World View: How It Affects Our “Opinions”
Have you ever thought of where your opinions come from? Do they come from your parents? A favorite teacher? What you watch on TV or listen to on the radio? The evening news? Celebrity pronouncements or movie star worship? We all are affected by people and events that have influenced our lives in both negative and positive ways. They all contribute to our basic belief system. Out of our belief system comes our worldview.
Worldview “ . . .the framework of ideas and beliefs through which an individual, group or culture interprets the world and interacts with it.” “A network of presuppositions which is not verified by the procedures of natural science but in terms of which every aspect of man’s knowledge and experience is interpreted and interrelated.” Wikipedia
In other words, your relationships and experiences have influenced your basic belief system which forms your worldview, and out of your worldview come your opinions.
I often say to my husband that almost anyone’s opinion is logical if you start from the base of their worldview. The problems arise when we have different basic belief systems. Many misunderstandings come from variant worldviews.
All of the current debates on issues ranging from national healthcare, to the sanctity of marriage, to the value of human life from it’s inception, to right-to-work (i.e., not have to join or pay dues to a union), to a strictly Constitutional government, to the extension of amnesty to illegal aliens by Presidential fiat, all are dictated by personal worldview.
For the “re-born” Christian (as introduced by Jesus in the Gospel of John chapter 3), many of these hotly debated issue opinions are influenced by a Spirit-birthed relationship to God the Father and by the teachings in God’s Word. A reborn Christian’s opinions are not merely his/her personal ones, for his spirit is now linked to God’s Spirit, or he/she is not really a “Christian”:
Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. . . . So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:3-8
The Apostle Paul also speaks of this relationship with God in Romans chapter 8, in which he refers to Spirit-born Christians as “sons of God”:
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you . . . For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:9-11, 14-15
Response to Negative Disqualifyers
Very often, from pro-entitlement, pro-choice, pro-amnesty, or pro-same-sex marriage supporters come charges against those, who for conscience sake, (often stemming from religious and/or Scriptural values), are opposed to these more liberal viewpoints. Such charges as “bigoted, hateful, unloving, unkind, and judgmental” are leveled against anyone who dares to express a personal opinion that is anything but status quo and politically correct.
Often Scriptures are used to support these negative charges; such as, “Didn’t Jesus say to love everyone and not to judge others?” I find it interesting that often those who use these two particular words from Scripture, have no interest in going any deeper into the Bible or into a dynamic relationship with Jesus themselves – just Scripture to disqualify opposing opinions.
Isn’t it “unloving and judgmental” to declare someone else is unloving and judgmental, when we don’t know them personally? Is love being shown toward those whom we judge as “bigoted, hateful, unloving and judgmental”? Or do we apply the words of Jesus only to win points in a debate?
Isn’t it self-serving to use convenient catch phrases from Scripture to “judge” those whom we feel are being “judgmental” because they disagree with us?
Your opinions about the value of human life, the origin of the created world and the sanctity, purpose, and acceptable form of marriage, all stem from your belief system about God, His creation, and the Holy Scriptures which reveal God’s will for mankind – in other words, from your basic worldview.
Belief in and a relationship with the God of the Bible affects our opinions and choices.
Those who support marriage between a man and a woman only, and those who are pro-life – from the womb to old age – frequently base that view on the beliefs that there is a supreme holy God and that the Bible is the Word of God. They believe the teachings in the book of Genesis, that God is the one who created human life (it was not an evolutionary process that produced this highest created being), that God is the one who gave human life value; that God is the one who originated marriage between a man and a woman and that this was His plan for perpetuity. Their opinions on such matters are honest, kind and loving, based on their worldview. And to judge them as “bigoted, hateful and unloving” is unfair.
Loving Others What does it mean to love others? If I love my neighbor as myself, will I not warn him when I see him about to step off the edge of a 100 foot cliff as he is sleep-walking? Or try to wake him up when I see his house is on fire?
Does being loving mean that I shouldn’t warn those who perhaps don’t know what God’s standards are for His children, nor the fact that they will one day have to stand before the judge of the universe and account for their decisions that are contrary to God’s laws, whether or not they believe in God?
It’s important in this age of “anything you want to believe is okay” to examine what our worldview is based on. Do we have a solid foundation of beliefs that will withstand time, no matter how fickle public opinion is? Do we really believe what we say we believe, or are we swayed by every twist and turn of public opinions that swirl around us?
Is your “tolerance” really love for others, or are you taking the easy way out, doing what you need to do in order to be perceived as broadminded and tolerant? Is it possible that you perfer to overlook the sins of others so that you feel better about your own sin?
Jesus called his followers to walk on a narrow path: the people on that path are to base their worldview on the Scriptures and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and to lovingly warn and hopefully rescue those who are standing on the edge of a cliff.
How firm is the foundation for your worldview?
©2012, Marcy Alves
Posted on August 20, 2012, in Christian Growth, God Encounters, In the News, Reflections and tagged basic beliefs, belief system, Christianity, personal opinions, same-sex marriage, World view. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.