As Christians, it is vital that we understand worldview. Worldview is the unconscious assumptions we have about how the world works. Worldview is like glasses, it shapes the way we see the world. If our thinking has been shaped by the Bible, then our worldview will produce thoughts, attitudes, words and actions that contribute to life, shalom and prosperity in this world. This is because the Bible is based on truth. The more truth we have in our lives, our families, our communities and in our nations, the more we will experience God’s abundant life and blessing.
It is destructive when we have a worldview that is not based on the Bible. The more that we build our lives, our societies, or our nations on lies, then the more poverty, death and destruction we will experience. This happens because lies cannot produce life. This also has an impact on how we minister to others.
The Great Commandments that Jesus gave us tell us that we are to love God and love our neighbor. Because of this, we see many Christians and churches develop ministries and strategies to serve those in need. We produce feeding programs, health care ministries, mico-lending programs, education programs, etc. We have ministries to the homeless, to prisons, to prostitutes, to refugees, etc. But if we don’t have an understanding of worldview, our efforts can often be wasted.
I’ll give an example. Vishal Mangalwadi is a Christian teacher from India who often teaches on worldview. Vishal got involved in this topic and because of his experience in India many years ago. When he was younger, Vishal and his wife were doing development work amongst the poor in a rural area in India.
One day, they met a family whose young daughter was sick and dying. Vishal and his wife took the child to the clinic and looked after the child at their home for a month until the child was healthy again. They then returned the girl to her family. But a month later, the child was dying again. Once again Vishal and his wife took the child and covered the costs for medical treatment and nutritious food. Again, they returned the child to the family. The next time they visited the family, the child was dead.
Vishal struggled with this. How could this happen? All of that effort, care, love, energy, time and money that he sacrificed, and for what? It was all wasted. That’s when he got the revelation of the power of worldview. The family came from an Indian Hindu background, and in their culture they viewed girls as a burden and liability.
The worldview of the family was in contrast to Vishal, who had a biblical worldview. People with a biblical worldview believe that all people – old and young, male and female, rich and poor, from every people group and nation – are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). This means that all humans have infinite value and should be treated as such. We do not have the right to kill, oppress, enslave, degrade or abuse any human being because they have infinite value.
Ideas have consequences. What we believe makes a big difference in this world. We can see from Vishal’s life that there is a worldview that produces death and one that produces life. You can take a sick child and give it to a family in India with a worldview not based on the Bible, and the baby dies. Or you can give that same baby to a family with a biblical worldview and the baby lives. Ideas do have consequences.
Moses at the end of Deuteronomy declared, “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life that you may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19) When we have a worldview that is based on the Bible, we experience life. When our worldview is not based on truth, it produces death.
As we endeavor to fulfill the Great Commandment and love others, it is essential that we understand the worldview of the people we are trying to help. If we fail to do this, we risk wasting our time, energy and finance and having no impact. This is why in history we have seen numerous poor nations receive billions of dollars in aid over the years but continue to struggle with corruption, poverty and violence. All of that money given, with little to no result.
Worldview is a key topic we teach on the Community Development School. If we want to see nations transformed, if we want to see God’s Kingdom come and His will done here on earth as it in heaven, then we need to change the worldview of the people we are serving. If you have a heart to serve the poor and needy, if you want to be equipped to contribute towards community transformation, or if you want to develop more of a biblical worldview and building our nations on the foundation of God’s truth, then I encourage you to come and join us here in Bali for the Community Development School starting 24 January 2020. Let’s learn together how to partner with God to bring His good Kingdom into this world.
***Story from Vishal’s book, Truth and Transformation: A Manifesto for Ailing Nations