What is a "Worldview?"

Every day you are bombarded with billions of facts. Which facts are important? How do you interpret them?

A Worldview is the pair of glasses through which you view the world. It is the grid which filters, prioritizes, and sorts billions of facts and makes sense out of life. It helps you decide whether you view a fact with joy or with sadness. It may tell you to ignore some facts altogether.

Your worldview is the foundation upon which you build the structure of your life. It is your answer to the most basic questions of life:

Do we live in an orderly universe with predictable regularities, or do we live in a random, evolving, undependable and chaotic universe? The answer depends on which worldview you choose. "Is science possible?" is a question science cannot answer. It is an assumption of your worldview.

A Worldview is a presupposition. People don't choose their worldview because they are forced to by a neutral observation of brute facts. People choose a worldview to justify their morality. They choose a worldview to justify ignoring some facts and emphasizing other facts.

Aldous Huxley, grandson of Thomas H. Huxley (who was called "Darwin's Bulldog"), explained how he chose his worldview:

      I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently I assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption.
      Most ignorance is vincible ignorance. We dont know because we dont want to know. It is our will that decides how and upon what subjects we shall use our intelligence.
      Those who detect no meaning in the world generally do so because, for one reason or another, it suits their [purpose] that the world should be meaningless.
      The philosopher who finds no meaning in the world is not concerned exclusively with a problem in pure metaphysics, he is also concerned to prove that there is no valid reason why he personally should not do as he wants to do, or why his friends should not seize political power and govern in the way that they find most advantageous to themselves....
      For myself, as, no doubt, for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy [worldview] of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation. The liberation we desired was simultaneously liberation from a certain political and economic system and liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom; we objected to the political and economic system because it was unjust. The supporters of these systems claimed that in some way they embodied the meaning (a Christian meaning, they insisted) of the world. There was one admirably simple method of confuting these people and at the same time justifying ourselves in our political and erotic revolt: we could deny that the world had any meaning whatsoever.
(Aldous Huxley, Ends and Means, Chatto & Windus: London, 1946, pp. 270, 273) 

A worldview also characterizes a society, or nation. Millions of people can be controlled and directed by the "worldview" of their government or leader. Those with an active "worldview" tend to dominate those with a passive "worldview":

  • Active: "It is my destiny to rule over others."
  • Passive: "I'll never amount to much. I just take what comes my way."
  • Active: "God created me to enrich the lives of those in my family and my fellowman."
  • Passive: "The universe is an accident. Mankind just evolved. I just do what I'm told. Maybe I'll win the lottery."

A worldview perpetuates itself.

  • A Christian worldview creates a Christian civilization, which allows people to contemplate and refine their understanding of the universe.
  • A pagan worldview creates paganism, not civilization, in which human beings are dominated by superstition and the forces of nature, and between hunting and gathering don't have time for philosophy (from the Greek words meaning "love of wisdom").

A worldview is your ultimate philosophical commitment. It is your religion. You apply your worldview to everything you think and do.

I was already a Christian, but my worldview had not yet caught up to my Christian commitment. It can take a long time to apply the lessons of the Bible to your life, your work, and your community. Those days were the time when I began to do that.
Joseph Farah, editor, WorldNetDaily

What Joseph Farah is saying is that he grew up with the worldview of the religion of Secular Humanism, which says there is no God, that man is his own god. Farah had been applying this philosophy/religion to his own life. Then Farah realized he was not God, but Christ is Lord of Farah's life. That meant Farah had to start learning how to obey Jesus rather than Joseph Farah and other Humanists. Life, work, community. Every area of life is affected by one's ultimate worldview.

It also means that Christ had to become Lord of Farah's personal life, his work, his community: every facet of human life and society.

Vine & Fig Tree is the worldview of a former Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Abraham Kuyper, who proclaimed:
"In the total expanse of human life there is not a single square inch of which the Christ, who alone is sovereign, does not declare, that is Mine! "
We must use our God-given powers of reason and logic to apply Christ's model of love and justice to every area of life:
  • Relationships - family, friends, neighbors, associates
  • Culture/Institutions - language, church, state, music, ethics
  • Community/Government - nation, state, community, neighborhood
  • Creation/Environment - the creation and the use we make of it
  • Economics/Vocation - jobs, income, economic activities
  • Science/Technology - tools, technologies, ways of knowing and using the creation
  • Religion/Spirituality - Christianity, Islam, atheism, church, spiritual life
  • Education/Development - formal schooling, life experience

Your worldview provides answers to these basic questions:

  • Why is there something rather than nothing? "
    • Where did I come from?
  • Why is there sin and suffering?
    • Whats wrong with the world?
  • Is there hope - can we eliminate sin and suffering?
    • What can be done to fix it?
  • What part does God want me to play in this transformation?
    • What is my purpose?

Gary North applies these questions to your business, your nation, your world, your universe:

  • Who's in charge here?
  • To whom do I report?
  • What are the rules?
  • What do I get for obeying or disobeying?
  • Does this outfit have a future?

