Category Archives: Worldview

What we really need

At breakfast I had a political conversation about the incoming president. It has been interesting to hear what maddens the media about him. They believe that his business may distort his decisions. They believe that the Russians are on his side.

At the conclusion of the breakfast conversation, I passed along something I have been thinking about for a while and have read from other conservative Christian politicians. Our biggest need right now is not good politicians (although I would like that). Our biggest need is changed hearts.

The solution in the middle east is to have a dictator who cracks heads when people don’t do what he deems is best. While that might “work” for a while, it only keeps bad people in line as long as he holds power. But our country’s power is invested in “we the people.” If the people are ungodly what will the result be?

Our country could use some good politicians who love God and make good decisions for the future direction of the country. But if the people don’t have the same heart, it will be an up hill battle. We need the change that only Jesus can make (2 Cor. 5:17). And if that is the answer (and I believe it is) maybe we should invest more time in sharing the life changing message of Jesus with people.

Culture and Clothing

Ever since the garden of Eden, God has had an opinion on the way people dress. From the animal skins used to cover Adam and Eve to the garments worn by priests, God has prescribed modesty as his people clothing style. But what about today? Does God care how men and women dress in today’s culture? Let’s take a look.

The reason I am even writing this is that I was asked to read Scripture for tomorrow’s morning service at Orwell Bible Church. The passage is 1 Timothy 2. As I read through the passage, I consulted The Bible Knowledge Commentary for an explanation of several verses. Among other things, the commentary on verse 9 was especially good.

“Next Paul turned to the females in the congregation. For their adornment they should not emphasize the external, but the internal. They should dress modestly, with decency and propriety (cf. v. 15). These terms stress not so much the absence of sexual suggestiveness, though it is included, but rather an appearance that is simple, moderate, judicious, and free from ostentation. The specifics Paul mentioned (braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes) are not wrong in themselves, but become inappropriate when they indicate misplaced values (cf. 3:3). In the Ephesian church these styles may have been associated with the local temple prostitutes. Christians must be careful about letting a pagan culture set their fashions.”

That last sentence of the commentary summarizes what often happens to Christians living in a culture that is unconcerned with God’s perspective on something as simple as clothing. While the way we dress should not be “everything” to us, we mustn’t let current cultural trends override what God intends for us to be and convey by our appearance. The Bible tells us that God not only cares about our dress but also a great number of other things including what we say, think, and do. And as we slowly conform to His perfect ways, we will become quite different than the culture around us. But that is okay. Our goal as followers of Christ is not to be purposely weird but it is to be as much like our Father as possible. Maybe that should be the new trend.

Why did God allow the Holocaust?

“In dealing with the problem of evil in the world, we run into many problems like this one. Could God have prevented the Holocaust? Yes, He could have. He could also have prevented Stalin’s massacres in the U.S.S.R., the Spanish Inquisition’s torture of dissidents, and Nero’s reign of terror. In each case, God allowed evil men to exercise a certain amount of power for a short period of time.

Ultimately, we do not know the reasons for what God allows. His ways and thoughts are infinitely higher than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). His sovereign plan takes in the whole scope of history, past, present, and future, encompassing every possible course of action, every cause and effect, every potentiality, and every contingency. There is no way we could possibly fathom the intricacies of His design. By faith, we trust that His plan is the best plan possible for restoring fallen humanity and a cursed world to righteousness and blessing.

