contrary to God’s Word), and everything that exalts itself above the knowledge of God.  There is no knowledge higher than God, but there is earthly knowledge that likes to “exalt itself” above God’s knowledge. 

            Over the next few weeks, we will look at these issues more closely.  The days we live in are evil and full of confusion.  God’s covenant children need to know what the Bible teaches.  We need to know what the Bible says about any given issue.  We need to know the basics of what we believe, and how to communicate it to others.  I believe these teachings are timely and necessary for the church in the world it finds itself in right now.  I pray you will as well.  Selah.

A Biblical/Christian Worldview Pt. 2

 

By Pastor J.D. Link

agf-blanco.com

            Rom 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

            Transformation comes from mind renewal in God’s Word, and we are instructed to be transformed.  All Christians should be Theologians, for Theology simply means the study of God.  This should be the lifelong pursuit of every Christian – to learn more and more about God. The following is but a synopsis. For further study I highly recommend “Understanding The Times” by David Noebel.

            According to C.S. Lewis, there are roughly three possibilities of belief about God: 1. Theism – belief in the existence of God or gods. 2. Pantheism – belief that everything is Divine or God. 3. Atheism – belief that God does not exist. Others would be subcategories of these three.

            Before we look at the Biblical/Christian worldview concerning Theology, let’s briefly look at some other prominent worldviews.  Secularist deny the spiritual, and therefore are atheistic.  Marx was a professed atheist, and Communism seeks to bring about the “disappearance of all existing religions.” (see Communist Manifesto). Postmodernist are not necessarily atheist, but their denial of any absolute truth is a denial of Jesus Christ, who Himself claimed to be “The Truth”.  New Spirituality (or New Age) are pantheistic, essentially believing everything is god, assigning divinity to stars, nature, etc. Islam is monotheistic, but their god is not the God of the Bible, for they totally reject the divinity of Jesus Christ; His crucifixion, His resurrection, His atoning sacrifice for man’s sin, that He is creator, etc.

            So what is the Christian story?  1. God is personal (Gen 1:27).  He is not simply energy.  He is the Divine Being, who formed man in His own image.  2. God has made Himself known (Isa 45:5, Jn 14:9) through His creation, the Scriptures and Jesus Christ.  3. God is creator of all things (Gen 1:1, Jn 1:1-3). 4. Human beings are fallen (Gen 3:6, Rom 5:12). As were our first parents, so man is today – seeking his own goodness, his own pleasure and his own wisdom – with disastrous consequences.  5. God redeems.

Jesus is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8, 1Pt 1:19-20). God’s perfect plan for mankind’s redemption was God becoming flesh and shedding His blood on the cross for forgiveness of sins and eternal life.

            There are two main sources by which we learn about God, these being: 1. General revelation

2. Special revelation.  General revelation is the creation itself (Ps 19:1-3, Rom 1:18-25).  The beauty, order, design and intricacy of creation declares loudly that there is a designer.  The second law of thermodynamics; the lack of evidence for spontaneous generation; DNA; and the Anthropic principle are all further evidence that something had to have started it all.  Science cannot answer this, but the Bible does (Gen 1:1).

            Special revelation is the Word of God (2Tim 3:14-17, Jn 1:1-18).  Contained in its pages are the answers to questions like: Who am I? Where did I come from? Where did the universe come from? Why am I here? Where am I going? It further answers: Who is God? What is my relation to Him? How can I know Him? What does eternity hold?

            From Biblical Theology (the study of God), we learn these things:  1. God is all powerful

(1Ch 29:11).   2. God is all knowing (Jn 21:17).  3. God is everywhere (Ps 139:7-10, Jer 23:24, Prv 15:3). It is important to note, that God is not everything, like pantheism teaches; but rather, He is everywhere.  4.God is sovereign (Dan 4:34-35).  5. God is holy and just (1Pt 1:16, Ps 37:27, Act 17:31).  Because He is perfectly holy, He alone can and will judge righteously.  6. God is patient and merciful (2Pt 3:9, Ps 103:8, 117:2).  7. God is love (1Jn 4:8, Eph 2:4-5).

