What I write here will not be news to many who read it. I’m taking the time to do this because of the trend I see in younger Christians at present. One of the most beautiful aspects of local church community is the witness brought to bear from different generations. To massively oversimplify it, I have seen a great deal of compassion in many younger Christians complimented by a healthy dose of discernment in those Christians with more life experience. I would love to speak with more nuance, but if I’m going to get to my point is short order, I must risk the false binary of that last sentence.  

My point is simply this: a worldview is a lens through which you see the world, and you will either intentionally develop yours, or one will be provided for you. My plea is for Christians, particularly younger Christians reading this. You must take the initiative to cultivate a biblical worldview. You cannot live the gospel in days of dissonance if you are tone-deaf to the voice of God’s Spirit. The only way to be keyed into what God is saying is to be thoroughly versed in what God has said. It is written. There is nothing new under the sun. The issues that plague us in our raging age are not new, even if they are new to you. 

Though I am still a relatively young man, the cultural landscape of the last several months has been perhaps the greatest opportunity for the development of a worldview that I can remember in my lifetime. Worldview development can be a passive or active process. If you are passive, a worldview will be provided for you through the air you breathe. If you are active, you will need to fight for clear truth in days of foggy narratives. Actively working to understand the times will require you to constantly observe, critically think, read and listen widely, and examine different angles of an issue. Eventually, this will lead to an understanding of sources of information in our age, and you will be able to discern wisely no matter what is trending at the moment. 

Passivity is a different process. To passively accept the worldview provided for you, simply feel your way there. Breathe in the atmosphere around you, unaware of the sources that are developing you; scroll through idly as media headlines, entertainment, social media, and the cliff notes from the latest best seller shape your heart and mind. When hot-button issues begin to trend, you will be ready and able to jump to conclusions, parrot shallow talking points, and add your voice to the noise.  

If you are a Christian, you are called to actively cultivate a biblical worldview. The intention of the Scriptures, from the first word of the first sentence in Genesis, is the development of a worldview for God’s people, a worldview that reveals God’s character, design, purposes, and will for his creation. You can’t venture far into the Bible without learning about God, creation, humanity, work, sexuality, marriage, sin, promise, degeneration, and redemption. That, and much more, are contained in the first three of the 1,189 chapters in Scripture. 

To speak very briefly to two issues currently dominating headlines, I want to address racial reconciliation and the urban unrest of the two largest cities in my native region. 

The answer to racial division is not further racial division. When people with different levels of melanin in their skin are awakened to the fact that God created one race, the human race, in his image, to reflect and worship him, racial division will give way to reconciliation. This awakening is not fully possible without regeneration in the hearts of sinful human beings. Without salvation, humans are dead to God, and the cycle of hatred birthing more hatred will only continue generation after generation. True reconciliation is only possible through the redemption God has provided in his Son for those divided by their sin. The call to “end racism” among the unregenerate is a call to end human existence that is plagued by sin. A biblical worldview tells us that the gospel of Jesus is the only answer. I believe Christians should know our culture, and understand the arguments being exchanged in the public sphere. In this sense, we should not be afraid to read the thinkers that our unregenerate friends and neighbors are reading. But to what end? The issue of hatred for a brother—and that’s all racism is—is as old as sin. Cain’s hatred for his brother motivated him to squeeze the life from Abel’s body. Abel’s blood cries out for vengeance. But Jesus’ blood speaks a better word (Hebrews 12:24), because though Abel’s blood was taken by a sinner, Jesus’ blood was given for sinners. As Sunday-school-basic as it sounds, Jesus is the answer. I’ve been blown away as I’ve witnessed so many otherwise solid pastors and Christians follow the spirit of the age breadcrumbs down the ideological wormhole in these last few months on this issue. When we start taking our cue for racial reconciliation from godless opportunists whose entire worldviews we would otherwise deny, we’ve lost the plot.    

When people with different levels of melanin in their skin are awakened to the fact that God created one race, the human race, in his image, to reflect and worship him, racial division will give way to reconciliation. Click To Tweet

On the subject of losing the plot, let’s talk CHOP. 

The answer to lawlessness is not further lawlessness. When an unlawful incident occurs, suspending law to allow lawlessness to reign only perpetuates more unlawfulness. Take the largest city in the state where I live as an example. Seattle’s CHAZ turned CHOP social experiment is perhaps the clearest illustration of government neglecting its most fundamental duty to civil society. God institutes governments and gives them, fundamentally, one job. A biblical worldview informs us that governments are given authority by God to punish wrongdoers and to praise those who do good (1 Peter 2:14, Romans 13:3-4). Government is to serve as a defense against evil and a promoter of good. Counter to this, the local government in Seattle and the state government in Washington have pled ignorance, passively winked at lawlessness, and obfuscated the basic function for which they exist. It has taken the death of multiple teenagers in the last 10 days within CHAZ/CHOP to awaken Seattle government to the reality that civil society can’t coexist with anarchy. A similar trend is apparent in the largest city in my home state of Oregon—Portland—a metro area in which my family lives. As tens of millions of dollars of citizen’s personal property has been damaged and stolen in the last few weeks, as scores of people have been brutalized and beaten up, local politicians act as if this violent purge is somehow redemptive or constructive. On clear days, I can see the smoke from my house, as the city burns. In reality, it is lawless, depraved, and degenerate. Government’s essential purpose is to keep order in the service of human flourishing. Yet disorder is given freedom to reign, as politicians posture and the majority of the media conceals their inaction.  

We are going to deal with this type of division while we labor through this life under the sun. Corruption in government and division among sinners is as old as sin. The answer to these issues that plague us is the promise that saves us from ourselves. God is not silent. He has not left us to figure this out on our own. He has made a way. That way, the good news of Jesus Christ, is the bedrock of the Christian worldview. It is the only true remedy for what truly ails us. God’s people need to bring this message to bear in a cultural moment like this. This is only possible if we know the times in which we live and are clear-headed as we work toward real solutions. Discovering those solutions begins and ends with the establishment of a biblical worldview in the life of the church.