Pray We and Our Children Have a Biblical Worldview and Are Separate from the World (1 Chronicles 12:32; Romans 12:1-2; Colossians 3:1-2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17, 21; James 4:4)
Praying Scripture Series
Prepared and preached by Pastor Steve Rhodes on Sunday, June 24, 2018 for and at Bethel Friends Church
Recently there was a news case about a monkey taking a selfie. One news article reads:
A photographer whose camera was used by a monkey to take a selfie has won a two-year legal battle against an animal rights group about copyright over the image.
Naruto, a rare crested macaque monkey who lives in the Tangkoko Reserve on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, picked up David Slater’s camera and snapped the now-famous photo in 2011.
Peta sued “on behalf” of the monkey in 2015, seeking financial control of the photographs for the benefit of Naruto.
Judges in the US deemed the monkey was ineligible to hold copyright over the image.
What does it mean to be human? That is a worldview question. Every day this question is being talked about in the world, but they are not basing their discussion from the Bible.
For example, a few weeks ago the New York Times ran a headline: “Actress Struck by Car in Park Slope Loses Unborn Daughter.” The question must be asked, “Does New York Times now believe a baby in the womb is a life”? What we actually see is that the unborn child is recognized as a child only when the baby is wanted by his or her parents. This is about worldview. What does it mean to be human?
There was a headline titled State Comes Out with New LGBTQ Curriculum. This headline came out on April 23, 2018 in the Boston Herald. This was about a Massachusetts school coming out with this curriculum. A summary: “Bay State schools will be able to try a new curriculum with LGBTQ-themed history, English and health this fall that proponents say is an effort to help all students see themselves reflected in classrooms.” This, once again, is about the worldview question of what it means to be human.
One must ask, what worldview will be taught in schools? Another headline: “Supporters rally for gay teacher amid discrimination claim after he told 1st-graders about same-sex marriage.”
A bouquet of flowers sent to a teacher from his husband on Valentine’s Day set off a controversy and claims of discrimination in a rural community at the edge of the Chicago area, resulting in a standing-room-only school board meeting Monday evening.
When Nathan Etter, a first-year music teacher at Prairie View Grade School near Elgin, received the bouquet from his husband, some first-grade students asked who they were from. He said he answered honestly and that some students reacted with comments like “ewww” and “gross.”
Etter, 30, who has been married to Philip Etter since August, said he used the interaction as a “teachable moment,” making very brief comments about respect and tolerance and explaining how some families have two moms or two dads.
According to administrators in Kane County-based Central Unit School District 301, the parent of one student contacted the district with “serious concerns” about Etter’s comments, prompting the principal to meet with the teacher to learn more about what had occurred.
School board President Jeff Kellenberger told the crowd at Monday’s gathering that, after that meeting, “the district had no further concerns and considered the matter resolved. Mr. Etter’s employment … was never in jeopardy.”
But Etter and his union apparently interpreted the meeting differently. Nearly two months later, according to district officials, the vice president of the local teachers union sent an email to the entire district faculty and staff claiming “school leaders treated Mr. Etter in a discriminatory manner,” according to an open letter released in response the next day by Kellenberger and Superintendent Todd Stirn.
The articles goes on to talk about supporters for him.
These types of articles are in the news everyday and they all have at their root worldview. Generally, it is “What does it mean to be human”? There are more. Our world is trying to figure things out without the Bible. Without the Bible we are lost looking into these topics. Without the Bible we are for sure the blind leading the blind. We are arrogantly trying to figure these things out without talking to the creator. It is like a car trying to figure out why it is a car.
We are in a sermon series on Scriptures I have been convicted to pray. Today, I have Scriptures that are about worldview. Or, at least I pray them asking that myself and my descendants have a Biblical worldview.
Pray that we and our descendants have a worldview that comes from the Bible.
Let’s read Romans 12:1-2:
Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
- What is a worldview?
- Merriam-Websters says: a comprehensive conception or apprehension of the worldespecially from a specific standpoint — called also 
- Everyone has a worldview, they just do not realize it. Additionally, our worldview is changed by those around us.
- Usually we do not realize what our worldview is. We simply make decisions from day-to-day and we do not realize how our worldview is guiding the decisions. When you hear a news event you react to it based off of your worldview.
