Five Major Worldview Categories
- Naturalism: atheism, agnosticism, existentialism
- Pantheism: Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism, New Age, Consciousness
- Theism: Christianity, Judaism, Islam
- Spiritism and Polytheism (includes thousands of religions)
- Postmodernism and Secular Humanism (marked by skepticism, individualism, little or no spiritual foundation)
In addition to those listed above, many people claim not to adhere to any of the mainstream definitions. They consider themselves to be “free-thinkers” with the right answers. In actuality, they simply modify one basic belief system, or combine several. And most often, they cannot clearly define what they believe.
The Questions of Life
Worldviews seek to explain the most basic questions of life:
1. Who am I?
2. Where did I come from?
3. Why am I here?
4. What is my purpose in life?
5. Where will I go when I die?
6. Why is the world in the condition it is in?
7. What can be done to improve my life?
8. What can I do to make a difference in the world?
How people answer these questions is influenced by their knowledge and perceptions of the world and by what they hold to be true. In other words, one’s worldview is defined by one’s beliefs. Since much of the knowledge and many of the perceptions are not provable, all worldviews are faith-based systems. Every worldview is a system of beliefs by which people live until they reach their ultimate destiny, which is also defined by their worldview.
True Religion, False Religion, or No Religion
Man has been trying to understand and define his life and his world since the fall of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3). In previous centuries, worldviews were defined by religious beliefs: 1) the Abrahamic faith religions, 2) false religions, and 3) no religion.
Why So Many Worldviews?
Many reject the Christian worldview because their faith is in themselves or in false teachings. They choose to believe in themselves, in their own abilities, or they follow a false god. Their problem with the Christian worldview is that it requires submission to an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Triune God. Even though the Triune God is proven to be all-loving and all good, many refuse to acknowledge their need to depend on One who is more powerful and more knowledgeable than themselves. They focus on themselves. Their faith is in their own ability and power.
The Christian worldview focuses on the God who created all things. It encourages a dependency on God’s power and direction and promises peace, strength, and joy.
Unlike Other Worldviews
Only the Christian worldview is built on a rock-solid, never-changing, absolutely-true foundation. Why is the Christian worldview foundation never-shifting, always solid, always true? Because it is not based on man’s knowledge and understanding. It is based on the wisdom of God as revealed through His inerrant Word. It is based on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Mal 3:6 “For I am the LORD, I do not change”
Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.
There is freedom in the Christian worldview that no other worldview offers. Only in the Christian worldview does man place himself into the hands of a good, loving, and all-powerful God who will direct and guide his life. In every other worldview, man depends upon himself.
We could study in detail all the varying worldviews. And to do so, would be helpful in understanding false religions. But at the end of the day, what’s really important is knowing God’s answers to life’s great questions. God’s answers are revealed on the pages of Scripture. Reading and studying the Bible will prepare Christians to share their worldview (i.e. their faith) with others.
The Christian Worldview Answers the Questions of Life
Who am I?
I am a soul, knit together in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13).
I was born into this world in the flesh and born again of the Spirit (John 3:5)
Where did I come from?
It is the Almighty God of all creation who gave me life. (Psalm 139:13, Revelation 4:11)
God created the world and everything in it. (John 1:3, Romans 11:36, Colossians 1:16)
Why am I here and what is my purpose in life?
Man was created for God’s pleasure and by His will (Revelation 1:6, 4:11).
Man’s purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
Where will I go when I die?
The end for all people is physical death (Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death…) and eternal life of the soul. All bodies will die and all souls will live eternally…somewhere.
Christians will live in Heaven with their Creator, having received forgiveness of sins and the gift of salvation (Romans 6:23 …the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord). Sadly, those who reject God’s gift of salvation will live separated from God forever (Mark 9:43-48), condemned by their own choice (John 3:18), and judged for their works (Revelation 20:12).
Why is the world in the condition it is in?
Because of sin. God created the world perfect, without any death or dying. And He created man without sin. Man chose to disobey God and seek after his own desires. In doing so, sin entered the world (Romans 5:12).
Every one of us is a sinner. We aren’t sinners because we sin, we sin because we are sinners. We were born sinners and we are the problem in our world. The condition of our world is because of the problems caused by the sins of man.
What can be done to improve my life?
Live for Jesus and allow His Holy Spirit to work in and through my life.
All religions, except Christianity, teach that if man tries harder his life will improve. But doing good works does not guarantee a better life. Jesus asked, “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36) He also warned, “…unless you repent you will all likewise perish. (Luke 13:3) But He also promised, “…I give unto them [those who are His] eternal life; and they shall never perish…”(John 10:28)
The only way to improve life in a sinful world is to be cleansed of one’s own sins and receive the gift of eternal life with the Lord Jesus Christ. That produces a rest for the life.
Mat 11:28-29 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
When Jesus saves someone, He also gives them the Holy Spirit, to indwell them and empower them to live for Him.
What can I do to make a difference in the world?
Know the foundational truths of the Christian worldview.
Be prepared and ready to share God’s truths, His love, and the saving grace of Jesus with all people.
Make an effort to turn conversations from worldly matters to subjects of spiritual importance.
Be a testimony for Christ in your life by living in accordance with His will and by reflecting His light.
Matthew 5:15-16 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel [basket], but on a candlestick; and it gives light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Beliefs About God in Religious Belief Systems
Atheism says, “There is no God.”
Pantheism says, “All creation is God.”
Panentheism says, “God is in, and He transcends, all creation.”
Deism says, “God is a distant creator.”
Theistic Finitism says, “God is limited.”
Polytheism says, “There are many gods.”
Monotheism says, “There is only one God.”
Christianity says, “God is Triune: one God in three Persons.”
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