Home > Uncategorized > Second Post: Worldview ***READ PREVIOUS

Second Post: Worldview ***READ PREVIOUS

(Continued from Previous Post)

***If you have not had the opportunity to read the previous post, you will probably want to take a few moments to do so and ponder the questions posed at the end of the thread.

Having taken some time to ponder those two questions, you have taken the first steps in beginning to understand what you believe and why you believe it.

Through examining the most influential sources of your own worldview, you have, perhaps for the first time, examined the structural integrity of your beliefs. You have, symbolically speaking, taken a moment to walk around the house you live in and examine the foundation for potentially dangerous weaknesses. You are able to make repairs on the foundation to save your home; or, as you might find necessary, you can lay a new foundation and rebuild your home before it collapses.

(If I’m talking to you right now, congratulations on averting a near disaster)

You might be thinking…”why in the world is this guy talking about a house?” but the simple point is that most people running around in this world do not really know why they believe what they believe. Most people base their entire lives, all of their decisions, thoughts, passions, their most strongly held convictions on a worldview that is inherently dangerous because their beliefs are determined solely on the basis of what feels like the truth and, therefore, in their minds must be true.

Forgive me for asking so many questions, but would you vote for a president who said in debates that his platform was based on what just felt right to him? Would you hire a babysitter who felt they could do a good job, even if they had no experience whatsoever with childcare? Would you allow your neighbor to bulldoze your home because they felt like having a new swimming pool? Absolutely not! You demand to have explanations, to deal with facts, reasons, proof, evidence, and a mere feeling is not sufficient (I emphasize mere as a means of pointing out that feelings in and of themselves, apart from sound reasons and truth, are not adequate). You want them to answer your question of “WHY?” with an answer that has some meat to it, an answer that you can stand behind and support intelligently and passionately.

So why then is it that so many people live their lives with that kind of mentality? Why is it that people are living the unexamined life? Why are people willing to have their feet firmly planted in mid-air…upholding a worldview that is not built on even the semblance of a firm foundation?

There really are a tremendous number of answers to that question, more than I could even begin to list. I will say, however, that we must first begin with ourselves, by accepting responsibility for our own beliefs and our own faulty worldviews. We must be willing to confess that we have made the same mistakes; I certainly did for the first 18 years of my life, and rectify those mistakes by pursuing truth at all costs.

So where exactly do you start in trying to figure out the truth? To discover which worldview is the right worldview? To know which worldview provides the clarity we need to see God, the world, ourselves, death, and answer all the big questions?

I will tell you openly and honestly that I have found that the answer is found in Jesus Christ and in the very Word of God, the Bible (now don’t run off and get your feelings hurt because I said something you might not like very much).

Some of you might be thinking that I have, after all of my discussion of examining our belief systems to ensure that they are legitimate, reasonable, and provide clarity regarding the world around us, hopped a train to “Nutty Zealot-ville” and contradicted myself. You might be confused by the thought that it is impossible for the Christian worldview to be grounded on anything but purely desperate, unfounded, insupportable, unreasonable faith. If you find yourself distracted by the fact that I am a Christian and profess Jesus Christ to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life, you have allowed your intolerance of Christianity and prejudice against Christians to allow you to dump a lot of your own personal baggage onto a very important conversation.

Don’t miss the point of this thread friends…I want you to examine what you believe with a critical eye, looking for the flaws; then, I want you to thoroughly look at other worldviews with the same critical eye; and I want you to press on in asking the difficult questions about the different worldviews that exist in the world. Finally, I have offered up my own Christian worldview to your ferocious examination, as I have challenged you to do all along.

As always, I leave with a closing exhortation to think deeply and critically about what you believe; and, since I have offered it up as truth, think critically about the Christian worldview. The place to start with that is, of course, the Bible, and I would recommend looking to the life of Christ in the Gospel of John to begin with and then reading the book of Galatians.

I have exposed myself and what I believe to your brutal criticism and analysis, and I would love to face the business end of your thoughts…so feel free to post comments or email me (focalelement@gmail.com) and I will do my best to answer for the worldview I profess.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog, know that I sincerely appreciate it and it is a great reward to know that you read it.

If you don’t have a Bible, I recommend using the ESV translation… (http://www.gnpcb.org/esv/)

Bible Study Resource Links:

*** www.desiringgod.org *** – Incredible Bible Teaching
www.cri.org – Christian Research Institute
www.gospelcom.net

Worldview Resources

www.christianworldview.com
www.breakpoint.org

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. one
    July 27, 2005 at 4:38 am

    Hi Lee,

    Hmmm…How do I put this. I think you have great writing skills. Please understand that I am offering the following as constructive criticism.

    I thought from the first post that this blog was going to be more of a philosophical exchange. Apparently you are here to save us.

    I am taken back by the narrow focus on this particular post. I have many friends who are Christian, but they are more than open and respectful of other people’s paths.

    I don’t believe that Jesus is the only path or the cure all for humanity. I may have missed it…did Jesus ever say that? When he said “follow me”, I think he meant, “follow my example…Be an aware and good human being. All of us have “creator energy” within us.”

    I don’t believe he meant, “follow me…I am the only son of God. No other has been here before me and no other will come after me. I am your only choice for salvation. If you don’t follow me, you will burn in hell”. I don’t think he meant that at all.

    I have studied the bible…in depth, for the sake of research and through my Christian background, so I am not commenting without reference. It sounds like this is your future profession, so I understand this experiment, however I question your approach.

    If you want to “convert” or “save” people, perhaps you should be more open and curious about their current path and less pushy with your agenda.

