The American Voice Institute of Public Policy Blogs the Issues!
Monday, July 3, 2017
Christians have a Non-Biblical Worldview Because They Live Their Lives For Self And Not Jesus Christ
By Joel P. Rutkowski, Ph.D., President
Christians in the United States (U.S.) are “absorbing” non-biblical worldviews found a study by the Barna group (1). Only 17 percent of Christians had a “biblical worldview” found the study, conducted with Summit Ministries. Instead a “strong agreement with ideas unique to non-biblical worldviews among practicing Christians” was found.
The study found 61 percent of practicing Christians agreed with New Spirituality ideas, 54 percent could agree with postmodernist views, 40 percent were sympathetic to some Muslim teachings, 36 percent agreed with some Marxist ideas and 29 percent believed some secularist ideas.
About 30 percent practicing Christians said they strongly agree with one question asked in the study that “all people pray to the same god or spirit, no matter what name they use for that spiritual being.”
A large number of Christians embrace secularism in their worldviews. One of its component beliefs, materialism, holds that all that exists is the material world. (2) Barna was told by those respondents that the purpose of life is “'to earn as much as possible so you can make the most of life.'” And Twenty percent of “Christians,” including 24 percent of blacks, 27 percent of Hispanics and 31 percent of Catholics shared that belief.
Compared to older people, younger people were more than eight times as likely to accept these “non-biblical” worldviews. And men were more open to the ideas than women indicated the study.
Senior vice president of research Brooke Hempell said, “The challenge with competing worldviews is that there are fragments of similarities to some Christian teachings, and some may recognize and latch on to these ideas, not realizing they are distortions of biblical truths. The call for the Church, and its teachers and thinkers, is to help Christians dissect popular beliefs before allowing them to settle in their own ideology.”(3)
The Great Commission
The reason there are only 17 percent of Christians having a “biblical worldview” is they are not following the teachings of Jesus Christ. For example, the Great Commission in Christianity is the instruction of the resurrected Jesus Christ to his disciples to spread His teachings to all the nations of the world. (Matthew 28:16-20). This is the model Christians should be using too live their daily lives. However, Christians today have developed and believe in a hybrid biblical-non biblical worldview that incorporates secular and biblical beliefs. This has caused over that last century the decline of the Church in America and society as a whole. Unless a society is guided by biblical values it cannot survive. Essential as the foundation of American government is a return to the Bible. Francis Schaefer In How Should We Then Live? (1976) writes: “To whatever degree a society allows the teaching of the Bible to bring forth its natural conclusions, it is able to have form and freedom in society and government.” And with the loss of biblical absolutes in American culture, American society has become ripe for an authoritarian state notes Schaeffer(4).
Compromise Is Everywhere
Ephesians 4:14 clearly shows what is happening with the American Christian. They are living their lives as immature believers (children) and are easily deceived by every wind of (false) doctrine. In part, Christian maturity is attained by through instruction in sound doctrine given in a loving manner by the Church. Today, Christianity is so entangled with the current world that millions never know how radically they have missed the New Testament pattern.
Everywhere compromise can be found. However, what is missed by so many believers is that there can be no real union between the Church and the world. The true Church is no longer when it incorporates with the world. Tragically, it is a pitiful hybrid, that is an abomination to the Lord and an object of smiling contempt to the world!
The pronouncements of the Scriptures on the Christian's relation to the world could not be clearer. The unwillingness of professing Christians to take the Word of the Lord seriously results in the confusion which gathers around this issue. In its essence this (whole thing) is spiritual. Ecclesiastical manipulation does not make a Christian. What does is the individual understands that they are a sinner and that all have sinned. As a result they turn to the Lord Jesus Christ for forgiveness by repenting of their sins and profess Jesus as their savior. (Romans 10:13). They are Christians because of a Spirit that dwells in them. And no matter how many church dignitaries work on it only that which is born by the Spirit is spirit.
Christians Should Model Their Lives After Acts
If the Christian wants to live their life for Christ and develop a biblical worldview they must be guided and listen to the Holy Spirit. The acts of the Holy Spirit through the apostles is recorded in Acts. And mentioned more than 40 times is His name. In every chapter of Acts one can find some work of the Holy Spirit.
Also, used a great many times is the word “witness” (in one form or another). The heart of the book of Acts is “Ye shall be witnesses.” (Acts 1:8). Through Jesus Christ alone salvation comes to this world (see Acts 4:12) therefore, people must know Him. However, Christians are included in Christ's plan. The disciples were told by Jesus Christ that He would send the Spirt, and “he shall testify of me: and ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me form the beginning” (John 15:26-27). Christians should be witnessing for Christ. He alone can save the world but He has decided to use Christians as facilitators to accomplish His plan of salvation. Christians must witness for Christ, and if not they should look into their heart, “for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” (Matthew 12:34).
