What’s Your View?

Is there only ONE right way to view the world?
Every year I try to think of a word that I want to study and reflect upon for the year. Some years, the word comes easily – it just floats into my mind with a simple prayer. Other years, I wrestle with the word until I finally choose one word from a list of 4 or 5.

This year, my word came easily. As I prayed, I just knew the word this year was “worldview.” But not simply a study of multiple worldviews – various ways the world views the world. I want to see the world the way GOD views it. In effect, my word is WORLDVIEW (singular) – that is, God’s view of the world.

As a person who has studied various cultures over the past 2 decades, I recognize there are many worldviews – deism, theism, naturalism, supernaturalism, nihilism, various faith traditions, postmodernism, etc. Even within the Christian tradition, there are various ways to view the world.

There will always be multiple worldviews because Satan sets up arguments against the ONE TRUE GOD! The Enemy of image-bearers – both redeemed and not – seeks to alter our understanding of God and cause us to see God’s world in erroneous ways that hurt us and others.

So, my desire this year is to explore more deeply GOD’S WORLDVIEW. Yes, God has a worldview. He has a view of our world, and guess what? It’s the right one! It’s the honorable one! It’s the most powerful one! I want to live my life focused on that perspective so I might be a better ambassador in God’s world.

In the first four words of the English translation of the Bible, we recognize the source of the world. GOD.

“In the beginning God…” Solid theology begins exactly there. What follows is God’s design, God’s desire, God’ s intent for the world and humanity.

So, I start there – with God.

Recently I saw a meme on Facebook with a quote from Rev. Dr. Caleb J. Lines (need for all the titles? Oh my!). As you read the quote, consider what makes his reasoning deeply flawed?

“Imagine how it would change our theology if we didn’t look up to heaven for God, but saw God in the face of neighbors?”

I could possibly see the point in the context of Matthew 25 (“do to the least of these… do to me”) But I don’t think that is his point, which veers “off” in SOOO many ways.

1. To start with, this “meme-ist” seems to not understand the word theology. Theology means the study of God. You cannot understand God by looking for God in our neighbors’ faces. We understand God by looking UP to God and INTO His Word to understand what God says about Himself. You can never accurately understand God’s character or God’s attributes by looking at people. It will always fall short. 

2. His reasoning is flawed because though everyone is made in the image of God, none of us IS God. We can’t see God by looking at flawed humanity. We can see image bearers who have intrinsic value (from the womb to the tomb) when we look at the faces of our neighbors, but we also recognize that all of us need redemption… since we are NOT God!

3. He misunderstands/misapplies Jesus’ words. Jesus says the greatest commandment is to “love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.” Only if we do the first commandment well can we follow up and obey the second commandment well – “love your neighbor as yourself.” If we seek to do the second commandment first (people before God), we will discover that it never goes well.

God’s view is THE WAY to view the world. What saddens me the most is that the meme above is written by someone who wants others to notice/esteem him as “reverend.”

Guess where I saw the meme? On a post shared by a pastor who apparently did not see the flawed theology of the meme.

Interestingly, I showed it to my three kids to see if they saw any theological problems. “What do you think, when you read this?” All three (15, 13, and 10) saw errors immediately. By God’s grace they are learning to view reality through a lens of God – the Creator, Savior, and Lord.

The next blog will discuss four elements that comprise a worldview.

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