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Showing posts with label Worldview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Worldview. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

The Importance of Worldview and Knowing the Truth - Purity 848


The Importance of Worldview and Knowing the Truth - Purity 848

Purity 848 09/28/2022 Purity 848 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of a breathtaking mountain top view comes to us from a friend who paid a visit to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, that straddles the border between North Carolina and Tennessee, and shared this scene on social media on Tuesday. 

Well it’s Wednesday, and I thought our friend’s photo of the Great Smoky Mountains was a great way to visually represent our arrival to another “hump day” and to suggest that we use discernment when deciding on our “worldview” and to not straddle the border of the world’s view of the truth and the truth of reality that is revealed in God’s word. While we recognize the truth of what is going on in the world and in our daily lives, as travelers on the path of Christian discipleship, we want to interpret our experiences with the wisdom that the word of God teaches us.  

Without an objective standard of truth, our thoughts and opinions about various aspects of life are not necessarily qualitatively better than anyone else. Without an objective standard of truth, everything becomes relative and confusing as people will put forth beliefs and ideas that logically contradict one another and then demand that we must affirm that they are all somehow equally true. 

Last night in the Freedom in Christ Course Men’s group that I facilliate on Zoom, we examined the course’s teaching on the importance of knowing the various types of worldviews and how they contradict the Biblical worldview. 

According to the lesson - the Western world view generally bases its view on logic and scientific observations, but all but denies any spiritual realm that may influence events on the earth.   It can range complete Atheism, with no god all, or be deist, the belief that there is a God who created everything but has since left it to its own devices and does not intervene in the lives of men. 

The lesson also presents the “Non-Western worldview” – that generally believes that the universe is controlled by a kind of universal power that runs through everything and by spirits of many types.  This view can range from animistic (God is in everything), to pagan (there are local or tribal gods that can work for or against you) and spiritist – there are good and bad spiritual entities and those of the departed that can be communicated with).  Where the western view generally denies the spiritual realm, the non-western view has many forms and expressions that affirms it and seeks to manipulate it.  

And finally, the lesson presented the “post-Modern” worldview which is a reaction against past generation’s reliance on science and “experts” because, after all, the experts have often proven to be wrong.  Whereas previous generations have seen truth as something revealed by God or discovered by science, “post modernists” seek to test whether ideas are valid based solely on their own personal experiences. If it feels good to me, it’s okay.  

And thus we can have political and social movements and special interest groups, that deny aspects of objective reality or flies in the face of facts but who collectively promote and reinforce each other’s outlandish views on social media because it is “true for them”. 

And thus Christians are under constant pressure to “be loving” and to affirm other’s beliefs and lifestyle choices as not only “possible” but as equally valid and true, even though logic, reason, and the word of God indicate otherwise.   

The lesson points that none these worldviews- Western, Non-Western, or Post-modern give us a true view of reality. When they all make different claims about things like our eternal destiny it becomes a little clearer that they all can’t be right, because they contradict one another.   The following excerpt comes right from last night’s lesson:

Consider the most important question facing everybody in the world: What happens when you die?

• Hinduism teaches that when a soul dies it is reincarnated in another form.

• Christianity teaches that souls spend eternity in either heaven or hell.

• Spiritists think we float around as ghosts.

 • Atheists believe that we have no soul and that when we die our existence simply ends.

Can all those things be true at the same time?

To put it another way, does what you believe will happen to you when you die make any difference to what will actually happen?

 Or will the same thing happen to everyone when they die regardless of what they believed before the event?

Surely, if Hindus are right, we will all be reincarnated. If Christians are right, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. If atheists are right, all of our existences will come to an end. If spiritists are right we’ll all float around as ghosts. But they simply can’t all be true at the same time.

So it’s clear that there is such a thing as real truth that exists whatever individuals may choose to believe.

(Anderson, Neil T.; Goss, Steve. Freedom in Christ Participant's Guide: A 10-Week Life-Changing Discipleship Course (pp. 73-74). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.) 

So how can we know what is true? 

Christ came to tell us the truth. He lived a sinless life, taught wisdom and affirmed the truth of the Old Testament scriptures that predicted His coming, performed miracles as a sign that He was heaven sent, died on the cross for our sins,  and proved that everything He said was true and that He was God by not only rising from the dead, but also literally ascending to heaven in the presence angelic witnesses.  

The truth of Christ’s claims are seen in the spread of Christianity throughout the world and the transformed lives of the millions that have put their faith in Him and live according to His teachings.  