But we can understand this: God’s permission is not the same as His approval. God permitted Adam to eat of the forbidden tree, but He did not approve of the action. In the same way, God’s allowing the Holocaust in no way suggests His approval of it. God is grieved by the sinfulness of man and the hardness of his heart (Genesis 6:6; Mark 3:5). We also know that God has done everything possible to redeem us from the sin which would destroy us. He gave His only Son, who sacrificed His life for our sin and took our penalty. All who turn to Jesus Christ in faith are saved. The sin in this world, and horrors such as the Holocaust, are a direct result of mankind’s continued rebellion against God. …

And while Nazism took hold in Germany, where were the European churches? Some, it is true, stood fast against the evil in their midst, and some churchmen, such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer, paid the ultimate price for dissenting. But they were the minority. Most churches of the era acquiesced to Nazi Party rules and remained silent while the Jews were slaughtered. Where were the world leaders? Other than England’s Winston Churchill, the world’s politicos took the route of isolation or appeasement. Neither worked. Where were the good, decent people? Edmund Burke is often quoted as saying, “All that is necessary for evil to triumph in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.” Although there were a few Germans and other Europeans such as Oscar Schindler and Corrie ten Boom and her family, who risked their lives to save thousands of Jews from annihilation, most remained silent and the Holocaust ensued. The question is not so much “Why did God allow the Holocaust?” but “Why did we?”

God gives mankind freedom of choice. We can choose to follow Him and take a stand for righteousness, or we can rebel against Him and pursue evil. The problem resides in the heart of man. “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). Until man’s heart turns to God, the world will continue to witness “ethnic cleansings,” genocides, and atrocities such as the Holocaust.”

Why did God allow the Holocaust?, as viewed at on November 14, 2009.

An Honest Salesman?

As a Christian, my goal is to represent the Lord Jesus well wherever I am. That means being honest, kind, polite, friendly, and a number of other positive characteristics. When people find out I’m a car salesman, they often ask why someone like me would get involved in such a [fill in the blank] occupation. I recently wrote an article to explain my position at What Not, my car blog. Take a look at the article and let me know what you think.

What Not: An Honest Salesman

Walking Worthy in the World

Remember the disgruntled Christian high school senior who chose to attend the prom? The pastor of his church posted the following message that explains why Christians need to “walk worthy” of their calling. It’s a biblical approach toward why Christians choose to be different from the world and more like Christ.

Click here to listen to the message.

Medical Ethics

Recent events have caused Christians to reconsider what they would do when a loved one is close to death. This has led to the study of medical ethics. “What would I do if … ?” Seeking to answer those questions, our high school Bible class studied the comments made by Dave Lingle in “Choosing life in the face of death“. This led to an interesting conversation. Although the article gives biblical principles and good suggestions as to how to care for a dying individual, it does not answer all the questions we had.

  1. What if your loved one is pronounced brain dead? Is it appropriate to remove life support?
  2. Was it wrong for Terry Schiavo’s husband to remove her feeding tube and water?
  3. What if your loved one has brain cancer and is convulsing in the hospital bed? Would it be appropriate to end the suffering?

When it comes down to it, each Christian has to know what the Bible says about life and death before they can make the right decision. While you may have a strong opinion about what should be done in each case, be sure that your answer is a reflection of what God has said in the Bible.

Biblical Worldview on Finances

Throughout Scripture there is a multitude of passages dealing with economics and personal finances. After dealing with those in our Bible class, it was encouraging to read the fourth chapter of Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret. What are your thoughts about the way Taylor handled his situation?


Civil Disobedience

Civil disobedience has gained popularity since the early 20th century because of the work of Ghandi in India. Martin Luther King, Jr. learned from him and promoted similar tactics to get across his message. Today, some Christians are turning to civil disobedience in order to peacefully combat pornography shops and obortion clinics. While there have been some positive results from such activities, the nagging question still remains. Is civil disobedience a right practice for Christians? The Scriptures contain quite a few examples of civil disobedience.

Biblical Examples of Civil Disobedience

  1. The Hebrew midwives disobeyed Pharaoh’s order to kill Hebrew babies (Ex. 1:15-21).
  2. Amram and Jochabed disobeyed Pharaoh’s order to throw baby Moses into the Nile River (Ex. 1:22-2:3).
  3. Shadrach, Meshac, and Abednego refused to bow to the statue as the king had commanded (Dan. 3).
  4. Daniel disobeyed the king’s law prohibiting prayer (Dan. 6).
  5. Peter and John disobeyed the Sanhedrin’s orders not to preach (Acts 5:22-32).

