Worlds in Collision – Redemption
For a month now, we’ve been talking about your Worldview. Are you working at developing a Biblical Worldview that enables you to consistently live like Jesus, or is your Worldview guided more by the Naturalistic philosophy of the world? In a biblical worldview, everything you experience should be evaluated by the Word of God. What do I mean by that? A biblical worldview is viewing the world, the beginning of the world, the people in the world, the problems in the world, the governments of the world, the issues in the world, the solutions for the problems in the world, and the future on the world—through God’s Word. Your worldview is the lense by which you make sense of life. It governs your behavior and interactions with people, ideas and institutions you encounter.
The first and most fundamental issue any Worldview must deal with, is the way it answers the questions of origins—Where did we come from and who are we? The Bible has the very best answer to that question. A thoroughly Biblical Worldview begins with the belief that God spoke the universe into existence, creating all life—making man in His own image, and providentially rules over His creation.
The second fundamental issue any worldview must deal with is the way it explains the human dilemma. Why is there war and suffering, disease and untimely death, and why do men commit such horrendously evil acts? The Bible’s answer is both simple and comprehensive. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
The third question any worldview must answer is, “How do we get out of the mess we are in?” Where do we find deliverance? That’s the question I want to try to answer this morning.
- The Biblical Worldview maintains that the Redemptive work of Christ on the Cross and his Resurrection from the grave are the individual’s and society’s only hope. In Christ alone we find the hope of salvation, eternity, and a changed life. A redeemed people can change their culture for the good.
- The Naturalistic Worldview maintains that you are your life, and that’s all you are. Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist and an atheist writes in his book The Selfish Gene, that we exist only to procreate and to pass our genes along to the next generation. According to the Naturalistic Worldview, society’s redemptive hope rests in the advancements of science, a restructuring of society that makes all men equal, and the guiding hand of an all-knowing political elite.
Let’s talk about finding a redemptive solution to the problems that plague us.
I. AN INADEQUATE WORLDVIEW GIVES A DISTORTED VIEW OF THE WORLD AND OFFERS A FALSE HOPE
- there are multitudes of worldviews that solicit our allegiance in Western culture
- the Apostle Paul warns us in Colossians 2:8 . . .
- “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” (Colossians 2:8, NIV84)
A. THERE ARE RELIGIOUS WORLDVIEWS
- Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Animism, Mysticism, Deism, Pantheism, Shamanism, and a lot of other “isms’ are all a part of our pluralistic society
- each has its own unique perspective of how to view the world
- to the best of my knowledge, each of these religious worldviews sets forth moral and ethical behaviors for its adherents based on their writings, Scriptures, or philosophy
- in other words, they each maintain that there is a proper way to live one’s life and order society
- to the best of my knowledge, all of these religious worldviews involve worship of a deity or deities
- I am absolutely convinced that—as Baptists—we should respect their faith and passionately defend their right to worship according to their conscience
- I believe this because Baptists have always believed in the doctrine of soul competency
- it is the belief that every individual has the right to decide religious matters for himself free from coercion or interference from the state
- it a doctrine precious to all true Baptists
- it’s precious because Baptists have not always been free to worship according to the dictates of their conscience
- in the early history of our country, admitting you were a Baptist, often entailed a jail sentence
- ILLUS. In the pre-Revolutionary War Colonies, Baptists were at first a small and despised sect. We were considered dangerous religious radicals because we did not support established state churches. We were considered the enemies of political and social order. We were an annoying people because we insisted upon our right to believe and worship as we saw fit. One historian of the day complained, “You can’t meet a Baptist on the road, but that they must ram a text of Scripture down your throat.”