The original American Worldview is seen in the Declaration of Independence:

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. God is here and He is not silent. He has given us His revelation in the Bible, also referred to as "The Laws of Nature and of Nature's God"
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. Because we are created in the Image of God, we have a conscience (literally, "with" + "know," something man knows with God) that cannot escape knowing certain "self-evident truths," among them that God is there and He is not silent, and we must not infringe on the life, liberty, and property of others (see duties below).
He has waged cruel war against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivatng and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of INFIDEL powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce. This paragraph is an excerpt from Jefferson's draft of the Declaration, removed by the Continental Congress to secure approval of slave-holding states for the plan for Independence. Many Christians wanted to abolish slavery, but the so-called Christian King of Britain, George III, would not permit this. A true Christian worldview takes action against social and global injustice. There is no area of human thought or action where a worldview does not prescribe duties or reform thinking.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor. Not a single person who signed the Constitution was a "deist" (one who believed in an impersonal creator-god who never involves himself/herself/itself in the creation). The God of America's Founding Fathers answered their prayers and miraculously and supernaturally intervened in America, changing the course of history. "Providence" is the act of the "Supreme Judge" intervening in history against wicked judges and on behalf of their victims; for the good and against the evil.

The Declaration of Independence provides another standard we can use to evaluate our worldview: compare it with "The Laws of Nature and of Nature's God." The Ten Commandments summarize a Biblical worldview.

In reverse order, here are the questions the Ten Commandments begin to ask about your worldview:

10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.
Am I filled with resentment from envying the rich and coveting what I don't have?
Most Political Campaigns appeal to envy, resentment, and covetousness. "Vote for me and I'll take money from the rich and give it to you!" An economy based on covetousness eventually self-destructs.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Do I lie to cover up my character defects?
What would politics be without lying?
8. Thou shalt not steal.
Do I cheat others to gratify myself?
The essence of politics today is stealing from others to get something for nothing. "Thou shalt not steal--except by majority vote" is how politicians have re-written this commandment.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Have I kept my marriage vows? Do I lust and have impure thoughts and actions?
It's astonishing how many of today's most famous politicians left their first wife for a younger, prettier lobbyist.
The Family is God's central institution, not "the State."
6. Thou shalt not kill.
Am I willing to hurt other people to protect myself?
"The State" is symbolized by "the sword." It kills people who get in its way.
5. Honour thy father and thy mother:
that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
Am I angry at my parents, and is our relationship broken? Do I project my anger against them onto other authorities?
4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
{9} Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
{10} But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: {11} For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
Do I work to serve God and others, or do I expect something for nothing? Am I able to rest, and trust God?
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain;
for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Do I take the Lord's Name in vain?
Politicians say "I will support the Constitution, so help me God." They never do.
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image,
or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
{5} Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; {6} And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Do I cover up my character defects with "religion" and false spirituality?
America's Founders warned against "false religions"
1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Is my relationship with God broken because I am trying to be my own god (Genesis 3:5)? Do I seek to be god over others?
One of America's greatest problems is viewing the government as savior. America's Founders believed that choosing "security" over liberty was the mark of idolatry.

A campaign to reduce the size and intrusiveness of government will be futile unless it deals with the worldview question. Gary North writes:

What is the main problem we face? Conspiracies? No. The real problem is [worldview:] the set of moral, intellectual, and economic ideas that the West's voters have accepted as valid that have led to their partial enslavement. The conspirators use these false religious principles to control Western societies. These false principles include the following:

1. Mankind is essentially unified.

2. There are no conflicting moral issues that divide people permanently.

3. Man must "take control" of man.

4. Mankind will eventually evolve into a "higher species" a "leap of being."

5. Elite planners can use the laws of evolution to speed up this evolutionary process.

6. Men can be saved through State legislation.

7. Men can be saved through education.

8. Ideology is irrelevant; only "interests" count.

9. "Deprived" individuals are not personally responsible for their acts.

10. The State is the primary welfare agency rather than the family.

11. The State should redistribute wealth to benefit "the People."

12. The State must protect inefficient producers from free market competition.

13. The State must supervise education.

14. We need to construct a one-State world in order to achieve peace, freedom, and prosperity.

When a majority of voters accept a majority of these premises, the triumph of one or another conspiratorial group is assured. It is by means of these man-worshipping, State-worshipping ideas that conspirators enlarge the power of civil government, and it is by the power of civil government that they rule. To attempt to remove the ruling conspiracies without first removing most people's confidence in these false ideas is about as useful an effort as a condemned man's switching from hanging to the firing squad. Jesus described the results of such a self-defeating "housecleaning":

When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and finding none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there .... (Matthew 12:43-45a).

The owner of the house is worse off than he was when he started. This is the legacy of all political revolutions that are not grounded in biblical principles of social order. Men "throw the rascals out," only to find that a worse gang of rascals has replaced the first one.