    Just curious, in your opinion, what then happens to the Jews, Buddhists, Pagans, Muslims, Agnostics, etc. of the world? Are you saying that they are dammed forever because the do not embrace the bible and Jesus?

    Sorry if I’ve offended you. Good luck with this blog and your future endeavors.

  2. focalelement
    July 28, 2005 at 11:10 pm

    No worries, you definitely have not offended me; I am, in fact, tough to offend and I love to have just these types of difficult conversations that stir up passions and causes people to think.

    It is that enjoyment of mine (hard discussions about philosophy, religion, etc) combined with curiosity regarding other people’s beliefs and a desire for people to take an open minded, honest, critical look at Christianity, which caused me to start this blog up. It was my hope that challenging people to think deeply and then providing a controversial worldview would cause people to engage in conversation, providing opportunity to learn about the various paths that people are on.

    As you have very accurately pointed out, I do desire that people would come to know Jesus Christ, to believe in His resurrection and know Him as Lord, because I believe that is truth. It is my hope that you, as well as other readers, will read this post and engage in dialogue, to think through the points that I make, even if the purpose is to trip me up and make a fool of me. I am okay with that and I really hope that people who uphold tolerance as a great virtue would be willing to enact the virtue that they uphold in such regard. I hope you stick with me g.d. even if it is for the sole purpose of attempting to prove me wrong.

    So, on to your question about what the Bible says about salvation…

    Most people know John 3:16, “for God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”

    And it is a great and hope-filled verse, but the trick to studying the Bible (and you probably already know this, I am not trying to talk down to you by any means) is to keep reading and look at the context, so here is John 3:16-18 (keep in mind that “light” is the epitome of virtue and holiness to the Jews, one of whom Jesus was talking to in Nicodemus):

    16″For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”

    Now, you asked for my opinion about what happens to people who are not Christ believing Christians; well, Jesus is the judge of men (John 5:26-27) and it was Jesus who taught Nicodemus “whoever does not believe is condemned already” (John 3:18). Where their in no true belief in Christ, there can be no salvation, only condemnation. Is that a hard thing to understand? Absolutely, it is really really hard…but, fortunately, God is full of grace and full of mercy and we sit here alive, knowing of the gospel and knowing of Christ and knowing Who we must believe in to be saved.

    So, again, please allow me to make a request…that you would realize that, if I am as wrong as you believe me to be, then it falls to you to ask the questions and communicate the thoughts that you believe to be flaws in what I consider my foundation. I am eager for the philosophical exchange that you accurately thought this blog was about, I just have a different worldview than you do; I want to know what people believe and what they are passionate about; I want to provide a place where ideas and beliefs are articulated and compared and contrasted and refined…so let us all contribute in that process of refinement.

  3. one
    July 29, 2005 at 1:23 am

    Thanks for the reading suggestions. I am aware of the material and have previously studied it.

    My problem with these writings has always been that I don’t believe these are words that Jesus would have actually spoken. These statements are based on fear. He was too enlightened to inflict fear on others. Indeed, these accounts came from people that were very close to him, however these are the same people who wanted, at all costs, to propagate Jesus teachings. How convenient for their cause that Jesus would say “whoever does not believe is condemned already” and all of that backed up by “God so loved the world that he gave his ONLY Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”.

    How terribly sad for all non-Christian humanity. It amazes me that your version of God will damn his own creation, for not acknowledging his ONLY son. …to condem all non-Christians. How intolerant of your version of God.

    You know, that really doesn’t sound like something God would say either…nope, it doesn’t. God is ALL LOVE…ONLY LOVE. Fear has no room in love. All of these statements that you’ve provided are based on fear, especially yours. “…knowing of the gospel and knowing of Christ and knowing Who we must believe in to be saved.” Saved from what? Please, I beg you don’t say hell. These are such basic concepts…all so primitive.

    Let’s tell that to a beautiful and innocent child in Cambodia…that he is dammed….tell that to a devoted mother in Jerusalem…that she is dammed…tell that to a humble Buddhist monk hiding in the Himalayans…that he is dammed.
    All who do not believe in Jesus Christ…you are all dammed.

    You contradict yourself, Lee. I don’t see any real interest in other people’s spiritual paths….So truly interested are you, that you tell us all that if we don’t believe in your version of God, we are already dammed? I guess you did offer help by showing us where we may find salvation. In your religion….with your version of god.

    I don’t see how you don’t view yourself as intolerant. I know so many wonderful Christians that would NEVER say that all non-Christians are dammed. I’m not intolerant of Christianity. I am intolerant of intolerant people.

    I’m sorry. I don’t have any questions for you, because I’m not convinced that you are at all interested in me and my views. Your only interest seems to be to shove your views down my throat, bibble quotes and all.

    I don’t think you could truly admire anything else than your religion. I do, I admire open-minded and giving Christians, I admire the silent power of Buddhism, and the amazing resolve of the Jews, just to name a few. I believe all these paths can connect humanity to its creator. Who are we to say, “NO”…it can’t be done. Because the bible says so? It didn’t use to say so, you know. The New Testament says so…very conveniently so.

    OK…until next post. You exhaust me.

  4. one
    July 29, 2005 at 1:26 am

    Oh…and I was too tired to spell check. ;-)

  5. focalelement
    August 3, 2005 at 11:33 pm

    Hey g.d.

    Thank you again for asking the hard questions and digging into the meat of difficult issues. One of things I appreciate about you most is that you are tremendously passionate about what you believe and you are not afraid to put it out there.

    I have decided to take our “commentary conversation” and go mainstream with it, responding to the excellent questions you bring up in the main thread where, hopefully, more people will see and benefit from it.

    I trust that you will continue to keep an eye on the posts and add additional responses as you deem necessary.

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