Have you ever known someone that regardless of what you said they would say the opposite? You could say the sky is blue, and they would say, “No! It’s green!” as though being divisive and argumentative were their most developed characteristics. These are typically the type of people you avoid because they are always so difficult. But have you ever wondered why they are like that, excluding the possibility of them just being a miserable human being, of course.
For some people, their objectionable opinions are not for the purpose of being controversial or difficult. They are often very sincere but are driven by an entirely different worldview. What do I mean by worldview? A worldview is the way in which a person sees the world in which they live. And like anything else in our lives, it doesn’t develop on its own but is shaped by a number of environmental factors, including cultural, ethnical, and socioeconomic factors. Obviously a person’s education or lack of education affects the way they view the world as well. Yet, one of the biggest influencing factors that shape a person’s worldview is the Bible.
This is not to say that the Bible has always been used to shape positive worldviews. You maybe have heard of a thing called the crusades! It can be stated, and I have stated, that the Bible has been the influence of some of the most vicious and horrible acts of world history, yet it has also been the influence to some of the bravest and most selfless acts of kindness and love seen in all of humanity. I would argue that the former is a prime example of textual distortion and an excellent example of worldview.
How you view the Bible shapes the way you view the world. If you view the Bible as the inspired and inerrant Word of God, it shapes your perspective on many things, for example:
- If you believe we are all created in the image of God, this influences the way that you value life and how you respect other people.
- If you believe that everything you own is given by God, then you try to be a good steward instead of hoarding for your personal edification.
- If you believe God placed you on earth for a particular purpose, you live for something much greater than yourself.
These are just a few examples, of course, but as you can see, the Bible has a lot to say about many things. If we believe the Bible is inspired by God and inerrant then the words of scripture impact the way we think about our lives, the way we view our fellow humans, and the way we care for the world in which we live.
The opposite is also true. If you don’t believe the Bible is inspired by God and that it is like any other piece of literature, then its words have no affect on how you view life or your those around you. Your worldview must then be influenced by another source, an alternative religion, a political ideology, or some humanistic philosophy. Then again, perhaps it isn’t that deep, and the worldview is influenced by pop culture and current trends.
Of course, there is middle ground. Some people believe the Bible is inspired by God, but yet it isn’t inerrant. For people who fall in this category, there can often be a lot of picking and choosing, or exceptions made when it comes to certain decisions. That is not to say whether this is good or bad, but it’s just simply the way it is.
So, how about you? What is your worldview? What influences you? An even more difficult question to ask for those who are Bible believers is- does your worldview match that of the Bible? The truth is there are inconsistencies in all of our lives. While some may have more than others, none are greater than others. It is our job, as Bible believers, to reevaluate our lives regularly, and find areas in which we can realign ourselves with God’s Word. The proclamation of biblical truth is the loudest when it is both seen and heard.