On the Day of Pentecost Christ's promise to send the Spirit was fulfilled when He poured the Holy Spirit on the disciples (see Acts 2:16-17, 33). As they testified about the Savior, from that moment on, the Holy Spirit testified at the same time in the listeners heart; that resulted in multitudes believing in the Lord.
When the Spirit prompts the Christian to speak to someone about Christ, He has been working in that person's heart and making it ready to receive ones witness, or testimony which is a wonderful thing to know. In Acts 8 there is a perfect example of this where Philip was sent to speak to the Ethiopian.
In Acts, in carrying out its mission plan the first church pursued a definite program. A great center of population was selected by the apostles as their base from which they could go out to work and spread their message throughout the surrounding area. A marked outpouring of the Holy Spirit was found in each widening circle of influence. In one generation the apostles moved out in every direction and had preached in every nation of the then-known world (See Colossians 1:23) which is just amazing.
Slow to realize the extent of their commission was the infant Church. They confined at first, until persecution drove them out ─their preaching to Jerusalem. The seed of the growing Church was the blood of Stephen, the first Christian martyr. And the gospel in Rome, the true metropolis of world at that time is how the book of Acts closes.
Peter in Acts 1-12 witnessed primarily to the Jews. “Repent,” said Peter (Acts 2:38; see also verses 36-37). The reason Peter witnessed to the Jews is they needed a definite change of mind about the Messiah.
Paul witnessed primarily to the Gentiles in Acts 13-28. “Believe,” said Paul (Acts 16:31; see also verse 30). The Gentles needed not to change their minds concerning the Messiah but they needed to believe in Him.
Gods dealing with the Jewish people is found all through the Old Testament. And God is found working among all nations in the New Testament. No doubt the best guidebook to missions is Acts. The motive for missions is found in Acts. To bring people the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ was the only aim of the early believer. Their one theme was Jesus Christ and their one weapon was the Word of God.
Simple, straightforward and successful were the disciples. Through His Spirit they depended entirely upon the power of God. They moved with a courage that was unflinching and a zeal that could not be extinguished.
False teachings and false prophets in the Church are why 17 percent of believers have a “biblical worldview.” For example, “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.” (2 Peter 2:2).
Today, there are false teachers as there were false prophets in the Old Testament. By all kinds of teaching people are easily deceived. It seems that people will fall for anything that is why they should check what a pastor says in the Bible (Word of God─King James Version) and should rest upon the Word of God. (5)
For today's church false teachers are very dangerous. A false teacher is one who knows the truth but deliberately lies for some purpose. For example, they do it for some selfish reason, or they want to please people, or they do it for money. Today there are many teachers like this. Although they know what the truth is a false teacher will preach and say what people want them to say.
Some truth can be found in a cult and false teachers have some true doctrine. As a result this is what makes them more dangerous if they were 100 percent in error. Generally these teachers believe some things that are true. “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves," said our Lord (Matthew 7:15). The church at Ephesus was warned by Paul, "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock" (Acts 20:29). The flock will absolutely be destroyed by these wolves in sheep's clothing and causing them to scatter.
This was made clear by the Lord when He gave us a picture of the condition of the kingdom after His rejection, crucifixion, and resurrection. At that time He would not establish His kingdom on earth, but He said that the kingdom of heaven would be like a sower sowing seed, like a mustard tree, and like leaven. Unfortunately, today, leaven has gotten into the bread. The Word of God is the bread and there is a lot of false teaching that goes out under the guise of being the Word of God.
It should be troubling too Christians as well as the Church that only 17 percent of believers have a “biblical worldview.” If one would consider the following verses (Galatians 5:29 and Galatians 5:22) they would find that so critical is the distinction between these two verses could mean the difference between a mediocre, vacillating Christian life or one that is enjoyable, profitable, and abundant.
Galatians 5:29 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest” (evident)
Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is…”
As a Christian, their life and journey began through the work of the Spirit. And through His work in Christians they are to be successful.
The tendency once saved, is to deal with sin─ is to revert to established behavior patterns. Christians when they fail try harder and fail again. What they have forgotten is that one could not be saved from sin by self resolve and perseverance. And after one is saved it will not free Christians from their problems.