- For example, if you read an article from New York Magazine titled: 180 Minutes With Desmond Is Amazing He’s a 10-year-old drag performer, and he’s cooler than you, your reaction to it will be based off of your worldview. In fact, your reaction to that very title is based off of your worldview.
- How about your reaction to Bruce Jenner having a sex change and then being the Glamour woman of the year?
- How do you react to that, it is based on your worldview. Further, this, also, has to do with the worldview question of why God created two sexes. This has to do with the worldview of what it means to be a man or a woman. Further, if a transgendered woman can win woman of the year what does that mean to all the biological women everywhere? I would think that is an insult to the feminist movement. Were they really saying that a biological man who has a sex change is a better woman?
- Our worldview is set at a very young age, but it does change throughout life. We see that millennials, those born after 1982 (that year changes based on studies) change their worldview based on their peers.
- However, I think the same about other generations. For example, President George and Barbara Bush attended a homosexual wedding. I think that did not fit their worldview years ago.
- Years ago, when homosexual marriage came out on the news you probably strongly rejected the idea. But now you may know many people who are homosexual and so now you interpret the news through your relationship with these people, rather than from the Bible.
- Years ago, when you heard that a woman and a man were living together outside of marriage you likely immediately thought that was wrong. But now you know many people who live in that way. Your own children or grandchildren may live together outside of marriage. You interpret whether that is right or wrong based on your relationship with them and who they are, rather than the Bible.
- However, the Bible speaks objectively to life and we must view everything through the Bible. Interesting that many times science is actually proving God’s ways are best. For example, when a couple has sexual intercourse outside of marriage a chemical is released in the man that is really telling him he is a conqueror. Women will think they will give him sexual intercourse and that will make him devoted to her. However, outside of marriage this chemical is simply telling him he conquered. However, when a couple has sexual intercourse within marriage there is a chemical released that makes him more devoted to listening and being attentive to his wife. This study shows what the Bible already has told us.
- So, we have a worldview, we all do, the question is where is its foundation.
- We need our worldview to come from the Bible. The Bible speaks objective and it does not change.
- Therefore, my prayer is that Meagan and I and our descendants have a worldview that is from the Bible. This means whenever they interpret world events they do so from the Bible’s viewpoint, not fallen humanity.
- We must understand the ways of the world are different than God’s ways.
- James 4:4: You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
- Romans 12:2: And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:21: But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good…
- How do we have a Biblical worldview
- Romans 12:1-2 tells us: Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which isyour spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
- But how do you become a living sacrifice?
- Living and sacrifice are contradictory terms. We always think of a sacrifice as being dead. The problem with a living sacrifice is it can crawl off the alter. I was in a Sunday school class that was led by an older man. This man was hunting with his grandfather during the depression. It was bitterly cold as they walked down the railroad tracks looking for food. His grandfather walked right passed a dead possum. But my Sunday school teacher, he saw it. He called out to his grandfather and they took it home. His grandfather gave it to his wife who put it by the stove to get it ready for the preparation process. Well as that possum got warm it got life back in it and started running around the house. They thought it was dead. It was on the alter to be food, yet it got off of their alter.
- We as Christians must do this intentionally. Intentionally we must be sacrifices for God.
- Our bodies as living sacrifices are to be “holy and acceptable to God.” Acceptable could be better translated, “Pleasing.” God is pleased by our sacrifice. But as we are a sacrifice we must be holy. We must be holy to come to the thrown of God. God is holy. Lev 11:44: “be holy because I am holy.” Ex 3:5: “Take off your sandals for you are on holy ground.”
- Being a sacrifice to God is worship. Worship is not just singing to God. It is worship to make our whole life a sacrifice to God.
- This living sacrifice is a process. Since we are alive, this is not a one-time thing, but continual. What does it mean to be pleasing to God? The idea is of God having an attitude towards us as pleasing. The Old Testament sacrifices were said to have an aroma that was pleasing to God.
- In verse 2 Paul calls us to avoid worldly contamination and have spiritual transformation:
- We can present our bodies as living sacrifices, holy, by not being conformed to this age, but by being transformed.
- These words: “Conformed” and “transformed” are both commands.
- Transformed is the word for metamorphosis. This is the same word used to describe a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. We must have a gradual change to be more and more like Christ.
- I think of Clark Kent changing into Superman
- So, how do we do this? How do we allow ourselves to be transformed by God?
- This happens by renewing our mind
- Look at Romans 6:1-2: What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
- We cannot test these things when we are still in the world.