- this means that a person has a right to be a Baptist, Methodist, Animist, Roman Catholic, Jew, Muslim, atheist, or whatever he chooses to be
- according to our Savior, they all worship God in error and in the flesh
- all other world religions are essentially man-centered
- in other words, salvation depends upon the individual’s effort to please their deity through ritual and right living
- only Jesus offers sinners unmerited grace and that grace becomes like a well of water springing up into everlasting life
B. THERE ARE CULTURAL WORLDVIEWS
- in the ancient world the battle line was drawn between the worldview of monotheism and worldview of polytheism
- today things are much more confusing because our society is full of subcultures, each with their own worldview
- a subculture is a set of people with distinct behaviors and beliefs within a larger culture
- what distinguishes them from the larger society are differences in expression through their clothing, music, aesthetic tastes, and language
- historically, subcultures in Western society consisted primarily of ethnic or immigrant groups
- ILLUS. The most unique place in all the world to see an example of this is New York City. Often, within a few blocks, you’ll transition from a Chinese culture to old-world Italian and then to an Orthodox Jewish.
- each of those communities will have its own dominant worldview
- there are Youth Subcultures
- these include, Punk, Straight Edge, Ravers, Hip-hop, Rap, Grungers, and Goths
- there are Sexual Subcultures
- these include the Homosexual culture, Swingers, Nudism, and almost any kind of Fetish you care to think of (but I hope you won’t)
- there are Outsider Subcultures
- example would be Bikers, Body Modifyers (i.e. tattoos, piercings and implants), White Supremacists, Gangs, and Skinheads
- there is the Urban Subcultures
- this includes your Soccer Moms, NASCAR fans, Sports Jocks, Country Music culture, Skateboarders. Trekies, and even a Cyber-space culture
- 1st – they are self-serving
- individuals voluntarily become members of such groups for the status or perceived benefit they offer
- 2nd – they offer a narrow—and often bigoted—view of those outside their group
- i.e. only galactic neophytes don’t know the difference between a Romulan and a Klingon
- 3rd, redemption is achieved by immersion within the subculture
- it is human nature to look for meaning in life and acceptance by those around us
- subcultures frequently satisfy these needs by providing a sense of wholeness, peace, unity, and fulfillment
- but that satisfaction is only temporary and may lead the individual into a false sense of spiritual security
C. THERE ARE SECULAR WORLDVIEWS
- there are numerous ‘worldly’ worldviews that individuals may adopt that help guide their relationships and behavior in a more expansive manner
- these secular worldviews include movements such as . . .
- Environmentalism, Feminism, Humanism, Nationalism, Multiculturalism, Existentialism, Postmodernism, and even Fundamentalism
- depending on the special interest group you’re listening to, you will get an astonishing array of answers as to what has gone wrong with the world and how to fix it
- the Environmentalist will tell you that human beings are the problem
- the Feminists will tell you that men are the problem
- the Multiculturalist will tell you that Western Culture – primarily Christianity – is the problem
- the Humanist will tell you that sexual repression is the problem
- the Existentialist will tell you that ignorance is the problem
- the Postmodernist will tell you that intolerance is the problem
- the Nationalist will tell you that commie-pinkos and the liberal-elitist-blame-America-first-crowd is the problem
- they see redemption in the eradication of the thing they believe causes the problem
- the Environmentalist insists on mandated human population control
- the Feminists will say, “Just get rid of the men. With cloning, who needs ‘em?”
- the Multiculturalist will insist that the deconstruction of Western culture is the answer
- the Humanist will tell you that expunging antiquated morality is the answer— free, uninhibited, guilt-free sex with anyone at any time is the answer
- the Postmodernist will tell you that hate-crime legislation is the answer—just lock up all the bigots—especially white, evangelical Christians who believe that Jesus is the only way
- the Nationalist’s attitude is, “Just nuke ‘em.”