In each of these situations, the believers made the right choice. In order to obey the laws given to them by the local government, they would have had to disobey a clear command given to them by God. The midwives and Moses’ parents would have had to commit murder (Gen. 9:6; Ex. 20:13). The three brave men would have had to worship something other than the one true God (Ex. 20:3-5). Daniel would have had to quit seeking the Lord (Deut. 4:29). And the disciples would have had to disregard the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20). Peter said it best. When you have a choice between obeying God or the government, “We ought to obey God rather than men.”

Biblical Commands about Civil Government

Romans 13:1-7

What causes some confusion is that God has also commanded New Testament believers to submit to the government placed over them. Of three major passages, this is probably the most mentioned. The apostle Paul wrote this epistle to believers who lived in the capitol city of the Roman empire. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul reminded these believers that human government has been established by God. Any rebellion against government is actually rebellion against the One who set the government in place. That is an incredible statement for someone to make who was imprisoned and later executed by the Roman government. Did Paul really mean that every government is God ordained?

To understand this passage, you must read all seven verses in context. Paul was talking about government in general. The basic function of God ordained government is to provide protection and justice. In verses 3-4, he points out that proper government is not something to fear when you are doing what is right. For example, if you are driving the speed limit, you won’t be afraid when you see a police cruiser. Paul concludes that taxes, customs, fear, and honor are all a required part of a Christian’s life.

So, the major idea here is that God has ordained government to provide order. When government is doing its God given job, a Christian should willingly submit to it. However, even Paul recognized the possibility of corruption. Remember how he responded to Festus? In that situation, he was willing to submit to the government, but was quick to point out discrepancies with the established laws of the land (Acts 25:7-12). However, he did not promote lawlessness or dishonor those in authority (Acts 23:1-5).

1 Peter 2:11-16

The apostle Peter wrote to believers who were facing persecution from the Roman government. And yet, he still tells them to submit to the government and honor its officials. How can these two thoughts be reconciled? Are Pakistani Christians supposed to honor Islamic government officials? Peter gives no qualifiers. He merely points out the need to submit to the king and all government officials. But as he pronounces this command, he also points out the important reason for doing so.

In this section of his letter, Peter is promoting the need for a godly testimony in the commnity. Christians should abstain from ungodly activities which denigrate the believer’s impact on the lost. While rebellion against the government might seem right, Christians who submit to the laws of the government are more likely to make an impact on their community and to bring glory to God. Our actions and attitude toward government can be a powerful testimony to those who do not know the Lord.

Titus 3:1-8

Paul wrote just three short chapters in his epistle to Titus. But toward the end, he encouraged Titus to remind his flock of their need to submit to the government. How should they do this? They were to be obedient, gentle, humble, and especially kind in speech. To Paul, a believer’s life ought to be a billboard advertising the change God has made through regeneration. When we interact with unsaved people, we need to work patiently with them realizing that we were once just like them. Everything we have is because of God. So, when things in government are “out of whack,” we need to patiently work with those in authority over us, recognizing their lack of spiritual understanding and our need to be a positive example.

What if … ?

What if the public school principal tells my child not to pray over his lunch?

Christians are commanded to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17) and to be thankful (Col. 3:15 b). So, in this instance, it would be right to disobey the principal and pray. But this type of civil disobedience should be done with respect for the authority placed over the school. Daniel disagreed with the law against praying, but he did not flaunt his “rights” in the face of the king. Instead, he submitted to being thrown into the lions’ den (Daniel 6).

What if my civil disobedience leads to jail or something worse?

Some Christians have chosen to disobey the law and blockade abortion clinics. Would you be willing to do this knowing that you might be arrested? It is easy to say you are willing to disobey, but when you actually take part in something like this, you have to consider the possible consequences.

