Never before in my life have I seen such a strong need for instilling a biblical worldview in children. Really, it’s sorely lacking in adults, too. Christians today are being easily led astray by the latest trend in just about everything, without first lining it up with the scriptures.
False and untrue versions of Christianity abound in this Information Age. Just take a look at a few:
- 10 False Versions of Jesus People Are Falling For
- New Apostolic Reformation
- Gay Christian Founder of ‘Queer Theology’ claims Jesus is polyamorous, Bible supports lifestyle
- Another Jesus Calling
- Jen Hatmaker and the Power of Deconversion Stories
Everywhere you turn, Christians are being swayed by secular ideologies posing as new and trendy Christianity simply because they do not know the scriptures. Your children are also being exposed to falsehoods and lies: in entertainment, in school, in books, at the library, and definitely online. We are all bombarded, daily, with thoughts and ideas that do not line up with scripture.
What is a biblical worldview?
Everyone has a worldview. It’s the basic core beliefs a person has that determine how they see the world. It determines your view of people, culture, politics, and morality. A biblical worldview shapes our view of every part of life through the lens of scripture.
“Everyone has a worldview. Everyone has a set of values and assumptions by which they interpret all of life. They may not even know it, but they do have one.” – Dr. Joel McDurmon, Is Your Worldview Truly Biblical?
Decisions, opinions, lifestyle, culture, governments, and civilization can shaped by the scriptures when people operate from a biblical worldview.
Why is a biblical worldview important?
For Christians, it’s vital that we live and breathe the holy word of God. It’s imperative that we allow it to shape our lives. It’s foundational to a Christian life.
Understanding that God created our world and ourselves with a purpose is the beginning. Knowing that His ways are perfect helps us to make decisions that can impact us for good or for bad. His word, His commands, His principles all work together to shape healthy, happy lives (and by that, I don’t mean trouble-free lives; I mean that living in God’s will is the most fulfilling way to live).
But we live in a fallen world. All around us forces are at work, trying to shape our thoughts and actions contrary to what God has told us is true.
You are likely already facing this daily. Be very sure your children are, too. And if they are young and sheltered, just know that it will come, sooner than you think. If your children are on any social media, they encounter false ideology every day.
How will they know the truth? How will they stand firm?
How do you get a biblical worldview?
It’s very simple: know the scriptures. Know God’s story. Understand God’s plan for mankind. Most importantly, know how God’s word applies to your life right now.
The only way to achieve this is to read and study the Bible for yourself. It must be an important part of each day.
- Read through the Bible regularly, from Genesis to Revelation. Each book of the Bible is connected to the others. The Old Testament is connected to the New Testament. Get a good study Bible with plenty of notes. Use a concordance, like the Strong’s concordance. It’s so important to read for yourself, instead of depending on others to tell you what the Bible says. Dig in and learn.
- Do a deeper book study, such a the book of James or Proverbs. This is where a concordance with the Greek and Hebrew come in handy. Read a bit each day, study the notes and cross references, and take notes. Or do a study on the lives of certain people, like Jesus, David, Moses, or the prophets.
- Do a topical study, on current events or general things like parenting, faith, money, etc. Knowing what the Bible says about the different issues we face in our personal lives and in the world around us is the basis for having a biblical worldview.
- Memorize scripture. No worldview study or curriculum can compete with having the scriptures written in your mind and hidden in your heart. Any person of any age can memorize short and long passages of scripture, and once memorized (with some regular review), the scriptures stay with you for life.
- Practice critical thinking. This is something that is missing in most education today. The best example is on social media. The ability to think about a topic or a statement before believing, repeating, and sharing shows critical thinking. Read, observe, question, verify, and consult the scriptures. This article by Reasons for Hope is excellent.
There are lots of popular devotional books on the market, and I fear they are sadly taking the place of actual Bible reading for so many people. Don’t make this mistake. Let the Bible be your priority. I would even go as far as to suggest spending a year in the scriptures alone. After that, choose your devotional books carefully, and make sure they also have a completely biblical worldview.
Practical ways to apply a biblical worldview
This is where the rubber meets the road. Applying God’s word to the world around us illustrates the need for a biblical worldview.
What does the Bible say about money, marriage, lying, salvation, the age of the earth, homosexuality, or fear? It’s all there, in the scriptures. But you won’t know that if you’re not a student of the Bible.
Here are some great examples. News stories can give you plenty of practice for application. What does the Bible say about these?
- Dave Ramsey tells pastors to stop asking “broke” people to tithe – what does the Bible say about tithing? Are there exceptions?
- UK to ban ads featuring traditional gender roles – what does the Bible say about man and woman and their roles?
- 5 reasons socialism is not Christian – what does the Bible say about equality, dying to self, and who should help the poor?
- The Gaping Hole in “This is Us” – what does the Bible say about where our strength comes from?
- American Missionary Believed Killed by Isolated Tribe Knew the Risks – what does the Bible say about spreading the gospel, and being hated, persecuted, and killed for it?