            This is not an exhaustive list, for space does not allow the list of every attribute of God.  However, these are some general truths we all ought to know.  The Theology of the Bible is Trinitarian Monotheism.  That is, God is one God (Dt 6:4), who expresses Himself in three distinct Persons – The Father, The Son (Jesus) and the Holy Spirit.  All three are assigned Deity throughout the Word of God, yet they are not three separate Gods.  They are the Godhead (Act 17:29, Rom 1:20, Col 2:9), a Trinity in Unity, and Unity in Trinity.

            In summary: There is One eternal God, Who created all things.  He created man in His own image.  Man rebelled against God and sinned.  This sin passed to every person. God redeems fallen man through the sacrifice of His eternal Son, Jesus Christ. Through faith, we receive this salvation and the forgiveness of sins. If we reject God’s gift, we will be judged eternally.  If we receive His gift, we receive eternal blessing in the presence of God forever.  Selah.

A Biblical/Christian Worldview

Pt. 3

 

By Pastor J.D. Link

agf-blanco.com

            Rom 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

            In our continued quest for transformation through mind renewal in God’s Word, we will today look at Philosophy.  Philosophy means “the love of wisdom”; to love wisdom as a friend.  In academia, it is the study of knowledge, truth, and the nature of ultimate reality.  No doubt wisdom is important.  Pro 4:7  says, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.”  Why the need to get wisdom? Because it is of the greatest value, and nothing compares to it (Prv 8:11). However, this is not speaking of worldly wisdom (Prv 23:4) – of which we are to cease; but rather the wisdom of God. In the Triune God is hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Col 2:2-3).  The fear of the Lord is the very beginning of wisdom (Prv 9:10, 15:33).  Before we acknowledge Almighty God, we haven’t even scratched the surface of true wisdom.

            What are some other views concerning Philosophy?  Secular Humanist and Marxist are monistic and materialistic. Monism is the belief that reality is ultimately composed of one essential substance, and

materialism is the belief that reality is composed soley of matter.  In other words, the only reality is the physical.  Their faith is therefore in the scientific realm alone.

            Postmodernist may be considered “anti-realist” – the belief that what we think we know of reality is socially constructed by human thought. In other words, there is no universal truth, only subjective truth situated in a particular cultural surrounding. Basically, the whole “truth is relative” belief.

            New spirituality believes spiritual monism – the spiritual is the only reality.  True/false, good/evil – these are human conceptions. Ultimate reality is consciousness. Truth is known only by feeling or experience. This “feeling-based” “truth” has crept into the church, and we must resist it with the truth. If God has said something is evil, but you feel it’s good; then your feelings are a lie, and not truth.

            What is the Christian view? Mind/body dualism, which is the belief that reality is composed of two essential substances.  People consist of a material nature and an immaterial nature. Christians believe in realism – the belief that an objective reality exists independent of human perception or language.  In other words, Jesus is the actual and factual eternal God, and His Word eternal truth – whether we acknowledge it or not.  He is the “I AM”, no matter what we do or don’t do; believe or don’t believe.

            These views are not “faith vs science”, or “faith vs. reason”; but rather “faith vs. faith”.  Why do I say that?  Because scientific theory is not proven fact.  One still has to embrace the theory on faith.  To the Christian, as well as the materialist, our faith has reason, and our reason requires faith.  So we see, it’s all faith – it’s just a matter of where your faith lie: In the world’s wisdom, or in God’s wisdom? I encourage you to read 1Cor 1:17-2:13 very carefully, and underline every time the word “wisdom” occurs.  Then, answer the question, “Which wisdom is being spoken of in each case? The wisdom of the world, or the wisdom of God?” 

            So how do we receive the true wisdom, and therefore have true philosophy?  We learn from Prv 8, 1Cor 1:24, 30; Col 2:2-3, and other places that Jesus is the wisdom of God.  He is wisdom incarnate – wisdom personified.  If Jesus is wisdom, and Philosophy is the love of wisdom – then by definition a true philosopher is a lover of Jesus.  Since Jesus is the Word of God and the wisdom of God, then the primary way we become wise is to know God’s Word.  Read and study it daily. 