Twelve Worldview Questions
1 - Veritology: What is Truth?
The Truth Project begins by defining truth as "that which corresponds to reality." This absolute and eternal truth, at the heart of Jesus' mission on earth, continues to be the focal point of the Cosmic Battle in our own time.
2 - Philosophy and Ethics: Says Who?
Truth is not simply an academic concept. The way we think about truth has a direct bearing upon the way we live our lives. What's more, our understanding of right and wrong is directly dependent on our worldview: is the universe God's creation or a closed cosmic cube?
3 - Anthropology: Who is Man?
The Bible tells us that man was created in God's image but fell from innocence through sin. Modern psychology, on the other hand, asserts that man is inherently good and behaves badly only under the influence of social or institutional pressure. This lesson explores the implications of both views.
4 - Theology: Who is God?
Eternal life, according to Jesus, is knowing God in an intimate, personal, and relational way. Such knowledge, which is possible only because of divine revelation, transforms us from the inside out as we begin to see ourselves in the light of His majesty and holiness.
5 - Science: What is True?
Science, the "systematic study of the natural world," brings to light innumerable evidences of Intelligent Design. But Darwinian theory transforms science from the honest investigation of nature into a vehicle for propagating a godless philosophy.
    A careful examination of molecular biology and the fossil record demonstrates that evolution is not a "proven fact." Meanwhile, history shows that ideas, including Darwinism as a social philosophy, have definite consequences consequences that can turn ugly when God is left out of the picture.
6 - History: Whose Story?
Does the past have an objective actuality and significance? Or does it, as postmodernist philosophy asserts, exist primarily inside our heads? This question considers the meaning of history as Gods story and shows us why remembering is so important.
7 - Sociology: The Divine Imprint
The order we observe in the natural realm is even more apparent in the social systems God has established: family, church, community, state, labor, and the union between God and man. Life is a series of relationships that flow out of and reflect the Trinitarian nature of the Creator.
8 - Unio Mystica: Am I Alone?
Is it possible for the infinite, eternal Creator to dwell within the heart of an individual? The implications of this great mystery, which represents the very core of the Christian faith, are explored at length in this examination of the most intimate of the social spheres.
9 - The State: Whose Law?
Of all the social spheres, the state, to which God grants the power of the sword for the punishment of evil and the preservation of the good, has the greatest potential to go awry if it oversteps its authority. The civil magistrate must always remember his place under the sovereignty of God otherwise, havoc will ensue.
10 - The American "Experiment in Liberty": "Self-Evident Truths" 
America is unique in the history of the world. On these shores a people holding to a biblical worldview have had an opportunity to set up a system of government designed to keep the state within its divinely ordained boundaries. Question #10 follows the history of this experiment and explores what happens to freedom when God is forgotten.
11 - Labor: Created to Create
Contrary to a great deal of contemporary popular opinion, work is not a "curse." God Himself is active and creative, and He calls man to share in the joy of His activity and creativity. Labor, economics, media, and the creative arts all have a role to play in magnifying the glory of the Creator.
12 - Community and Involvement: God Cares, Do I?
The ethical law and the meaning of the Christian life are summed up in the commandment to love God and one's neighbor. This command is the source of the believer's motivation for self-sacrificial service to the needy and their personal involvement in our culture.
Resources from Prison Fellowship:

"Worldview" and "Theocracy"

Those who advocate a Christian "worldview" also advocate "Christian Theocracy." "Theocracy" does not mean "rule by priests." It means "God rules."

For the Lord is our Judge,
the Lord is our Lawgiver,
the Lord is our King;
He will save us.
Isaiah 33:22

It means we are obligated to obey God's Commandments in every area of life, and that the Bible is a textbook for every field of human endeavor.

Nevertheless, virtually all of off-site resources listed above are able defenses of the idea of Christianity as a world-and-life-view, but they often run away from the word "Theocracy" (which is defended on this website), even as they wisely note that "theocracy" is often raised by atheists as a boogeyman to scare people away from allowing God's Law to have full sway in society.

Atheists don't want to live in a society where all other people and institutions openly acknowledge God and practice His Commandments. When religion dictates behavior in our neighborhoods, on the job, in schools, in businesses, in the arts and sciences, and in government (if there still is one), atheists see this as an intolerable "theocracy." It's just as bad as an Islamic theocracy, where religion governs everything. Atheists don't want "freedom of religion," they want "freedom from religion." That means freedom from a Christian worldview put into practice by the rest of society. To attack such a society, they accuse the worldview Christian of trying to "impose a theocracy."

A truly Christian Theocracy (a society under God's Law) is radically different from a Muslim theocracy. A truly Christian Theocracy cannot be imposed without violating Christ's command not to be like the Gentile kings ("archists"). A truly Christian Theocracy is a libertarian worldview that impacts every area of life.

also: W.W.J.D.?