Last night, on BlogTalkRadio, we had one of the country’s most visible and often quoted Christian leaders, George Barna. He was the founder and leader of The Barna Group which continues to conduct groundbreaking research on worldview, cultural transformation, ministry applications, spiritual development, and politics. His current work is almost solely taken up with worldview studies based out of Arizona Christian University where he leads the Cultural Research Center and teaches as a professor.
Among the things we discussed last night was the fact that a recent research study he conducted said a mere 6% of people in this country tested positive for having a biblical worldview. That leaves an obvious question: What about the other 96%? What do they believe? What’s their worldview? George Barna identified their worldview as “syncretism,” or “the amalgamation of different religions, cultures or schools of thought.” In other words, the worldview of most people today is a hodgepodge of thinking. It’s picked from here and picked from there, like soup with everything thrown in. It’s the result of the postmodern age we live in now where there is no such thing as absolute truth. Truth is relative — relative to you and what you want it to be. Since there is no absolute truth, then we are all authors of our own truth. Pick from here, pick from there, put it all together and there you have it — your own version of truth.
What does this mean for us and our attempts to communicate the gospel to a world that has no concept of truth — no solid idea of a greater God who exists and is seeking to have a relationship with us. It’s frustrating when you start to wonder if we have to teach people how to think before we can communicate the gospel to them. Well you do, if you have to start with a reasonable universe and God’s plan for creation, the fall, the redemption of Christ and the transformation of us as His children. That’s going to take a good deal of time to get across, and a certain way of understanding the world to even get it across. There must be a better way. Is God requiring everyone to change their worldview in order to come to Him? No.
There is a better way. It’s called, Love. Love doesn’t require prior training. Love doesn’t insist on a prescribed way of thinking. Love doesn’t insist on the acceptance of a creed or a set of beliefs. Love comes from God and it flows through us to others and it doesn’t require a certain worldview to be felt, known and received. Love is the universal language and it brings people to God by the sheer force of its beauty, its acceptance and its will. Love is grace turned outward, and it doesn’t require a worldview adjustment. It only asks to be received.
A number of years ago Jane, my wife, had foreign students room in our home. The local university had a program for asian and other students interested in learning english in Canada. So if you roomed with a Canadian family you got english immersion so to speak.
As per university demands, we had to provide daily meals for the students. Every night they would have supper with us, we would pray before the meal but no evangelizing allowed. We had after supper discussions about a multitude of topics. Jane would often pick them up from the university when they missed the bus. She also sent daily bag lunches with them as required. The bottom line, all the students we had were overwhelmed with the loving kindness my wife displayed.
This often led to discussion about God and church on their initiative because we were not allowed to talk about the gospel at all. A third of the students we had came to church with us at their request.
In a nutshell they were all loved. Always preach the gospel and if you have to use words.
If nothing else, Jane’s kindness and llove gave these students a positive view of ‘religion’.
And hopefully, a positive view of God and Jesus.
So well said about Love. No matter what folks choose to believe as the truth as long as love is all around that says it all no matter what. True faith is always a plus