“Those who consider civil disobedience should be willing to accept the penalty for breaking the law. Such an attitude demonstrates respect for the principle of rule by law and distinguishes legitimate civil disobedience from anarchy and insurrection. Acceptance of punishment under such circumstances is evidence of the ethical motivation of the person who has violated the law, and it can also serve to dramatize the situation and arouse the conscience of the public.”

John Jefferson Davis, Evangelical Ethics: Issues Facing the Church Today, (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 1993), 198.

This is something each Christian has to think through. If civil disobedience is the right thing to do, then we need to be ready to face the consequences. Now is an appropriate time for you to read a chapter of two of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. Some of these Christians willingly endured great persecution for their faith in Christ.


As I complete this article, I realize that many “What if” questions linger in your mind (and quite honestly in mine as well). Were the colonies wrong to “rebel” against England during the War of Independence? Is it ever right for a Christian to be part of a rebellion if the government is corrupt? Would I interpret these passages differently if I lived in communist China or Islamic Iran? I don’t think so, but my thinking has been shaped in the context of the United States of America.

We may never have to face the troubles of communism or sharia law, but we do know what the Scriptures say. From this limited study, I see four principles:

  1. Submission to government is part of God’s will (Rom. 13:1-7).
  2. Submission to government will supplement our testimony to the lost (1 Pet. 2:11-16).
  3. Submission to government should be a byproduct of our regeneration (Titus 3:1-8).
  4. Submission to government is not always possible (Acts 5:29).

It is much more interesting to talk about what might happen, but in reality, we have the most trouble fulfilling the clear commands given in Scripture. So, let me encourage you to look at the passages noted above before you begin practicing any form of civil disobedience. If you are not careful, you might tarnish your Christian testimony unnecessarily and become a stumblingblock to those who have not yet been saved.


A Biblical Worldview of God

It is popular today to have a biblical worldview about various topics. But what is the proper worldview about God? To begin with we have to understand that the Bible is the standard by which we must judge all ideas (2 Tim. 3:15-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21). As the inspired Word of God, it is the only infallible rule for faith and practice. This is practical in the sense that one source overrules all other opinions. Some oppose this view hoping to add a number of other sources to the mix (tradition, history, feelings, etc.). Those other sources may seem to be helpful for understanding what the Bible teaches, but when they disagree with the clear teaching of the Bible, they must be discarded. With that in mind, consider the following question.

How does the Bible describe God?

Right from the start the Bible describes God as the Creator (Gen. 1:1). As Creator, he also has the right to be the Sovereign who may do whatever he desires with his creation (Ps. 100:3; Rom. 9:21). He also has a special relationship with his creation. Through the voluntary sacrifice of his perfect Son Jesus Christ, God has made reconciliation possible between holy God and sinful man. Those who receive Jesus as Lord and Savior (Rom. 10:9-10) become children of God (John 1:12). To every born again believer, then, God is their Father. But for those who reject this relationship, God will eventually be known to them as the Judge (Rev. 20:11-15).

The Bible also describes God by his attributes. God is holy (1 Pet. 1:15-16). He is love (1 John 4:8). The Bible also describes God as merciful (Luke 6:36), longsuffering (2 Pet. 3:9), vengeful (Heb. 10:30-31), unchanging (Mal. 3:6), and beyond our complete comprehension. Although we may not completely understand every aspect of our God, he has revealed everything we need to know about him in the Bible (Deut. 29:29).

How has God been misrepresented?

Most people are ignorant of the true character of our God. Belief about “God” varies from culture to culture (see Wikipedia’s article about “God“). False religions mislead its followers from the only way (John 14:6) to know the one, true God. They normally speak about a god who universally accepts all people regardless of belief. Or they propose a god who can only be appeased by great works of penance. Neither description gets it right. But these misconceptions of God are not limited to the false religions of the world. There are also several misconceptions that have been propagated by evangelical Christians.

God accepts you as you are.

