Through the years, I have discovered that the average Christian and a large number of church ministers lack a biblical worldview. By biblical worldview, I am referring to interpreting all of life through the lens of Scripture. That is to say, your view of politics, sanctity of life, marriage, economics, education, science and law is derived from biblical principles. The average believer only has a piecemeal understanding of Scripture, instead of a comprehensive world and life view, which has resulted in the church becoming irrelevant in the public square.
If we are going to fulfill our assignment as the salt of the earth and the light of the world, we need to shift the body of Christ towards a faith that is consistent, cohesive and comprehensive. Anything less than this will result in a continual decline of morality in civil society. The purpose of this article is to inspire believers to think God's thoughts like He does with regards to everything in faith and culture.
The following are 10 signs you lack a biblical worldview:
1. You think the word "government" refers only to politics.
Often, I have asked Christ-followers: "What is the first thing you think about when I say the word 'government'?" Invariably the answer is always about the president, their governor or their mayor. Basically, they think of a political leader. This is because culture has been brainwashed by humanism the past 150 years to believe that civic government is responsible to take care of our every need. As a means to prove this, purchase an edition of Webster's dictionary from the early 19th century and look up the word "government." You will see that the first definition that pops up is "individual responsibility," not political leadership. Oh, how far we have fallen in regard to this definition. Biblically speaking, there are five jurisdictions in Scripture, and civil government is just one of them. The other four are personal responsibility, family government, business and church. When your view of government is only related to politics, it shows your worldview is dominated by secular humanism instead of the Judeo-Christian worldview. For more on this subject, read my book Understanding the Wineskin of the Kingdom.
2. You only know biblical passages dealing with spirituality
The average believer has no biblical reference for anything other than individual promises of God. They may know a passage on healing, prayer, financial blessing and the like, but they have no biblical understanding of principles related to civic government, history, business or economics.
3. You believe big government is the solution to create financial prosperity
To quote Ronald Reagan, "Government is not the solution but the problem." Although that is not always the case, in contemporary society we see that, much of the time, small business owners are so weighed down with regulations and high taxation that it is difficult for them to turn a profit. However, biblically speaking, the government can step in at times with economic aid like Joseph and Pharaoh feeding their people with crops during the seven years of famine (Gen. 41). The preponderance of Scripture in both testaments shows that the primary responsibility of political leaders was to protect their citizens and provide just laws to ensure equal opportunity to all (Deut. 16:16-20; Prov. 8:15-16; Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Tim. 2:1-4). In the Old Testament health care, care for the poor and business ventures were primarily facilitated by the priests, families and individual believers (Ex. 22:20-24; Deut. 27:19; Is. 1:17; Zech. 7:9-10). These verses all put the onus of responsibility on all the people, not just the kings and political leaders. In the New Testament, the onus was on the church and families, not civil government (Acts 2; 1 Tim. 5).
4. You don't know how the Bible applies to your marketplace assignment.
Many Christ-followers think that the call to ministry is just for full-time church leadership. When you believe that, you lack a biblical worldview, because the Scripture clearly tells us all people are called to be equipped for the work of the ministry to fill the earth with the reign of God (Eph. 4:10-12). Consequently, every believer should understand how to use their vocation to glorify God, whether in the church or marketplace.
5. You think civil government is responsible for educating your children.
One of the greatest tragedies is when Christ-followers allow secular humanists to disciple their children and propagate their worldview in the public school system. I am not against parents sending their children to public schools, as long as they use it as an opportunity to critique culture and disciple their kids with biblical values. Scripture puts the onus of education into the hand of the parents, not the government or even the church (Deut. 6:6-9; Proverbs).
6. You think the progressive tax structure is good.
Most Christians think it is alright for half of the population of the U.S. to get away with paying no income tax and for people to pay more taxes percentage-wise if they make more money; however, Scripture teaches a flat tax structure in which all people pay an equal share: the tithe and the poll tax for the sanctuary which, in theocratic Israel, were used for the care for the poor, the support of the Levites, the upkeep of the temple and for the widows and orphans (Lev. 27:30-34, Num. 18:21-26, Deut. 14:28-29, Amos 4:4-5, Matt. 23:23, Heb. 7:1-2). In the pre-Mosaic law era, it was just 10 percent as we see in Genesis 28:20-22. The prophet Samuel warned the Jews against any political structure that required a taxation equal to or more than the 10 percent that God requires (1 Sam. 8).
