Six Worldviews You’re Competing Against

From Rick Warren and

“Worldview matters. Clarifying worldviews is not an academic exercise, intellectual theory, or a philosophical concept. A worldview is an integral part of the lives of those you minister to on a weekly basis. It determines their relationships. It determines their successes and failure. It determines their goals and motivations. If you want to see someone change their lives, they’ll have to change how they look at the world first.

Every week as you stand before your people to share God’s Word, they’re bringing different worldviews into the room. What are some of these worldviews?

1. The one with the most toys wins.
This is the worldview of materialism – and it can be summed up with one world, more. Materialism says that the only thing that really matters in life is acquiring things. Those who subscribe to this worldview live mostly to collect things.

The Bible’s answer: Jesus said this in Luke 12, “A man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (NIV). He tells us not to judge our lives by how much we’ve got. The greatest things in life aren’t things.

2. I’ve got to think of me first.
We live in a “me first,” serve-yourself world that says it’s all about you. Commercial slogans cater to this viewpoint. Slogans like, “have it your way,” “we do it all for you,” “obey your thirst,” “you’ve got to think of what’s best for yourself,” and “You deserve it.”

For the last 40 years, the Baby Boomer generation has been called the “Me Generation.” This “me first” idea has infected entire communities. It has torn up marriages (“I don’t care how divorce impacts my spouse or children; it’s all about me”), destroyed workplaces (“I don’t care how my laziness impacts my co-workers; it’s all about me”) and even ruined churches (“Serve my needs first, forget about the lost”).

It’s a self-centered, individualistic way of life that says we should ignore the community and other people.

The Bible’s answer: Jesus says, “If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find true life” (Matt. 16:25 NLT). Jesus says you only begin to live when you give your life away. Significance in life does not come from serving yourself; it comes from serving God and others.

3. Do what feels good.
This is hedonism – the belief that the most important thing in life is how we feel. The number one goal of a hedonist is to feel good, be comfortable, and have fun.

It’s the worldview that Hugh Hefner founded Playboy magazine on. He willingly acknowledges he is a hedonist.

It’s not just playboys who are hedonists, though. In fact, someone who lives for the goal of retirement is a hedonist. If the whole goal of a person’s life is to simply do nothing, live a self centered life, and make no contribution to the world, that’s hedonism.

The Bible’s answer: “Are you addicted to thrills? What an empty life! The pursuit of pleasure is never satisfied” (Prov 21:17 Msg). Mick Jagger’s been singing: “I can’t get no satisfaction” for 40 years. Why? The pursuit of pleasure is never satisfied.

4. Whatever works for you.
This worldview says it doesn’t matter if it’s right or wrong. It doesn’t matter if it hurts anybody or not. If it works for you, fine. As that great theologian Sly Stone says, “Different strokes for different folks.”

In our multi-cultural, pluralistic world, this is a very popular worldview. Nobody wants to tell someone else that what they are doing is wrong. In fact that’s the only way you can be wrong in our society today – if you tell someone else they’re wrong.

The Bible’s answer: The Bible says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death” (Prov. 14:12 NIV). Our ideas may seem right, but in the end our ideas lead to death. “Whatever works for you” leads to death. You don’t break God’s universal laws; they break you.

5. God doesn’t exist.
This worldview is naturalism or atheism. Naturalists believe that everything in life is a result of random chance. We’re all accidents of nature. There is no grand creator or grand design. God either doesn’t exist or he doesn’t matter.

If there is no God, there’s no plan or purpose for life. If there is no purpose, than your life doesn’t really matter. Your only value comes from the fact that God loves you, created you, and thought you up. For naturalists, life has no value, meaning, or purpose.

It takes more faith to be an atheist than it does to believe in God. When you look at creation and how the world is set on an axis, it proves the existence of God to me. If it were one degree one way, we’d freeze up. If it were one degree the other way, we’d burn up.

The Bible’s answer: Paul says in Romans 1:25 (NIV), “From the beginning of creation, God has shown what he is like by all he has made. That’s why those people don’t have any excuse. They know about God, but they don’t honor him or even thank him…They claim to be wise, but they are fools.” In other words, we can look at nature and see a lot about God. We know God is creative, powerful, organized, and likes diversity. There are lots of things we know about God just by looking at nature.

6. You are your own God.
This worldview, otherwise known as humanism, is very popular in the Western world. It says we are the mastermind of our own fate, the determiner of our destiny. You’ll hear this in the new age movement as well: “You’re divine. You’re a god.”

It’s ironic. God wired us to worship something. And if we don’t worship God, we end up worshipping ourselves. The self-made man usually worships his maker.

The Bible’s answer: Paul says in Rom. 1:25 (NIV): “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped created things rather than the Creator.” You can go all around the world and find people worshipping little idols that they made – stone idols, rock idols, crystals, and wooden idols. They’re worshipping something that they created themselves or somebody else created. In America we have our own idols – they’re called cars, homes, and status symbols. The Bible is clear that God is God, and we’re not.