            Also, we receive God’s wisdom by simply asking for it in faith (Jam 1:5).  He will give it to us (Prv 2:6, Ecc 2:26), just as He gave it to Solomon (2Chr 1:10-12).  The Lord delights when our prayer is “Lord, give me Your wisdom, that I may live my life and make decisions that glorify you and that are in accordance with Your will.”

            In closing, I must leave you with a warning: Our Philosophy is not just about academic arguments in this life, where us being right or wrong really doesn’t matter or change anything.  Far from that, our Philosophy is vital to not only this life, but the one to come.  If we get it wrong, there are eternal consequences. Prov 8:32-36 says, “Now therefore hearken unto me (wisdom), O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my (wisdom) ways.  Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not.  Blessed is the man that hears me (wisdom), watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso finds me (wisdom) finds life, and shall obtain favor of the LORD.  But he that sins against me (wisdom) wrongs his own soul: all they that hate me (wisdom) love death.”  Be a lover of wisdom – a friend of Jesus.  Selah.

A Biblical/Christian Worldview

Part 4

 

By Pastor J.D. Link

agf-blanco.com

            Rom 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  (2)  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”  In our desire for continued transformation through mind renewal in God’s Word, we have looked thus far at subjects of Theology and Philosophy.  This week, we will talk about the subject of Ethics. I again refer you to “Understanding the Times” by David Noebel, for much further information.

            Ethics is from the Greek word “ethos”, which means “goodness”.  It is the study of moral conduct, values, duties and goodness.  Ethics seeks to answer the question: “How should we then live?”  What does it mean to live a good life – not one that just feels good, but one that truly is good?

            Before we proceed, I think it’s important to note the difference between morals and ethics.  Morals are a personal standard of determining right and wrong, while ethics is what is truly and absolutely good and right.

            Two theories about ethics: 1. Teleological – what is the end of a good life?  From here we get the “ends justify the means” idea.  2. Deontological – judges the morality of action based upon some principle of duty. From here we get “Right is absolute, so we do right simply because it is our duty to do right.”

            Other worldviews, such as Secular Humanism (moral relativism); Marxism (Proletariat morality); Postmodernism (cultural relativism) and New Spirituality (Karma) all believe in varying degrees of moral relativism.  In other words, there is no absolute standard of right and wrong, good and evil.  For instance, Marxist ethics teach, “Whatever advances the cause of Communism is good, and whatever hinders it is evil.”  Postmodernism teaches essentially that culture determines ethics.  New Spirituality teaches, “create your own reality according to what feels right to you.”  They all deny an eternal, universal and absolute standard.  The exception is Islam (divine command theory), which basically says “Whatever Muhammed did was ethical.”

            The basis of Christian ethics would be the Great commandment (Mk 12:29-3, which includes the Ten Commandments, Ex 20, Rom 13:8-10), the golden rule (Mt 7:12), and the Sermon on the mount (Mt chapters 5-7). Notice the great commandment starts with love for God, then love for your fellow man; so it is not purely “duty” focused, and so doesn’t fit neatly into deontology.  This is why Jesus said in John14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Love is the motivating factor.  Christians see moral norms as proceeding from God’s nature and character, and love compels us to want to be like Him.

            The Christian worldview is that what God calls righteous and good is absolutely righteous and good; and what He calls wrong and evil is absolutely wrong and evil.  It is not situational ethics, where what is right and good changes depending on the circumstances.  God does not say, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Rather, “Do as Jesus would do, no matter where you are.”

            Moral relativism says the ends justify the means.  It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as the end is “good” (by your own definition). “As long as you win, who cares if you cheat?” The Christian view is the opposite.  God is all about the means.  We leave the ends up to Him.  “Who cares if you “win”, if you cheated to do it?”  We do what is good and right, because good and right is the nature and character of God.  We do not concern ourselves with the outcome, as much as we do with the rightness of arriving at that outcome. 

            This means doing what is truly right may not always personally benefit us in the here and now.  In fact, it means often times doing the right thing will actually cost us.  However, it is worth it, because of our love for God and our neighbor, and the rightness of the action in God’s sight – as well as eternal reward.