D. THERE ARE POLITICAL WORLDVIEWS
- Royal Monarchies, Communism, Democracy, Socialism, Republicanism, Fascism, and Tribalism are all political worldviews
- each of these political worldviews has its ardent defenders
- the common denominator among them all, is that each system believes that – to one degree or another—the state offers true redemption
- i.e., it is the state that can fix society’s problems
- it’s the state that can fix most of your problems
- secularism maintains that only the state that has the economic energy or social mandate or military might to enforce solutions
E. THESE KALEIDOSCOPE OF WORLDVIEWS ALL FOCUS ON MAN AS AUTONOMOUS
- in virtually every worldview I’ve mentioned this morning, man is the answer to what’s gone wrong with the world
- simply give man enough time, enough money, enough education, enough technology and, by our own accord, mankind will fix all of the world’s problems
- it’s the belief that our species is on an escalator forever evolving upward as though nothing is outside our reach
- does that kind of ego sound familiar?
- it’s the same pride and ego we see in the Tower of Babel story of Genesis
- “They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” (Genesis 11:3–4, NIV84)
- the result is a secularist philosophy that maintains that the individual is the center of their world
- every aspect of our culture has become obsessed with self-actualisation, self-image, self-love, self-sufficiency, self-esteem, and self-satisfaction
- do you see a pattern here?
- in the Naturalistic Worldview, the only reason why we act altruistically, the only reason why we are "good" is because by doing so we enhance our chances to survive and reproduce, and pass our genes on to the next generation
- in other words, when we act selflessly, we actually do so for our long-term benefit, and for our self-interest
- but that begs the question: Why, then, do we act against the interest of others, why are we sometimes "bad"?
- the answer is: for the same reason—because by doing so we enhance our chances to survive and reproduce, and pass our genes on to the next generation
- this is naturalistic "morality"—whatever it takes to pass along your genes is ‘moral’
- men need a new heart not a new government program
- last Sunday I told you that, according to Jeremiah 17:9, man’s heart is . . .
- incurably wicked
- according to Ephesians 1:2-3, the human character is dead in trespasses and sin and unless something changes that, man will never fix the world’s problems regardless of his worldview
II. A BIBLICAL WORLDVIEW GIVES A REALISTIC VIEW OF THE WORLD AND OFFERS MEN TRUE HOPE
- only a Biblical Worldview offer us reasonable answers to the three fundamental questions of life:
- Where did we come from?
- How did we get to where we are, i.e. What has gone wrong?
- What is the answer to what has gone wrong?
A. GOD OFFERS REDEMPTION OF OUR SOUL
- Jesus came to die for your sin, that you might experience true forgiveness
- “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” (1 Timothy 1:15, NIV84)
- it was our Lord’s sacrificial, atoning death on the cross that makes your redemption possible
- the word redemption means to purchase back something that had been lost, by the payment of a ransom
- this is exactly what Jesus did for you
- “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45, NIV84)
- we could not work off the debt in a million lifetimes
- but, in Christ, our sin-debt is not merely cancelled – it is paid in full by the blood of Him who knew no sin
- “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” (1 Peter 1:18–19, NIV84)
- “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved ... for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:9–10, NIV84)
B. GOD OFFERS RENEWING OF OUR CHARACTER
- "I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” (Ezekiel 36:25–27, NIV84)
- Christians make a huge mistake if they believe that Jesus saved them merely to give them eternal life in His Heaven
- He came to establish His Father’s Kingdom by transforming our sinful hearts and conforming us into His own image and likeness in order that we might impact the world for God
- he came to make us clean, to stamp God’s image and likeness upon us again
- this is why the Apostle Paul writes: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV84)
- Christ didn’t come simply to save us from the penalty of sin; he came also to save us from the power of sin
- he does this by transforming our sinful hearts by giving us a love for those things that are pure, clean and holy
- by redeeming our soul, He redeems our character
- as we follow Jesus as a life-long disciple, we are to ever think more and more like Jesus
- we are to have the mind of Christ
- that means that we must look at every aspect of life and culture through the prism of the Scriptures
Why is it so important that we work at having a biblical worldview? To put it simply, if you have a biblical worldview, you will live better. You’ll tend to make better choices. And you won’t embarrass yourself by being blown around by the latest trend or fad.