Ideas have Consequences
I recently read a shocking statistic from a study by the Barna Research Group, that only 9 percent of professing Christians hold to a biblical worldview. It’s no wonder then that today’s Christians show little difference in how they live compared to their non-Christian counter-parts. As a pastor who works with youth, I am all too aware of how this impacts teenagers in the church – Most statistics show that upwards of 70-80 percent of teenagers leave the church when they turn eighteen and never look back. Ideas have consequences, and these teens are simply living according to the ideas they have been taught at home, from our culture, and often, sadly, from the church. Instead of adopting the biblical worldview, they have adopted the worldview of our culture, which teaches that the Gospel is neither true nor relevant.
A worldview is the narrative lens through which we perceive the world around us; it tells us how we got here, why we are here, and where we go when we die. When Christianity loses its narrative identity, it loses its power. The Gospel message of Jesus only makes sense from within the framework of the Christian narrative – The direct creation of humanity by God, the fall of humanity into sin, the redemption of humanity through Jesus Christ, and the future restoration of all things. Where our culture tells us that life has no ultimate purpose, since it is the result of a cosmic accident, the Bible tells us that humanity is uniquely made in the image of God, and therefore has purpose, meaning, and inherent worth. Where our culture tells us that broken relationships are the result of environmental influences, lack of education, and false-guilt, the Bible tells us that it is the result of humanity’s rebellion against God, which brought sin into the world and forever caused friction in our relationships. Where our culture tells us there is no such thing as sin, the Bible tells us that sin has devastated our world and can be cured through redemption, which is only made possible through the sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus. Where our culture tells us that all life will someday cease to exist when all the stars burn out and matter expands into a vast frozen nothingness, the Bible tells us that our time on this earth is but the introduction to the story – Jesus is coming back to make everything bad come untrue, when He will crush His enemies and all things will be made new for God’s children.
When the church and the Christian family fail to teach and live in accordance with the Biblical worldview, the Gospel unravels and the worldview of our culture becomes the belief system by which we live. This is why gospel preaching churches and families must do everything in their power to teach the four acts of biblical narrative: creation, fall, redemption, and restoration. But not only must we teach this, we must contrast the narrative of the Bible with the false narrative of our culture and show how the story of the Bible is the better story-Shameless plug: our church is doing just this beginning next month as we study through Focus on the Family’s “The Truth Project.” From the worship music we sing, to the lessons we teach, and the sermons we preach, the church must instill the biblical narrative into its congregants. Without both the church and the family doing this, Christians will become no different than our culture. This is something we cannot risk, as there are eternal consequences at stake.