What’s even more amazing is that while other religions won’t name Him as Lord and Savior exclusive, every faith system from, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and others pay homage to Christ some way – either as “a god” among many”, a prophet, or a wise teacher.  Christ is special enough that even the religions that deny Him want a piece of Him.  

But Christianity doesn’t do the same because they believe Christ when He said:

John 14:6 (NLT2)
6  … “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.   

So as Christians know the truth and live by it. And we shouldn’t be surprised if the world hates us for it. For Christ said:

John 15:18-19 (NLT2)
18  “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.
19  The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.

But we shouldn’t hate the world back.  Christ came to save that which was lost and to taught us to love our enemies. Just before He told His disciples how they would be hated He said.  

John 15:17 (NLT2)
17  This is my command: Love each other.

So let’s do that. Let’s love one another, be kind, but also be clear about the truth.  Love doesn’t mean affirming someone when they are harming themselves and don’t know it.

Obviously, this is a hard road to walk on: to love one another but to stand on the truth of God’s word. 

So let’s keep walking and talking with God and see what He tells us as we seek to be the peacemakers and to reconcile ourselves and others to come into His kingdom.  

 

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Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verse is:

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT2)
5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
6  Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.

Today’s Bible verse encourages us to trust the Lord and to seek His will in all you do. 

I love it when a plan comes together. I don’t plan these messages but I think God helps bring it together sometimes.  In last nights discussion, we addressed the fact that it was really hard to know what to do when talking to friends, loved ones, or others who don’t have a relationship with the Lord. How do we tell the truth in love? How do we stand for Christ and have peace with those who reject Him?  How do I live this Christian life without losing all the relationships in my life?  

I was honest and told the men to be discerning and to go to the Lord to direct their paths and pointed out how Christ usually answered questions with a question or gave answers that took into account who He was talking to.   So what do you do? It depends. 

While I could give advice to follow in every situation, that strategy doesn’t even work with regular problems on the earth because of the complexity of the realities that we face. That’s why politics is a mess. Life is not one size fits all.  

So I point to word of God every time because I know the author has the answers. As today’s verse directs our path, we should trust the Lord and lean not on our own understanding but we should seek His will in all we do and trust that He will show us what to do.   That’s walking in the Spirit.  So before you speak or act be sure check in with your heavenly Father and listen to what He tells you and trust Him to show the way to go.   

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As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.

Today we continue sharing from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “Discipleship”, also known as “The Cost of Discipleship”

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Bonhoeffer’s books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $20.00.

Chapter Four

Discipleship and the Cross - continues

So Jesus has to make it clear and unmistakable to his disciples that the need to suffer now applies to them, too. Just as Christ is only Christ as one who suffers and is rejected, so a disciple is a disciple only in suffering and being rejected, thereby participating in crucifixion. Discipleship as allegiance to the person of Jesus Christ places the follower under the law of Christ, that is, under the cross.[5]

When Jesus communicates this inalienable truth to his disciples, he begins remarkably by setting them entirely free once more. “If any want to become my followers,” Jesus says. Following him is not something that is self-evident, even among the disciples. No one can be forced, no one can even be expected to follow him. Rather, “if any” intend to follow him, despite any other offers they may get. Once again everything depends on a decision. While the disciples are already engaged in discipleship, everything is broken off once again, everything is left open, nothing is expected, nothing is forced. What he is going to say next is that decisive. Therefore, once again, before the law of discipleship is proclaimed, even the disciples must accept being set free.

“If any want to follow me, they must deny themselves.” Just as in denying Christ Peter said, “I do not know the man,” those who follow Christ must say that to themselves. Self-denial can never result in ever so many single acts of self-martyrdom or ascetic exercises. It does not mean suicide, because even suicide could be the expression of the human person’s own will. Self-denial means knowing only Christ, no longer knowing oneself. It means no longer seeing oneself, only him who is going ahead, no longer seeing the way which is too difficult for us. Self-denial says only: he is going ahead; hold fast to him.

“… and take up their cross.” The grace of Jesus is evident in his preparing his disciples for this word by speaking first of self-denial. Only when we have really forgotten ourselves completely, when we really no longer know ourselves, only then are we ready to take up the cross for his sake. When we know only him, then we also no longer know the pain of our own cross. Then we see only him. If Jesus had not been so gracious in preparing us for this word, then we could not bear it. But this way he has made us capable of hearing this hard word as grace. It meets us in the joy of discipleship, and confirms us in it.[1]

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship



[1] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship, ed. Martin Kuske et al., trans. Barbara Green and Reinhard Krauss, vol. 4, Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003), 85–86.