Is our worldview building bridges or walls?


Our excellent discussion with George Barna last week on BlogTalkRadio kicked open the door on Christian or biblical worldview discussions. So tonight on BlogTalkRadio, our good friend Wayne Bridegroom will be joining me to continue the conversation. Wayne and I have been bantering back and forth about this all week, so I thought we would just let you in on the discussion. I must admit, a lot of my thinking on worldview is in process. I have long been concerned that most attempts at creating a Christian or biblical worldview are not getting it right, but I’m not completely sure I know why, so you have to realize my thoughts are reaching for something I don’t think I have fully grasped.

I do believe that the whole purpose of a Christian worldview is to have an informed understanding of the culture we inhabit for the purpose of building bridges for the gospel. Here at the Catch, our vision is to introduce the Gospel of Welcome — grace turned outward — to everyone, everywhere. Therefore, in order to communicate with non-Christians, we need to understand them — how they think, what is important to them. The main underlying emotion being compassion.

Most Christian worldview teaching may start off well, but it always seems to veer off track and end up the opposite of what it should be doing: building walls instead of bridges.

What we (as Christians) think about ______________ (fill in some cultural component here like “political correctness”), becomes: what should we think about ________________ , which eventually becomes, “This is just one more thing wrong with the world, and why we need to fight for the right way — our way of thinking,” which ends up throwing more fuel on the fire of a smoldering culture war. We may start with an attempt to understand the culture, but we seem to always end up judging and condemning the culture and separating ourselves further from it in our disagreement.

I just listened to a testimony on a popular Christian worldview website where one of the people who had gone through the program was saying, “Someone brought up critical race theory and we talked about it. We dissected it as a case study, ‘Okay here’s what critical race theory thinks, what do we think about it as Christians?’” So far, so good, but the problem is there’s often no discussion about where we go from there. Regardless of what we think about critical race theory, how do we lovingly engage with people for whom critical race theory is important and/or viewed differently?

“What do we think about such-and-such as Christians” is set up as the most important thing, when it is the least important. Who cares what we think about it? Only other Christians. Non-Christians don’t care what we think about it. It’s much more important that we care what they think about it. Only then can we enter into the discussion with respect, and not to win our point of view, but to build a relationship.

I honestly don’t think Jesus cares what we think about critical race theory, He cares that we care about the people to whom critical race theory is important. Do we care about them? Are we trying to understand them? Do we love them?

If the goal of our worldview is building bridges in the world, not walls, then we want to find out what they think, why they think that way, and what about what they think can we connect with? (That would be a bridge.)

If the goal of our worldview is to correct all the wrong thinking in the world, we will only be building walls. What we think is only going to start an argument.

Don’t miss BlogTalkRadio tonight; it’s going to be a good one.


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3 Responses to Is our worldview building bridges or walls?

  1. John A Fagliano says:

    For Christians, the biggest flaw in worldview comes from the assumption: Christian = biblical = it’s from God, therefore we are following God and ANYBODY who disagrees with us disagrees with God and can NEVER be right. So guess who’s always right?

    What we don’t stop to ask is how well do we know the bible? How well do we know God? How often are our thoughts and actions in line with what is right?
    The obvious truth that we don’t know it all comes from the fact that not all Christians agree on “fill in the blank” issues. If we are not aware of that we are not being honest to begin with and no, it’s not OK to say that those who disagree with us are “not truly Christians”.
    In the same way, not everyone we label “The world” or “non-Christians” agrees on anything either. There are non-Christian democrats and non-Christian republicans.

    The steps to establishing a worldview you can defend include 1) Educate yourself by reading from reliable sources and ignore biased opinions where only one side is condemned. 2) Learn what Jesus teaches in the Gospels, what is taught in the letters to the churches and pray as to how these teachings can be applied to any hot button issue. 3) Know that you are still only human and you still don’t know everything and you can still see that maybe someday you might be wrong about something and might in the future have to change your mind as you continue to grow and learn more about God. 4) Now you are ready to share your worldview with anyone and perhaps, you might be heard instead of hated.

  2. drewdsnider says:

    Good piece on this, John. Interestingly, just yesterday, I read an article on a Christian website that went into all the things “wrong” with Critical Race Theory (CRT), and posited that CRT is a cult and anti-Christian, etc., etc., because “obviously” racism goes against God’s word and so to say there is racism goes against God. I think that’s how it went. Anyway, the article utterly failed to address the elephant in the room, namely, the fact that many people who claim to be Christians are associated with racist words and deeds; which would be a pretty good reason why people are turning to their own ways of thinking, rather than Jesus. We have to keep living as He calls us to and keep telling people it’s all about Jesus, and showing non-believers, rather than trying to tell them, that Jesus is NOT “like that”.

  3. Toni Petrella says:

    I guess the old saying is true to Love your neighbor as you would love yourself no matter what they are or what they believe. Jesus is here for all of us and believing that now and forever is important to building bridges and not walls.

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