What in the world is a worldview anyway, and what does it have to do with the way we live out our everyday lives? As Christians should we be teaching our kids a biblical worldview or should we wait until they grow up and let them make up their own minds?
Let’s start by discussing what a worldview is. A WORLDVIEW IS SIMPLY A SET OF GLASSES YOU WEAR THROUGH WHICH YOU VIEW EVERY ASPECT OF LIFE. It is a combination of all you believe to be true and what you believe becomes the driving force behind every emotion, decision, and action in your life. If you are Muslim, you will look at the world through the eyes of Shariah law. If you are a secularist, you don’t believe in God at all, that impacts how you live your life, raise your kids, and carry out your job. If you are an animist, you believe everything is a god, and that too will affect your actions especially if you believe in reincarnation and that what you do in this life is going to determine what you will be in the life to come. These worldviews and many others shape how we think, what we believe, how we raise our kids, even how we vote in elections!
A biblical worldview, on the other hand, is where we as Christians look at the world through our understanding of who God is and what He tells us in the Bible. Someone with a biblical worldview believes his primary reason for existence is to love and serve God. When you believe the Bible is entirely true, you then allow it to be the foundation of everything you say and do.
Worldviews don’t develop in a vacuum. They grow subtly over a period of time. Every book we read, every conversation we have, every movie we watch, what we encounter on the internet, what we hear on the news, what we learn in our schools, the music we listen to, and on and on and on. It all contributes to our worldview. That’s why it’s so important to be careful what we allow our kids to be a part of. Everyone has a worldview whether they realize it or not. Our children start forming their own worldview as soon as they begin to understand language. It begins by being shaped by what happens in the home, but as they get older it gets shaped by their friends, teachers, and by the culture around them.
A biblical worldview is not popular. It goes completely against political correctness so there is a ton of societal pushback on us and especially on our children. It’s a new level of peer pressure on our kids and teens we did not have when we were growing up! Learning to stand against that is something we have to deliberately do and teach our children how to do because we all want to be loved and accepted. We don’t want to be different and stick out like a sore thumb! and that can affect our opinions, beliefs, and actions. Helping our kids develop a love for the word of God is a very important part of this process. They must learn Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”. That means the Word of God must be critical to our thinking.
[scarf] One of the changes that the internet has brought to the past three generations, including today’s children and teens, is they have available to them more worldviews and more philosophies at their fingertips than any generation in history. See all the different patterns and colors on this scarf? Each of them represents a different worldview or opinion. This is what our children see when they look out into the world today. And this can change over time and deeply influence the way that they think. And in this scenario Christianity comes across the same as Buddhism, Islam, as New Age, scientology and so on. Christianity is just one more opinion or choice out there. And kids without guidance are unable to discern what is really true and what is not true.
So how do we teach children to have a biblical worldview?
But before we go there my question to you is do you have a biblical worldview? How about your children? Here’s a short list of questions that Christian pollster George Barna uses to determine this.
Do absolute moral truths exist? Yes or no
Is absolute truth defined by the Bible? Yes or no
Did Jesus Christ live a sinless life on earth?
Is God the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe, and does He still rule it today?
Is salvation a gift from God that cannot be earned?
Is Satan real?
Does a Christian have a responsibility to share his or her faith in Christ with other people?
Is the Bible accurate in all of its teachings?
Did you answer yes to all these questions? If you did, then you have a biblical worldview. In surveys only 9 percent of “born- again” believers did. If you did not, it means somewhere along the line the culture has influenced your thinking on a specific issue more than the Bible has. That should give you pause if you are passionate about being a follower of Christ.
So how do we teach our children a biblical worldview amongst the barrage of other voices out there?
Take a bowl that you can see through, and a cullender or strainer. You’re going to get a can of fruit or vegetables and open it in advance. Before your service write down a set of questions that you will use to help kids do some critical thinking to see if what they believe lines up with the Bible or not.
When you’re ready explain to them that the cullender is the word of God. That we are to live our lives in agreement with it. If we want to know if something is right or not we match it up against the Bible. (Hold up the can of fruit) In this can are a whole lot of different opinions and things people believe in this world. I’m going to pour the contents into this cullender. The contents in this can represent everything you hear or read or watch on tv or see on the internet, including things you’ve heard your parents, friends and teachers say. We take those things and we put them through the filter of the Bible. Whatever agrees with the Bible can stay. But whatever does not agree with the Bible we want to dump those out.
Read one statement at a time then ask Does this agree with the word of God, and then we’ll discuss it. If it does, we’ll put it in the cullender. If it does not, you put it in the bowl of muck. Let’s go through them
- There is no true right or wrong. Right and wrong depends on each person’s opinion. Does it agree with God’s word or not? No it does not, then you are going to discuss scriptures that confirm what you are saying. Since this does not agree with God’s Word we’ll put it in the bowl of muck.
- God created the world and everything in it. Does it agree with God’s word or not? YES so it can stay in our cullender.
- Satan is not real. He’s just make-believe in cartoons and movies.
- No one can earn their way to heaven by doing good things. YES
- My parents have told me I cannot watch a certain movie. But my friends invited me to their house, and we watched to movie there. I never told my parents.
- Jesus was the true son of God. No one can get to heaven except by asking Jesus to be their Lord and savior. Yes or no?
You can make up any questions you want along the same line. In fact you can keep a running list of things you see kids struggling with and dealing with and make up new sets of questions every few weeks. The point is you need to give them an opportunity to ask questions and talk things out that they are hearing or seeing that does not match up what they are learning at church. Have scriptures written down to back up what you are saying even those that agree with the word of God. They need to see why this is true and not just take your word for it. Help them find those scriptures in their Bibles. Remember the point is creating a confidence and trust in God’s word which helps them create a biblical worldview and learn how to do some critical thinking as they live out their lives.
There are many more tips and helps for parents and kids ministers on YouTube or the internet by searching for a biblical worldview and our kids.