Is your worldview ready for the world?


What is something that everyone has, but few recognize? What is something that doesn’t have to make us enemies, but often does? What is something that could be a bridge or a wall, depending on how you think about it? The answer: your worldview.

In its simplest form, your worldview is how you see the world. Your worldview is not right or wrong as much as it is true or not true to the way the world works and what the Bible tells us about the world.

In my experience growing up with Christianity as a folk religion and a Christian subculture engaged in a culture war, I am most familiar with a Christian worldview that is contentious towards the world. The world is the enemy. The world is evil. The world is the problem. If I could steer clear of the world, my faith would be better off.

To be sure, there are passages in scripture where the world is cast in a negative role in the life of a Christian. But there are also passages where the world is God’s loving creation full of people that He loves (John 3:16). A quick tally of the uses of the word “world” in the gospels shows an almost equal number of positive implications as negative ones. So the world is not always the bad guy. Therefore, a realistic worldview would show the world as both good and bad depending on the context. A worldview that sets up a Christian against the world would not be true, therefore, in all cases. I think we tend toward a contentious worldview because it makes our work easier. You can paint the world with one dark brushstroke. You can provide a reason for staying away from the world, criticizing it and remaining isolated in the safe company of others who believe as you do.

It’s easier to judge than to empathize. It’s easier to categorize those who are in the world than to identify with them. It’s easier to find what’s wrong with the world than it is to find and support what is right. It’s easier to build a wall than it is to build a bridge. A bridge means you have to connect with someone or something in the world and that’s a lot more difficult.

It’s a lot more of a challenge to be in the world and not of it than to not be in it or of it at all. You have to be a lot smarter about it to engage the world as a Christian than to keep your Christianity separate from the world and isolate you faith away from the “secular” culture. It’s easier to write the world off as being truly messed up than it is to join the mess.

So think about your worldview today. Is it a worldview that works in the real world, or do you have to keep your faith separate from the world you live in and frequent? Your answer will tell you a lot about whether or not you are ready for Johnny’s Cafe.

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9 Responses to Is your worldview ready for the world?

  1. Your picture of the fingerprint immediately caught my eye. However, I did not mentally process the subliminal image of our green earth inside the fingerprint.
    After doing a triple-take, I had to focus a little more closely, but then I saw… and understood what I was seeing.
    We mustn’t just look at what we see but we must see what we’re looking at.

  2. Mark says:

    I think that’s one of the cool things about Johnny’s Cafe is learning others World’s view…

  3. Marc says:

    This reminds me of the poem you once composed about “In the world but not of the world.” I forget the words, I hope you bring it up in a future blog, John.

  4. Sandie says:

    It’s also easier to point out wrongs in people and in the world, than it is to pinpoint what is wrong in ourselves. “Judge not, lest ye be judged.”
    I forget the comic strip, but I remember an issue where the character Pogo makes this statement, “I have seen the enemy, and it is us.”
    What would this world be like if all believers (especially me) were “about their Father’s business?”

    • Sandie says:

      The name of the comic strip is….POGO! Go figure!

      • Great comic strip, Pogo!
        “Don’t take life so serious, son…it ain’t no how permanent.”
        – Porky Pine (from Pogo)

        The funnies are one of the main reasons I still subscribe to the newspaper!
        Lots of wisdom can be found there along with the humor.

        Speaking of comics, I’m currently reading a great little book entitled: “Fearless – A Cartoonists Guide to Life”. It’s written by Robb Armstrong, creator of the syndicated comic strip “JumpStart”.
        The book is both an autobiography (of sorts) and an inspirational lesson on how to live through both good times and bad – Robb has experienced both in a way that most of us will only ever read about.
        Plus, he dedicates a portion of each chapter in helping the reader to create their own cartoon art as a type of therapy.
        It’s not just a book filled with comics. It’s what Robb says, “a new way of looking at the world and experiencing its beauty and challenges.”
        He also shares his Christian testimony that is very honest, down-to-earth, and not at all “preachy” or forced.

        A little trivia note:
        The character of Franklin in the “Peanuts” comic strips by Charles Schulz turned 50 on July 31st this year.
        Franklin never had a last name from 1968 until 1994.
        Schulz called Robb Armstrong with a special request: He asked for Robb’s permission to make “Armstrong” Franklin’s last name. Franklin Armstrong.
        To this day, Robb Armstrong remains in awe of the “tremendous honor” of having Franklin carry his last name and Schulz’s influence on his own career.

  5. Gary says:

    I get it, I get it !! There is a Plant on display in the Denver Gardens, that is said to be very beautiful to look at, but releases a very bad smell. Thus my view is The world has its beautifulness. You also have to hold your nose to take it in.

  6. jwfisch says:

    Ha. I like that! (And it’s my stuff that smells!)

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