I have recently been pondering this simple yet significant trap. Christianity is a belief system based on a worldview to which most western Christians do not ascribe.
Worldview: The unconscious, or semi-conscious lens through which we observe and process our day to day, as well as, life experiences. We all have one, and it functions like a filter, coloring or even deleting every segment of reality and experience that parades before our eyes.
The Bible should function to give us information about God and His plan, but also to inform us about the nature of reality. This being the case, it is clear that a Biblical worldview clearly portrays a world system consisting of both a natural, material realm, composed of physical-ness, and a spiritual realm, composed of and inhabited by less, visible, but no less real spiritual beings and realities.
Genesis 2:9 The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Here we see a simple portrayal of a scene in the Garden of Eden where trees (Material, wood, bark, leaves….) produce fruit called “knowledge” and “life”. This kind of fruit is not a material substance, but is still substantial enough that it could be picked and consumed. A simple picture, with a radically different worldview from your average western thinker.
Again and again you see throughout the Old Testament that the Bible characters interact with both a physical and a spiritual reality and assume this is simply the nature of reality. Jesus Himself, interacts with, and describes a reality that includes the physical and the spiritual realm as two integrated elements of a single reality.
So the assumption we all bring to our experience, about the nature of reality is a radical and crippling departure from the assumption the Bible seems to portray.
If we try to understand and live our Christianity from a purely physical, natural worldview, several faith-killing pitfalls await. (Wait, isn’t faith the assurance of things NOT SEEN?)
1. We assume the weight of living the Christian life depends on our commitment and resolve.
2. We measure our maturity by observing behavior and outward standards.
3. We assume that God does not act any more in the ways He acted in scripture.
4. If God acts like He used to we automatically search for natural explanations.
5. We assume Faith is really about our ability to keep a positive and hopeful attitude.
6. We make knowledge (accrued data) the key to “Knowing God”. ‘
7. We think that being “Born Again” and “Committing to Follow Jesus” are the same thing.
8. We use our mind and senses as the primary tool for interacting with God.
9. Our Knowledge of Good and Evil remains our primary way for living and finding/serving God.
10. We assume the best way to use our will, is to choose to avoid bad things and to engage good things.
The more I write, the more the list seems to grow in my mind. The more I write, the more I am convinced that most of our struggles in developing a meaningful walk with God, boil down to having a worldview that is not a Biblical worldview. What an adventure each day would be if we began with the assumption that every moment of our day is filled with, and surrounded by things unseen.
Lord, open the eyes of our hearts and give us the Spirit of wisdom and revelation that we might see…