He is “the most quoted person in the Christian Church today.” Know who? His name is George Barna. In 1984 he founded “Barna Research Group” which is now “The Barna Group.” He helped it become a leading research firm focused on the intersection of faith and culture. He sold it in 2009 and currently serves as the Executive Director of The American Culture and Faith Institute. He has written more than 50 books and is a church planter and pastor.
I heard an interview with him this past week on Moody Radio. They were speaking of worldviews and he mentioned a recent survey by The Barna Group that revealed that some 94% of Americans are driven by a non-biblical worldview. Wow, only 6% of Americans have a biblical perspective. No wonder our country is in such a mess. It is definitely not because we are facing a pandemic or because of our corrupt political system or because of the bias of main-stream media or the lack of patriotism or the liberalizing of our educational systems. Those things are revealing our real problem—the majority has lost its foundation in the only source of genuine, absolute truth for faith and practice—God’s Word. The Bible, in essence, is the “Manufacturer’s Manual” for how the product—we—should operate. When we ignore the “Manual,” we don’t find fulfillment, purpose or significance, and we look for it in all the wrong places and boy do we make a mess of things!
Today, countless Christians, from youth through adult, have fallen victim to the popular ideas of our modern world. Many have adopted these ideas into their own worldview. And many of those without Christ in their lives have renounced the Christian faith—and the Bible—altogether.
A worldview is our view of God, humanity and the world. A biblical worldview is one that is based on God’s infallible Word. It shows us what God is really like and where to turn for true answers to our big life questions. Fake worldviews, on the other hand, trick us into looking for answers in all the wrong places. And they are everywhere—on television, in books and magazines, at the movies and in conversations with friends and family and on the internet. We absorb them like we catch colds. We don’t even know we’re sick until it’s too late.
Just as there is an abundance today of “fake news,” there are a number of main fake worldviews to which people succumb. One is being religious, but without having a relationship with Christ. Many who still profess to be “Christians,” have never personally trusted Christ as Savior and don’t read, let alone study and follow the Bible as their guide for what they believe and how they behave. Included among them are those who don’t believe absolute truth can be known and that we can’t really take the Bible literally. So they live doing what they feel is right in the moment or what accomplishes their goals—doing what is right in their own eyes. (Hmmm…check out Judges 21:25!).
A significant percentage are sympathetic to the teachings of Islam and the Koran, looking upon Christians as infidels, as the enemy. And, currently in the U.S.A, a growing percentage—especially those on the left politically—are accepting and pushing ideas associated with Marxism, the belief that the current system must be overthrown (“Cancel Culture”) because it exploits the poor to benefit the rich. Another large percentage believe ideas based on Secular Humanism (evolutionist, agnostics and atheists), the belief that the material world is all there is, that man can resolve his own problems without God—if He even exists at all. Many have sort of “cut and pasted” from the varying worldviews and have an amalgamation of beliefs—called “syncretism.” Tragically, fake worldviews ruin people’s lives, leading them to wrong values and harmful practices which affect entire cultures and nations.
The bad ideas generated by fake worldviews are simply lies—lies about the nature of reality, lies about morality, lies about values and lies about how we should relate to one another. At the root of all these false worldviews and their lies is none other than Satan, whom Jesus called “a liar and the father of lies” (Jn. 8:44).
How do we know the Christian’s biblical worldview is true? Christianity’s grasp of reality has enabled it to profoundly influence the world. That influence has led to human rights, freedom, education, healthcare and much more. But that alone does not establish that it is true. When we say that the Christian worldview is true, we are affirming that it best describes the world as it actually exists, how it got here and where it is headed. That the universe is a product of God’s design (Gen. 1:1-2:23) is evident for all to see (Ro. 1:19,20). People may try to deny it, but they do so only by ignoring the overwhelming evidence that this complex and finely tuned universe could never have come about by blind chance.
Christianity also presents us with moral absolutes. In the Bible, God tells us what is right and what is wrong. Though many try to pretend otherwise, God’s moral absolutes have consistently proven to be standards that make human life and society possible. So, why do people base their lives on fake worldviews? It is not that truth is unknowable but that we have rebelled at the truth. We have chosen to ignore it and to not honor God and as a result man has “…become futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools” (Ro. 1:18-21). Only the biblical worldview describes the physical world as it actually exists and describes the condition of mankind in his sinfulness.
But, there is hope. The truth still sets people free (Jn. 9:32,36). There is still power in the gospel (the good news of Jesus’ death for sin, His burial and resurrection) to save all who believe (Ro. 1:16,17). As Christians, we are “salt and light” (Mt. 5:14-16), and the catalyst for cultural change if we stand strong in our faith and defend truth. We are to always be ready to give a reason for the hope that we have (I Pet. 3:15). So, Go Make a Difference for Christ!