All of these worldviews have consequences. Every day we’re affected and influenced by them. We’re often not even aware of it. These worldviews affect the happiness and success of the people to whom you minister. They matter greatly.

There’s only one worldview that is consistent with the Bible. The biblical worldview says God made us for his purposes. It says that we exist for his pleasure. It’s 180 degrees different from the other worldviews above.”

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14 Responses to Six Worldviews You’re Competing Against

  1. Farthel says:

    I think I’m still a hedonist, a humanist, a lover, and a tree. And It feels right to do it. Do what you do, not to please a higher been, or because of fear of hell; but because you feel like doing it. Of course, you have to be ready to face the social consecuences of your acts. But, we still are crazy, and we are who we are, and we are free. We are god, oh, yes we are.

  2. Chris says:

    Have you ever studied the evidence for the God of theism? I pray that you will because only then will you find the truth and it will set you free from your utter

  3. Farthel says:

    Chris, if you wrote that to me. I have studied the evidence for a god, and I have decided that there might be a higher been, but I just can’t believe in a Judeo-Christian kind of god. I just can’t. So, I’m god in the meanwhile. And I’m a tree. Jajajaja. Long live to hedonism.

  4. Chris says:

    Why can’t you believe in the Judeo-Christian God? What is holding you back?

  5. Farthel says:

    That I will have to feel guilty for the rest of my life. And I will have to stop doing a lot of things I enjoy doing. And because I can’t understand how a single unit of carbon in one of the hidden corners of one of the zillion galaxies in the universe could possibly offend the creator of it all. And why this beeing will give us life, free will, then say I love you all, but if you don’t do what I want you to, you’ll be punished. It feels like some sick and twisted experiment.

  6. Chris says:

    What would you feel guilty about? What would you have to quit doing that you enjoy?

    God does not create us, give us free will, say he loves us and then say if we don’t do what he wants he will be punished.

    Do you have children? If so, did you give them life and then don’t you love them and want to have a deep personal relationship with them and don’t you provide them with guidance to live by to protect them and if they misbehave don’t you correct them in love?

  7. Farthel says:

    I don’t have, and I don’t want children. At least not for the following ten years. And well, what can I say, I think that I sin (according to the bible) at least once a day, and there is a deadly sin (according to the bible) at least every two or three days. So you see, if I become a christian/catholic, I’ll have to repent for all of that sin (which I don’t) and I’ll have to stop (which I don’t want to do). So there is some trouble there. And still, even if one day I stop (I doubt I will) well, I still can’t follow a life based on a book like the bible. I will always be my own god. And I like it that way.

  8. Chris says:

    Do you feel guilt towards the things you are doing? Are your actions having a negative effect on others?

  9. Farthel says:

    No, but I know (because I tried) that if I want to follow the bible, then I should repent. But I don’t want to, I mean I don’t feel like doing it. My life is just fine.

  10. Chris says:

    How can your sin not have a negative impact on others? Don’t you think what you are doing is wrong? Do you understand right from wrong? Your actions will have consequences.

  11. Farthel says:

    My actions will have consequences, yes, I know. Have this consequences affect my life? No. I can tell right from wrong. I don’t think it is a good idea to kill a million people just because I feel like doing it. Or hurting people, or animals, or destroying mother nature. Still, every action in this worl will bring a consequence, if it is good or bad it depends on how you see the world. If you see the world as a Christian, my actions have offended jesus, have offended god, etc. Yet, there is no harm in me or in my soul. Maybe to others, my actions are seen as wrong, and that is an impact somehow. But still is their point of view; in my point of view, there has been no harm. Who am I to say that my vision is the one I should follow? Just the owner of my own life, and my own god. See, so I can’t become a Christian. Maybe when I feel that what I have done is wrong, maybe then I can give it another try.

  12. Chris says:

    So you know your actions will have consequences and you know right from wrong. Where do you think right and wrong or objective moral standards come from? Why is it wrong to do the things you mentioned? How do you know your soul is not harmed by your actions? You said “maybe to others, my actions are seen as wrong….but that is their point of view and not mine”…your point of view is your actions are fine….This implies there are no objective moral if I want to any of the things you listed it is okay because it is just my view of reality….do you see the issue with your line of thinking? Either God exists and their are objcetive moral standards or He does not exist and anything goes. We know from reality that there are objective moral standards – it is never right to kill inocent people, etc. – so we know that God exists.

  13. Farthel says:

    No, we know Hobbes exists. He is the one that syas why I can’t kill innocent people (because I agreed not to in order to belong to a society). You can have a moral code without a god. Just gather up a bunch of people and ask them by which rules they want to play this life. Maybe some will be similar to those of the bible, maybe not.

  14. Chris says:

    I did not say you cannot be a good person without God existing. I said objective moral standard do not exist unless God exists. And we know objective moral standards do exist. If you are willing to take some time to read the below you will further understand what I mean.

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