A transforming dependence upon the power of the Holy Spirit must happen. One that abides and rests in and yields to the Spirit of God results in a victorious life. What this means for Christians is they do not fail to pray, work, study, read or accept responsibility. Instead they do these things with reliance upon the power of God to liberate them.
This is done by simple faith that God will do it (just as one was saved) and submissive, obedient heart that leans on and is guided by the Spirt of God. The Christian should have a submissive and obedient heart that leans on the Spirit of God instead of the flesh.
The reason only 17 percent of Christians have a “biblical worldview is they fail to live with the Spirit's help. Many evangelical Christians today unfortunately misunderstand the third member of the Trinity. For example, more than 51 percent said the Holy Spirit is a force, not a personal being; seven percent weren't sure; while only 42 percent affirmed that the Spirit is a person; nine percent said the Holy Spirit is less divine than God the Father and Jesus; and a same percentage answered “not sure.” (6)
The Christian must believe that the Spirit is with them, having been sent by God into their heart. In every spiritual confrontation the believer must yield to the Spirt, that is submit their own desires to those of the Spirit. The Christian must depend on the Spirit for help enabling them to live a God-pleasing life. In their daily life the believer should anticipate the effects of the Spirts help. The believer who “lives by the Spirit” will not carry out the strong desires of sinful nature.
Desires and yearnings that are contrary to one another is the sinful human nature and the Holy Spirit. The individual Christian life is a battlefield in the mind having the desire to do good and evil. Thus, the sinful nature (flesh) to thwart the Spirit who, in turn, attempts to frustrate the flesh's evil desire. The Christian is led by the Spirit when yielding to Him, will turn away from the flesh's evil yearnings putting out of their daily life sin. The Christian believer decides by whom they will be led─either by their flesh (sin) or by the Spirit.
The belief that Scripture is not infallible and truth simply changes with the times is the reason for false ideologies. A 2014 Gallup poll found that 22 percent of Americans believe the Bible is the actual Word of God and should be taken literally; 28 percent believe it is the actual Word of God, but with multiple possible interpretations; 28 percent believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God but should not be taken literally; 18 percent believe it is an ancient book of legends, history and moral precepts written by man (7).
As these false teachings arise within the church Jesus Christ must be preached and biblical doctrine reinforced while clinging to the highest authority—the Word of God. “In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4-6) Christians remain faithful too Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit as well as arming themselves with the Word of God, know the Bible and speaking the truth in love.
1. Research Reveals Only 17 Percent of American Christians Have Christian Worldview
2. Only 17% of 'Christians' have biblical worldview
3. Research Reveals Only 17 Percent of American Christians Have Christian Worldview
4. Gary DeMar, God and Government Volume I (American Vision Inc., Atlanta Georgia, 1997)
5. Beware of False Teaching
6. New Poll Finds Evangelicals' Favorite Heresies
7. 6 False Teachings Bringing Deceptive Darkness Into the Church
How the Lord Jesus Christ can save you
Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”
1. How many have sinned according to this verse?
The answer to the first question is “all have sinned.” This means that everyone has sinned that has been born upon this earth. This is very important because until one realizes that all have sinned the Lord cannot help them.
Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
2. .What is the wages (or payment) of sin according to this verse?
The answer to the second question is “death.” The Bible is not talking about a physical death but a spiritual death. One is eternally separated from God when one dies a lost sinner.
Romans 5:8: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us?”
3. Who died for us, according to this verse?
The answer to the third question is “Christ.” According to this verse Christ died for sinners. At the beginning of this same verse one reads, “But God commendeth his love toward us…” The word , “commendeth” means, “to show.” This verse tells one that God showed his love for us by giving His Son to die for our sins on the cross.
God loves us. He loved us so much he let His son, Jesus Christ, die for our sins on the cross. This is God's gift too us all. At this point it should be clearly understood what Scripture is telling us:
1. All have sinned
2. Eternal separation from God is the payment of sin.
3. For our sins Christ has died.
Romans 10:9: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
4. Who are we to confess with our mouth according to this verse?
The answer to the fourth question is the Lord Jesus Christ. Confessing with one's mouth the Lord Jesus Christ is very important. When one does this he is saying, “I am a sinner, and if I die as a sinner I will be separated from God; however, I believe that Jesus Christ died for me.”
One should pray the following prayer if they want to ask the Lord Jesus Christ to save them.
Dear God, I am confessing with my mouth that I know I am a lost sinner and that Jesus Christ died for my sins. I am now asking Christ to come into my heart and save me. I accept Him as my Saviour and pray this in His holy name.
If you have asked the Lord Jesus Christ to save you, find a Bible believing church in your area and tell the pastor of the church what you have done.