            The Christian view of ethics would undoubtedly have the greatest effect on society if applied by all people at all times.  Imagine if each and every person sought to live by the Great Commandment, the Golden Rule and the Sermon on the Mount.  Why, it would be Heaven on Earth.  It is the ethical standard that would do the most good for the most people.  It is universal and eternal.  It is the nature and character of God.

            The call to follow Jesus is the simplest summation of Christian ethics. Bonhoeffer said “Follow me” was the first and last thing Jesus told Peter to do in the Gospels (Mk 1:17, Jn 21:22). Jesus is the ultimate standard of rightness, goodness, and holiness – so to follow Him in all things is to practice Biblical/Christian ethics.  Selah.

 

A Biblical/Christian Worldview

Part 5

 

By Pastor J.D. Link

Agf-blanco.com

            Genesis 1:1-3 says, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.”  This week we will return to our series on a Biblical/Christian worldview, addressing the subject of Biology.  Biology is the study of life and living organisms.  We will look specifically at the origin of life, and what some other worldviews believe concerning it.

            Before we look at the Christian view, let’s briefly look at some others: 1. Secular Humanist believe in Neo Darwinism, which states new species arise through the process of natural selection acting over vast periods of time on chance genetic mutations within organisms.  It may be summarized as thus: Life somehow appeared, and then became more complex through a mindless process of mutation and natural selection. 

            2. Marxist, as well as some SH, believe in punctuated equilibrium. This states evolutionary changes occur over relatively quick periods of time, followed by periods of time with little or no evolutionary change.  In other words, because the fossil record has still yielded no evidence of species in transition (showing Darwinism, once again, an unproven theory); punctuated equilibrium was invented to explain it away.  For example, a reptile is going along as it is for millions or billions of years and then “BOOM”, it becomes a bird – for apparently no reason whatsoever. 

            What do Christians believe?  As we see in Genesis one, God created everything, and he did it “In the beginning.”  So when did life come about? In the beginning.  All things were made by God in the beginning (Jn 1:1-3). He laid the foundation of the earth (Heb 1:10) and creation (Mk 13:19) in the beginning. God made male and female human (Adam & Eve) in the beginning (Mt 19:4-5).

            God created all things, the heavens and earth, by Himself (Isa 44:24).  He created it all by His power, His wisdom and His understanding (Jer 51:15).  It is dishonorable to attribute the marvelous work of creation by Almighty God to mindless, spontaneous generation.  It is no accident or “luck” that earth is a custom-made environment for man, for God created the earth to be inhabited (Isa 45:18).  He created all things, for it pleased Him to do so (Rev 4:11).  We also learn from Scripture that Jesus is Creator, and therefore God (1Cor 8:6, Eph 3:9, Col 1:16, Heb 1:2).  The Triune Godhead created all things, as we see in Genesis when God says, “Let US make man in OUR image.”

            Here are five reasons the Christian view of special creation is logical:  1. Life only comes from preexisting life. Spontaneous generation opposes simple math, for zero times anything equals zero. 2. Random chance does not produce intelligible information. Throw a scrabble board against a wall as often as you wish, the tiles will not fall on the floor in perfect arrangement in the sentence, “To be or not to be – that is the question.” 3. The immaterial world is real. Thoughts, conscience, the will – they are all real, though not material. So, the immaterial, spiritual God created the material world.  4. Living organisms give the appearance of design. As in Paley’s watch example, design clearly points to a designer.  Since a single human cell is incredibly complex, it could not just happen by random chance, no more than a tornado hitting a junkyard would produce a fully functional 747.  5. Many scientist are actually bailing on the theory of evolution as currently constructed. (see Understanding the Times by Noebel). 

            Those who deny God are willingly ignorant that He is the Creator (2Pe 3:5, Rom 1:19-20).  I appreciate the honesty of Harvard evolutionary biologist Richard Lewontin who said, “We have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our prior adherence to material causes to… produce material explanations… That materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” Is this what passes for science? 