7. You think a pastor should remain silent on social issues.
As we examine Scripture, we see that every biblical leader either prophesied or spoke about civic issues related to public policy. Moses and all the major and minor prophets in the Old Testament, Jesus, John the Baptist, the apostles Peter and Paul all dealt with moral and political issues in their contemporary culture. In spite of the fact that from the founding of the U.S. until 1954, when the Johnson Amendment was used to silence churches from engaging in politics from the pulpit, pastors have always spoken about politics and engaged with culture. As a matter of fact, in the early years of the U.S., Congress would ask pastors to come and preach to them regarding a particular topic of concern before they debated and voted. During the Second Great Awakening, Evangelist Charles Finney's ministry was the impetus for the abolitionist movement, an anti-slavery movement. In recent decades, we have seen religious leaders like Dietrich Bonheoffer stand against the fascist regime of Hitler in Nazi Germany and Dr. Martin Luther King use his pulpit to advance civil rights for African-Americans. Imagine what would have happened had they believed the lie that pastors should be silent on social issues? If you think a pastor should remain silent on issues related to elections, the sanctity of life, economics, health care, immigration and public policy, then you lack a biblical worldview.
8. You believe Christians should separate their private faith from public policy.
I have met many political leaders who said to me that although they are privately pro-life or for biblical marriage, they will advocate for policies and laws that oppose their views. Their reason is that they do not think they have the right to impose their morality in a pluralistic society. My answer to them is that all laws are an imposition of someone's morality upon society. You cannot avoid it; Jesus is the King of kings, which means that He is the lawgiver for all nations and heads of state (Rev. 19:16). This obligates the church to speak truth to power as the salt of the earth and the light of the world and obligates all political leaders to uphold biblical ethics in culture and policy.
9. You celebrate the values the world celebrates.
I am amazed when I speak to Christians and they merely mimic the values and views promulgated by secular culture and mainstream media. If your views on marriage, life, sexuality, money, science and ethics are essentially the same as contemporary culture, then you have been indoctrinated by secularism and lack a biblical worldview.
10. You think science and religion are opposed to each other.
Many believers think that the Bible just speaks to spiritual and religious things but is not accurate when it comes to science. Although the Bible is not a book on science, that does not mean it is scientifically inaccurate. Scripture teaches us that God uses nature to declare His glory (Ps. 19; Is. 40:12-26; Rom. 1:19-23). How can creation describe His glory if His words about nature are not scientifically accurate? 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "All Scripture is inspired by God," not just passages dealing with spirituality. Furthermore, true science should never disallow the supernatural when explaining the visible world. When science becomes totally empirical, it forces an agnostic or anti-theistic view of the cosmos upon scientists and educators which causes an unnecessary bifurcation between faith and reason. If you believe science and religion are opposed, then you lack a biblical worldview. For an amazing documentary on this, view Is Genesis History? by Del Tackett.
In conclusion, my hope and prayer is that this brief article triggers a hunger in you to study the Scriptures more thoroughly so that you can have a biblical worldview in all of life. For more resources to obtain a biblical worldview, read my books Ruling in the Gates, Kingdom Revolution, Kingdom Awakening, Walk in Generational Blessing, Understanding the Wineskin of the Kingdom and Twenty-Five Things You Never Heard in Church—all available on Amazon or go to www.JosephMattera.org.
Dr. Joseph Mattera is an internationally known author, interpreter of culture and activist/theologian whose mission is to influence leaders who influence nations. He is renowned for addressing current events through the lense of Scripture by applying biblical truths and offering cogent defenses to today's postmodern culture. He leads several organizations, including The United Coalition of Apostolic Leaders (uscal.us). He also has a blog on Charisma News called "The Pulse." To order one of his books or to subscribe to his weekly newsletter go to josephmattera.org.
Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt's "Prayers That..." 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.