- I had a student in my youth group ask me, “How can I know what God wants?” you can do that by knowing His Word, and by being transformed to His interests. If you are of the world, you will not.
- Come out of the world, be Christ like. There is a difference between the world and Christianity.
- Then, as God transforms us we have a Biblical worldview and that is what we need.
- We must be let God transform us.
- We must live out 2 Timothy 2:15: Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
- Study the Bible, live in the Bible, that is the Truth. We need our worldview based on Truth.
- We must live out Colossians 3:1: Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
- I love that passage! What are you meditating on? It will affect your worldview.
- 1 Chronicles 12:32: Of the sons of Issachar, men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do…
- We must study culture too, but the Bible is Truth.
- The Bible is our litmus test.
- Look at Romans 6:1-2: What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?
George Barna writes:
83% of Americans identify themselves as Christians, yet only 49% describe themselves as absolutely committed to Christianity. (The Barna Update, 5-21-07)
“The primary reason that people do not act like Jesus is because they do not think like Jesus,” Barna said. “Behavior stems from what we think—our attitudes, beliefs, values, and opinions.” -“Barna: Biblical Worldview Held by Only 4 Percent of Adults,” Baptist Press (December 2, 2003).
The Barna Research Group found that just 4 percent of American adults have a biblical Worldview and only 9 percent of those categorized as born-again Christians have a biblical Worldview. Not surprisingly, those without a biblical Worldview have a vastly different view of immoral and unethical behavior.
For instance, those without a biblical Worldview were:
- –Around 100 times more likely to endorse abortion
- –Around 80 times more likely to say exposure to pornography is morally acceptable
- –31 times more likely to believe living together before marriage is morally acceptable
- –15 times more likely to believe homosexual sex is acceptable
- –18 times more likely to endorse drunkenness
- –11 times more likely to say adultery is OK
So, what does it mean to be human? I preached about that a few months ago, but I like what my friend and mentor Pastor Rick Sams wrote:
BROKEN by Pastor Rick Sams
Broken. That’s how all-star Cleveland Cavaliers forward, Kevin Love, described his left hand in the latter part of this season. I would describe him as one of the more “brittle” (injury prone) players on the Cavs, especially compared to Lebron. Love likely would disagree with my description.
But broken is the label he put on himself: “We are all damaged goods.” He was describing the anxiety and panic attacks that has occasionally affected his ability to play the game he loves. Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan and Washington’s Kelly Oubre, also high caliber NBA players, manned up and stepped up with K-Love to claim the same brokenness.*
But here’s some good news about brokenness. Jesus speaks of the truth that sets us free from any “chains” or brokenness that hold us back (John 8:32). It wasn’t just any truth Jesus referred to…it was the truth about him as the great liberator and healer: “And if the Son [of God, Jesus] sets you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36).
Jesus talks of a future time when He will fix all the brokenness and make all things new (Revelation 21:5).
Way back in the past brokenness was “our bad.” Our spiritual & physical ancestors, Adam & Eve, brought brokenness into the world by their sin. Sinning was like pouring sand into the “finely tuned machines” God had created; the world and our bodies.
“Sin” is anything that breaks the perfect love relationship our heavenly Father God wants to have with us and intended for us to have when He created the world. Sin separates us from God and us from each other.
But Jesus offers the cure for brokenness; a love relationship with Jesus himself: “Behold I [Jesus] stand at the door [of your heart] and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in…” (Revelation 3:20). But we must open the door to our heart from the inside. There’s no doorknob on the outside.
As Kevin Love said: “Everybody is going through something…it’s called life. What you make of the repair [available] makes all the difference.” *
What will you do with Jesus’ offer of healing and restoration? Jesus offers a fix for the brokenness that afflicts us all (Romans 3:10, 23).
(*“Pointing The Way Forward Through Times of Life,” Bill Livingston, Cleveland Plain Dealer, 3/21/18, p B1-2)
Do you know Jesus?
God created us to be with Him. (Genesis 1-2)
Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)
Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)
Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)
Everyone who trusts in Him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)
Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)
 From Juli Slattery, “Java with Juli, May 28, 2018. [Juli is a Christian Psychologist]
 Sams, Rick. Rick’s Ramblings. May 29, 2018 published in Alliance Review Saturday, June 3 or May 26. Rick serves as the pastor of Alliance Friends Church