Is that statement true? In one sense it is. Man can do nothing to please God (Prov. 15:8). His only hope is to recognize his sin and call out to God for mercy through the atoning blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. God does not expect a sinner to become righteous by his own actions. Instead, he must come to God as he is—a rebellious sinner who hates his sin and is turning to the only One who can save him.

Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

But that same statement could be viewed in a much different way. Some well meaning speakers seem to present a gospel devoid of repentance. Their presentation majors on God’s love while minimzing the sinner’s need to turn from his sin. “Come as you are” in that case could be interpreted as “There’s no need to repent.” Unfortunately, this type of gospel is based on a faulty view of God and the Bible. It paints a picture of God as a loving grandfather who only offers hugs and who would never hurt anyone. This is deceitful and has led many to a false security of salvation.

Grace Living

This is the idea that all actions are permissable for believers because of God’s grace. If I am clothed in the righteousness of Christ, it really doesn’t matter how I live, right? I am free from having to obey the law because he fulfilled it perfectly. That mentality throws out any standards as legalism. Suddenly, it doesn’t matter what you watch on television, what type of music you listen to, or what kind of activities you take part in. “Don’t judge me! God accepts me as I am. Why can’t you?”

It is difficult to reason with such a person, but the Scripture is very clear about how a Christian should live. We are commanded to be holy (1 Pet. 1:15-16; ) and are given lists of sins to avoid (Gal.5:19-21). Furthermore, grace should not produce in us a desire for more sin (Rom. 6:1). What some people fail to realize is that grace is not permission to live my life as I desire, but the enablement to live as God desires (Rom. 12:1-2). While God has given us freedom in some areas, we must never allow our freedom to cause another believer to stumble into sin (1 Cor. 8:9; Rom. 14:12-14).


This popular statement has been printed on everything from bracelets to bumper stickers.

Do you have a desire to share your Christianity? Have you had breast cancer or cancer of any type and have a testimony of courage to share with your friends and family? Do you have a desire to share the Hope our Savior offers with others? What Would Jesus Do?… Jesus boldly proclaimed the Good News. Our wearable messages offer you the opportunity to boldly proclaim the Good News! Lance Armstrong LIVESTRONG Bands, Rubber Wrist Bands, Silicone Bracelets, Woven Bracelets and More – offer you those opportunities and so much more.

The phrase comes from a fictional book, In His Steps, written by a man named Charles M. Sheldon. The book tells the story of a pastor who changes the way he lives after feeling guilty for not helping an unemployed man. His idea was that asking that question before making a decision would change the way every Christian lives his life. While this could be helpful, the idea usually fails because most people pick and choose which part of his life they wish to emulate. They formulate a God based on the principles they appreciate (Rom. 1:22-23). The following acronyms indicate what directions others have taken this idea.

Who Would Jesus Bomb? (anti-war protesters)

What Would Jesus Drive? (Evangelical Environmental Network)

What Would Jesus Blog? (GodBlogCon)

What Would Jesus Eat? (medical concerns)

What Would Jesus Cut? (budget cuts)

I think you get the idea. These organizations are willing to use the name of Jesus to defend their personal goals. Some of their concerns may be valid, but for the most part, they are misrepresenting what the Bible says about our God.

Perhaps a better question would be “What does the Bible say about Jesus?” The acronym WDTBSAJ? would never make it onto a bracelet, but it might force people to find the truth before making such bold statements. If we want to know how the Lord Jesus would respond in any situation, we have the Bible to tell us. And after studying for a while, most people would be surprised at what they found.


It is apparent from these and many other examples, that many people have a wrong view of God. This is usually a result of their neglect of the Bible or even worse a conscious rejection of its teaching. Many ideas have been presented over the years, but without a good understanding of the Bible, no person can give an accurate representation of who God is. How about you? Is your view of God faulty? There is only one way to find out. Why not begin a study of God in the Bible today. Then you can discover the real God of the Bible. It will be well worth it.

