Arminian Today

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Culture Debates and the Clash of World Views

When it comes to cultural debates, we disciples of Christ must not forget that we are dealing with more than just a difference in opinion over an issue but with an entirely different world view.  The disciple’s world view comes directly from the Bible.  It is a biblical worldview.  Our view of all of life flows from our relationship with the one true and living God.  We obey Him because we acknowledge His absolute Lordship over all things (1 John 2:3-6).  No matter what the issue may be, we view it from the perspective of the Bible.  It doesn’t matter what the issue may be, we always begin with what does Scripture say about this issue or what guidelines do the Scriptures give us about this issue.  Our primary focus is on the glory of God in all things (1 Corinthians 10:31).  Our focus is on pleasing God and giving Him glory and honor in all things.

Paul the Apostle argued this way with the Corinthians.  In 1 Corinthians Paul dealt with many various sins.  Divisions.  Sexual immorality.  Lawsuits among brethren.  Division over spiritual gifts and improper uses.  The role of women in the fellowship.  The abuse of the Lord’s Supper.  Yet he seemed to always point back to the glory of God.  What God said was what mattered.  For instance, in 1 Corinthians 6 Paul deals with the issues involving sexual immorality (we humans are still the same are we not?).  In 1 Corinthians 6:12 he quotes the Corinthians and then turns the quotes of the Corinthians around to show that our focus is not on self-pleasure but upon the Lord Jesus Christ and how we can please Him.  He ends 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 by telling the Corinthians that disciples are temples of the Holy Spirit and he ends by telling us to glorify God in our bodies which are temples of God.  The focus of Paul was clear: glorify God who alone is worthy of worship.

Cultural debates are difficult for the true disciple because we begin where unbelievers don’t and that is with the glory of God.  We begin with this and not with self-pleasure, license for sinning, or the focus on what we desire or want.  We begin with pleasing God and we remain committed to that principle throughout a civil debate.  In all things the disciple of Christ begins the question with, “Does this glorify God or not?”  and move from there.  What has God said in His Word about this?  What does our position do for the glory of Christ?

It is almost a given then that the disciple of Jesus must first deal with the non-Christian worldview that the unbeliever is expressing but don’t allow them to borrow from our worldview to prove their point.  For instance, the whole idea of fairness or equality must be based on a biblical worldview.  The unbeliever borrows from a Christian worldview to prove or disprove their point.  We should not allow them to borrow our foundations while denying the Word of God on a given issue.  The disciple should consistently question their foundation.  On what right do you have to borrow from the Christian worldview while denying the Lordship of Christ over all things in your life?  This frames the debate in a much different fashion.  It points to the lostness of the unbeliever, that they are dead in their sins apart from the life of Christ (Ephesians 2:1-3) and it shows their ignorance of what Christ has said in His Word about cultural issues or at least principles of holiness.

Never get caught up in a debate where you are put on the defensive while the unbeliever borrows from your worldview.  You can presume two things about all unbelievers.  First, they know that God exists and that He is real but they want to suppress that knowledge because of their sin (Romans 1:18).  Secondly, the unbeliever begins with a worldview that pleases self above God (Titus 1:15-16).  The disciple begins with an opposite view with the glory of God reigning supreme and a worldview that seeks to glorify God completely.

I urge you to listen to the following mp3 from Gary DeMar.  You can find the teaching here.


Written by The Seeking Disciple

03/28/2013 at 10:00 AM

3 Responses

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  1. great points brother.

    mike and brandy

    03/28/2013 at 11:08 AM

  2. That’s good advice about not allowing an unbeliever to use our world-view to prove their point. So how do we question their foundation in such a way that the dialog remains civil and hopefully they actually open their mind to the possibility that our world-view has merit? Isn’t being spiritually minded a requirement for our world-view to be understood? To me this is a constant challenge when I engage a fallen human being in the realm of ideas – they live on the wrong side of Calvary and do not speak my language.


    03/28/2013 at 12:47 PM

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