            It is true, the Christian believes in the Creator God through faith in His eternal Word (Heb 11:3).  However, we must also understand that evolutionist also believe what they do based on faith, and not facts.  It is not faith vs. science, but rather faith vs. faith.  For those who would say there is no evidence for an Intelligent Designer, I would say there is more evidence for ID than for mindless, random chance, spontaneous generation evolution.  We are free to believe whatever we like, but we must not pretend evolution is based on hard evidence and indisputable facts.

            In conclusion, the everlasting gospel includes the truth that God is the Creator (Rev. 14:6-7).  To preach the gospel is to preach creation.  There is no need for Christians to try and reconcile evolution with God’s account of creation, nor to feel they are violating scientific laws by doing so.  God’s Word is eternal truth (Mk 13:31), and man’s theories are not.  Selah.

A Biblical/Christian Worldview

Part 6

 

By Pastor J.D. Link

agf-blanco.com

            Mat 10:28  And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”  In this passage, Jesus reveals that man is both a physical body and an immortal soul.  The Bible teaches that Man consist of an inner man and an outer man; he is both material and immaterial.  He is both natural and supernatural. He is both physical and spiritual.  He is both mortal and immortal. 

            This week we will look at the subject of psychology.  Psychology (psyche – soul. -ology – study of) is the study of the soul. To be precise, man is a three part being: spirit, soul and body (1Thess 5:23, Lk 1:46-47, Heb 4:12).  However, for the sake of this study, we’re just looking at the mind/body dualism of man.  The spirit and soul being the immaterial, and the body being the material. Many Scriptures show that man is both soul and body, such as 3Jn 1:2, Lk 12:19-20, Ps 42:5 & 2Cor 5:6-8. We see the soul is within the physical body, but is not the body.

            Examining worldviews concerning psychology, we find that Secular Humanists, Marxists and Post modernists all deny the existence of the soul. If psychology is the study of the soul, and these three worldviews deny the existence of the soul – what is modern psychology?

            Secular humanist believe people are basically good by nature, and psychological disorders come from some outward source, like environment. This is totally at odds with God’s Word, which says it is what’s in a man that defiles him (Mk 7:20-23).  If you don’t treat the soul, you do not address the real issue.  This is why they often deal with issues with drugs.  However, I believe we can all agree, drugs heal nothing.  They’re merely help to cope; and if not maintained, can actually result in a problem becoming worse.

            Marxists teach Pavlov’s classical conditioning, which says one can change people’s behavior through stimuli. Like Humanists, they only believe in the natural brain, and deny the immaterial mind.  Therefore, they don’t deal with the soul.  New spirituality denies the individual soul, but embraces the collective soul.  In other words, we’re all just energy with no unique identity. They teach healing through meditation – emptying your mind to focus on your “God” nature. This meditation is far different than Christian meditation, which is not to empty the mind, but to fill it with the truth of God’s Word, and thereby be transformed (Rom 12:2).

            Islam teaches we find healing and peace through submission to Islam.  We all are born Muslim by nature, and born free from sin.  According to Islamic psychology, we can fix ourselves by simply submitting to Islam. And if we will do this, we will find salvation. This contradicts the Biblical view on every level.

            What is Christian psychology? While Christianity is much more than psychology, it possesses within itself a true and better psychology than that of the secular.  Why?  Because it believes in and deals with the individual soul of man.  Because it acknowledges the soul and the Creator of the soul, it can better deal with the root cause of mental and emotional issues, which is ultimately sin in some form or fashion.

            In Eph 2:1-3, we see sin arises from the course of this world; from the prince of the power of the air; and from the lusts of the flesh.  In other words, the world, the flesh and the devil. So when we say psychological problems arise from sin, we mean: 1. Personal sin (things we do). 2. Sins of others (things others do to us). 3.Physical falleness (such as genetic disorders). 4. Satanic attack.

            Thus, because the Christian psychology acknowledges the dual nature and sin problem, it can help in these four ways: 1. It helps free from guilt. Deliverance and healing comes through confession of sin, repentance and acceptance of God’s forgiveness, and then walking in the spirit (which means practicing behavior that is in line with God’s will). See Jn 8:11. 2. It enables personal responsibility. We do not blame society or other outside factors.  We have a will, and the first step in being mentally and emotionally healthy is to accept responsibility for our actions.  We cannot be free if we blame others. To be free we need to confess our sins to God; to others; to have fellowship restored to God; and to be sanctified by the Holy Spirit. See 1Jn 1:8-9.

