Teaching a Biblical Worldview

Originally published in February 2005.

From a Christian internet bulletin board discussing the band, Good Charlotte (grammar errors included): “Hi everyone.  Im new.  I would just like to tell you a bit about myself and Good Charlotte.  I’m a Christian.  I came to know God, when I was very young.  I have gone to church my whole life.  Camps, everything.  I have a very loving Christian family. 

“I know that although people may be Christians, they do sin, along with everyone else.  I don’t steal or swear, or smoke or do any drugs.  I pray, and I sin.  Good Charlotte are Christians.  They do the same things we all do!  They sin too!

“I have BIG Christian friends, who love Jesus, and pray, and are not ashamed of showing there Christianity.  They swear and party, and sin a lot, but it doesn’t mean they don’t love God, and follow God, and come from a Christian family.

“God forgives all, and I do believe Good Charlotte has great music.  God blessed them with TONS of talent.  They follow a long with him, an they pray, and come from a loving Christian family along with many of us.  Does that not give them the right to do what most of us do too...sin?  I know im being repetitive, but everyone sins, and makes mistakes.  Joel and Benji have had it hard, and they live/lived a tough life...but they are like us! 

“Good Charlotte is a really great talented band.  They are good looking, and I know Im a big Christian...I have piercings, and a tatoo...doesn’t mean I’ll ever stop following God, or stop loving, or praying to him.  They are regular people like us who sin.  We are here having a discussion about them because they are famous, and more out there...  If I was famous, or any of you were famous, would you be the same...

“I hope you people understand what I mean...that God loves us all, no matter what.  He forgives us all, and doesn’t like that we sin.  It hurts him...but even the biggest Christian, even pastors, do sin too!”

Sigh.  Is this the mentality of the youth in your youth group?  This is not only sad because of the choice in music.  Good Charlotte was rated the 5th worst band in 2003 by Billboard.  (Limp Bizkit took first over all.)  This is not only sad because of the poor grammar.  This is sad because the question becomes is this the typical Biblical worldview of Christian youth?  Is this the typical Biblical worldview of the ones in your youth group?  I picked this post out as an example so I wouldn’t have to use names and stories of the youth who I know.

You can pick your blame for this situation.  Postmodernism is a favorite right now.  But back in 1987 my favorite author, John Fischer, wrote:  “Thirty percent less trials.  Forty percent less affliction. Fifty percent less confusion.  Seventy percent less pain.  For those who prefer a Christianity that’s less filling than the regular commitment, we recommend...Lite Christianity.  It’s everything you’ve always wanted from God...and less.”  (Real Christians Don’t Dance) Christianity Lite was a problem before postmodernism.

Christianity Lite continues today.  “Discussion (about atonement) is also stunted by American Christianity’s ongoing romance with a friendly, helpful, personal Jesus, which has made detailed discussion of his violent death an increasingly difficult pulpit pitch. ...Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ has done it’s bit to combat Christianity lite.”  (David Van Biema, “Why Did Jesus Die?,” Time, April 12, 2004)  Or as also quoted from this article, “Americans tended not to linger on the agony of Jesus.  It was more ‘friend of my soul, he walks with me and talks with me.’” (Jack Miles, Christ: A Crisis in the Life of God)

Back in 1982 A. W. Tozer wrote in The Pursuit of God:  “The tragic results of this spirit are all about us: Shallow lives, hollow religious philosophies, the preponderance of the element of fun in gospel meetings, the glorification of men, trust in religious externalities, quasi-religious fellowships, salesmanship methods, the mistaking of dynamic personality of the power of the Spirit.  These and such as these are the symptoms of an evil disease, a deep and serious malady of the soul. 

“For this great sickness that is upon us no one person is responsible, and no Christian is wholly free from blame.  We have all contributed, directly or indirectly, to this sad state of affairs.  We have been too blind to see, or too timid to speak out, too self-satisfied to desire anything better than the poor, average diet with which others appear satisfied.  To put it differently, we have accepted one another’s notions, copied one another’s lives and made one another’s experiences the model for our own.  And for a generation the trend has been downward.  Now we have reached a low place of sand and burnt wire grass and, worst of all, we have made the Word of Truth conform to our experience and accepted this low plane as the very pasture of the blessed.”  (The Pursuit of God) Tozer is hardly a postmodern writer.

Plenty will be said in the coming year about the National Study of Youth and Religion’s definition of teen faith which has been coined Moralistic Therapeutic Deism.  With Moralistic Therapeutic Deism the individual is the final authority, not God.  “We all sin and it is okay because I am the authority.”   Our Good Charlotte friend told us that.   

At this point we need to stop and pray.  Take a good chunk of time and pray for the soul-life of teenagers and our church. The heartsickness you feel right now hopefully will lead you to pray and to pray this through to being part of the answer.

Then commit yourself to not to be a part of this message.  Commit to teaching your youth a Biblical worldview that permeates their life “along the way.”  Commit to teaching a faith that save “to” so they can claim with Paul, ‘...It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.  Galatians 2:20 

What makes up a Biblical worldview?  According to George Barna of Barna Research Group: “A biblical worldview was defined as believing that absolute moral truths exist; that such truth is defined by the Bible; and firm belief in six specific religious views.  Those views were that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life; God is the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe and He stills rules it today; salvation is a gift from God and cannot be earned; Satan is real; a Christian has a responsibility to share their faith in Christ with other people; and the Bible is accurate in all of its teachings.”  (“Only Half Of Protestant Pastors Have A Biblical Worldview,” January 12, 2004)  Doug Fields breaks it down to H.A.B.I.T.S. which are:  Have consistent time with God through prayer and Bible reading; have an accountability relationship with another believer; memorize scripture; commit to the church body, not just the youth ministry; understand and participate in giving/tithing; and study the Bible on their own, beyond just reading.  The 3-year plan I have come up for the youth group at my church is: Life of Jesus, 10 Commandments, Beattitudes, God Questions, Prayer and Devotional Life, Stewardship, World Religions, Servanthood, Old Testament heroes, and How the Bible Came to Be. 

What will you teach?  How will you form a correct Biblical worldview with your youth?  Beg, borrow and steal from these greats (minus me) and create your own.  And teach all of it in full strength “along the way” every way you can.