Biblical Worldview

A few weeks ago, while researching for a high school Bible class, I took an online test (1) to determine if I have a biblical worldview. The questions were not very difficult and after fifteen minutes, I was able to print out an 8.5 x 11 inch certificate proclaiming the fact that I have a biblical worldview. Impressed? Actually, the questions were written in such a way that I knew the answers they were seeking (i.e. Do you think it is really, really, really bad that prayer is not allowed in schools?). Nonetheless, I am now a recognized biblical worldviewer.

What exactly is a worldview?

According to one author, “the term worldview refers to any ideology, philosophy, theology, movement, or religion that provides an overarching approach to understanding God, the world, and man’s relations to God and the world” (2). That’s a rather complex definition. Perhaps the following paragraph will make it more understandable.

Everyone has a worldview. Whether or not we realize it, we all have certain presuppositions and biases that affect the way we view all of life and reality. A worldview is like a set of lenses which taint our vision or alter the way we perceive the world around us. Our worldview is formed by our education, our upbringing, the culture we live in, the books we read, the media and movies we absorb, etc. For many people their worldview is simply something they have absorbed by osmosis from their surrounding cultural influences. They have never thought strategically about what they believe and wouldn’t be able to give a rational defense of their beliefs to others (3).

Basically, those who have a biblical worldview base their thinking on what the Bible says. When faced with decisions about politics, ethics, religion, history, and any number of other subjects, a person with a biblical worldview will consult the Bible to determine their response. Hopefully, after immersing himself in the Bible, that person will begin to think the way God intended.

So what’s the big deal?

Having a proper persepctive of life is important because it affects every area of life. If someone bases his response to life on somethingother than the Bible, the results can be devastating (Proverbs 14:12). What seems to be right in the eyes of most Americans may actually be detrimental. But wrong thinking is not limited to unbelievers. Pastor Chris Anderson makes a point with the following hymn written by Margaret Clarkson (4).

So send I you to labor unrewarded,
To serve unpaid, unloved, unsought, unknown,
To bear rebuke, to suffer scorn and scoffing,
So send I you to toil for Me alone.

So send I you—to loneliness and longing,
With heart a-hungering for the loved and known;
Forsaking home and kindred, friend and dear one,
So send I you—to know My love alone.

So send I you to hearts made hard by hatred,
To eyes made blind because they will not see,
To spend, tho’ it be blood, to spend and spare not
So send I you to taste of Calvary.

Those are the words of a depressed Christian who did not recognize the God’s goodness because of the suffering she had experienced. From early childhood, Margaret experienced juvenile arthritis, severe migraine headaches, and an unhappy home. Apparently, these experiences overshadowed here perspective on life. Fortunately, she later saw the error of her ways and wrote several stanzas better reflecting a biblical perspective on the Christian life (5).

So send I you—by grace made strong to triumph
O’er hosts of hell, o’er darkness, death, and sin,
My name to bear, and in that name to conquer
So send I you, My victory to win.

So send I you—to take to souls in bondage
The word of truth that sets the captive free,
To break the bonds of sin, to loose death’s fetters
So send I you, to bring the lost to Me.

So send I you—My strength to know in weakness,
My joy in grief, My perfect peace in pain,
To prove My power, My grace, My promised presence
So send I you, eternal fruit to gain.

As the Father hath sent Me, so send I you.

Notice the difference? When our thinking is conformed to what God has revealed in the Bible, we will have a proper perspective on this and all other aspects of life.

This is only the beginning of understanding a biblical worldview. Our worldview affects many other areas of our lives, but the most important is our view of God. So, we had better make sure our perspective is a reflection of what God has revealed in the Scriptures. If it is not, we will end up with the same distorted view of God and life that Miss Clarkson once had.


(1) Take the test at your own risk..

(2) Noebel, David A., Understanding the Times, (Manitou Springs, CO: Summit Press, 1991), 8.


(4) Is Ministry Pain or Gain?