            3. It focuses on pursuing health rather than avoiding illness. Labeled “positive psychology”, it focuses on promoting mental health and happiness, rather than just treating mental illness.  In other words, we want to focus on walking by the Spirit and living righteously and morally according to God’s commandments (Gal 5:16).  4. It restores a sense of purpose in life. Christianity teaches that we were created by God for His purpose; that He loves us; that we are immortal souls; that Jesus is our healer, spirit, soul and body; and shows us how to walk in His will, which brings forth His blessings.  Selah.

A Biblical/Christian Worldview

Part 7

 

By Pastor J.D. Link

agf-blanco.com

            Gen 1:27-28 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.  (28)  And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion (rule & reign) over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” Joh 1:12 “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”

            Sociology is the study of Society, or more specifically, of the interactions of individuals and society. Of course, you can’t study society, and leave out the individual actions and mindset of the individuals that make it up.  We see in Gen 1:27-28 & Jn 1:12 the three basic institutions of society: marriage and family; government; and the church. Christianity teaches that society functions best when each sphere is properly managing its own area of responsibility.

            Of course, there are other worldviews that deny this. Godless Secular humanists see the church and the Biblical view of marriage and family as harmful and counterproductive to a truly “happy” society. For this reason, Secularists are big advocates of big government, and therefore seek to push Christianity – and their view of family and social norms – out of everything.  Once in control of government, the idea is then to eradicate the Christian influence on society – and can then it can be “happy”.

            Marxist see capitalism as the great evil of society, and a truly happy society will be experienced under Socialism/Communism.  They view religion as a hindrance to this goal, and so wherever you find a Communist country, you find an oppressed and persecuted church.  They also view the traditional family as a hindrance, and view the breakdown of the family a positive thing.  Marxist seek the great Communist utopian future, where the wife is no longer dependent on her husband, nor the children on their parents.  There will then be sexual freedom, and the children will be raised by the state.  Unfortunately, Communism never produces a utopian society, but rather a dystopian one – as history aptly proves.

            New spirituality teaches collective consciousness, which says together we can pursue higher consciousness, and therefore have a happy society.  The breakdown of the family just shows we are evolving into a higher spiritual consciousness, where such things will no longer be the norm – and this is “good”.  To try and preserve traditional marriage and family is seen as a hindrance to our spiritual evolution.

            Islam teaches “Ummah”, or a shared sense of identity with all Muslims everywhere that extends to community, religious beliefs and political structures.  Like Marxism, they seek to impose their idea of a perfect society on all the world. Is this a good idea?  Well, for a Muslim male, yes.  For everyone else? No. In Islam, there is no separation between family, religion, government or culture.  It is all encompassing, and where any part lacks in a society, the truly devout seek to rectify it.

            What does Christianity teach? Christian sociology believes society functions best when organized around the family as God designed it. For Christians, the family is the glue of society. Society can survive many miseries; but if the family falls apart, societal collapse is inevitable.  This is why Focus on the Family, Family Life Today, Family Talk Radio, and many other ministries, books and teachings are dedicated to preserving the traditional family. Here are just a few verses that define marriage, God’s order, roles of husband and wife, child raising and work relations – all having a profound positive Sociological impact when put into practice (Mt 19:4-6, 1Cor 11:1-3, Eph 5:22-33, 1Pt 3:1-7, Tit 2:3-6, Eph 6:1-6).

            Christians believe it is opposition to God’s order that has led to the failures we see in contemporary society, such as drug and alcohol abuse, crime, abortion, sexual perversion, human trafficking, disease and poverty.  Society does not make individuals act in these ways, but rather the individuals who act in these ways make up the society.  If individuals are transformed by the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it will result in strong families, and therefore strong churches and ultimately a strong society.  Then the society will influence its government, and that government will in turn preserve and defend the institutions that made the society – and therefore, itself- strong.  This is the Biblical ideal. Selah.