Practice biblical critical thinking in every area. This portion of the article I quoted above is absolutely spot-on:
What is critical thinking? Let us not be confused by the word “critical.” While this word is often associated with being negatively judgmental and faultfinding, that is not the only sense of the word. The type of critical thinking we need is about using all of our faculties to evaluate ideas in an attempt to discover their veracity or falsity. Paul seems to summarize it along with its practical application when he exhorts the Thessalonians to “Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.” (1 Thes. 5:21-22 NKJV). Paul’s use of the verb “test” is synonymous with critical thinking. While the context of this exhortation pertains to prophecy, the terminology and the principles involved can be applied to critical thinking in general. Critical thinking is about testing all things (ideas). But how is this to be done today? One New Testament scholar sheds light on the process.
How were the Thessalonians to test all things, and how do we do that today? By comparing what we hear with the written Word, just as the Bereans did in Acts 17:11. This was no innovation: ‘To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this word, it is because there is no light in them’ (Isa. 8:20). We are to search the Scriptures in order to make sure that what we hear is biblical. Then we are to hold on to what is good: we are to remember it, note it down, add it to our store of biblical knowledge but, above all, if it is a practical exhortation in line with God’s Word, we are to put it into practice. -Juan Valdez, A Biblical Foundation for Critical Thinking
Teaching your children to have a biblical worldview
Now that you understand why and how to have a biblical worldview, it’s easy to teach it to your children. There are two basic functions for you to perform: teach them the scriptures (above all else) and have regular conversation about all kinds of subjects every day.
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6: 6-9
Use the 5 steps above for your children in this way:
- Get them Bibles of their own as soon as they are able to read. Pick a translation that’s easy to understand. Teach them how to use it, look up verses, and choose daily readings. Blessed Homemaking has a good recommendation in this post How to Read the Bible as a Family.
- Do a study with them on a book of the Bible. No matter their age, they can learn how a book study is done. Then as they grow and mature, they will be able to do it on their own. Here’s a great round-up of ideas from Tim Challes for 2019.
- Teach them to look up topics and find out what the Bible says about different things. Teach them to use a concordance. Chances are, they’ll find it fascinating.
- Help them memorize scriptures. Give them shorter Bible verses to begin with, and then progressively longer passages and chapters. Have a fun reward system, such as an ice cream outing or hamburger run when they reach a certain goal. Make it fun!
- Teach them to think critically. Discuss a scripture or a real world topic and ask them to think it through, give you their opinion, and possibly debate it. Stretch their thinking skills. Read my post Discussing Current Events With Your Children.
It is the most important duty of Christians parents to make biblical instruction their number one priority. A great education, all the best activities, a well-rounded social life, athletic ability, material goods; these are temporary. God’s word and His principles are eternal.
J.C. Ryle, in this piece, Train Your Children to a Knowledge of the Bible, said, “A thorough knowledge of the Bible is the foundation of all clear views of religion. He that is well-grounded in it will not generally be found a waverer, and carried about by every wind of new doctrine. Any system of training which does not make a knowledge of Scripture the first thing is unsafe and unsound.” He further talked about how it was to be done: “…some are to be found in like manner who honour a catechism more than the Bible, or fill the minds of their children with miserable little story-books, instead of the Scripture of truth. But if you love your children, let the simple Bible be everything in the training of their souls; and let all other books go down and take the second place.”
I could not possibly agree more. Bible “stories” are not biblical instruction. Don’t reduce God’s word to a simple cartoon storybook. Let the inspired word of God minister to your children.
Ryle continues, “See that your children read the Bible reverently. Train them to look on it, not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the Word of God, written by the Holy Ghost Himself, — all true, all profitable, and able to make us wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” Read the entire piece. And then get the book it’s from: The Duties of Parents.
Be sure to put their Bible studies to the test. This is why regular daily conversation is key. Discuss with them what you hear or see in the news, online, in entertainment, and out in public. Discuss what you believe. What does the Bible say? Address social media posts, memes, movies, talks with friends; everything.
I promise you it is worth your time. I have had my kids come to me to show something they saw online and we discuss it then and there. It’s exciting to hear their commentary and to get more questions. It shows they are actively engaging, not passively accepting.
Living Your Worldview
When you begin to apply the biblical worldview to your life, the road may not be smooth. Expect disagreement from those with an opposing worldview. Expect your closest friends and family to reject you. But also, expect to change the world.
“Considering what the Bible says in so many areas of life not only means we will need to spend a good deal of time studying Scripture and its applications, but also probably feeling the conviction of the Holy Spirit in many areas. We will realize that perhaps we need to change our patterns of behavior in a number of areas, some of which may be considerable and even costly. It is here that we truly feel the cost of discipleship in concrete ways. It is here that we are confronted with the seriousness of taking up our crosses and following Christ—in every area of life.” – Joel McDurmon, Is Your Worldview Truly Biblical?
Comment below! Do you and your children read the scriptures every day? Do you talk about them “when you lie down and when you rise up?” Are you encouraged to begin?