Bright and Salty (Worldview 10)
I want to talk about our motivation and attitude as we have these worldview conversations with no-god worldview holders.
Why should we engage no-god worldview holders? Why should we take the time to explain the Christian worldview to them? Why should we help them see that their worldview is leaking?
Why We Don't
We don’t do it to win an argument. These are real people with real lives, real emotions and real souls. Pride kills these kinds of conversations. Pride refuses to listen to the other person. Pride belittles the other persons views. Pride sees the person as a project and not a human. Pride would rather win the debate than help the person. Pride raises its voice, cuts people off, interrupts, mocks. Pride gets impatient, flustered, angry, irritated.
Why We Do We love God; we want people made in God’s image to worship Him the way He deserves to be worshipped. We love truth; we want people living in God’s creation to realise what reality is really all about. We love people; we want people to experience the joy, freedom, forgiveness and peace that God, in His love for us, has given us in the transforming work of the gospel through the person and work of Christ.
We’re sharing good news, remember. A midwife doesn’t angrily scream at the new parents that they’ve just had a healthy baby boy. The doctor doesn’t impatiently shout at the cancer survivor that they’ve just received the all clear. The newly engaged young woman doesn't call her mum and rage the news down the phone. We should share the good news as if it is.
We are to be bright and salty. Matthew 5v16 talks about others seeing our lives as shining lights that bring glory to God. Philippians 2v14-16 says the same thing. Colossians 4v5-6 speaks about our words being seasoned with salt as we speak to others, including those who aren't believers.
Be Respectful and Gracious
A person's worldview is one of the most sensitive and vulnerable parts of them. This is what they believe about their entire existence and the entire existence of the cosmos whirling around them. This is their idea of meaning, purpose, value and identity. Their worldview has been massively influential in every single decision they have made. You wouldn't like your dentist to come at you with a sledge hammer to fix that root canal. No one likes it when you belittle what they believe. The goal of sharing with someone is not to win an argument, the goal is to winsomely help the person see how the Christian worldview is the only worldview that makes consistent sense of the universe. This demands patient listening, careful questioning and gentle explaining. (See 2 Timothy v25, 1 Peter 3v15).
Be Praying and Patient
As I've explained in Article 5 The Brief on Unbelief, this is a spiritual battle, not just an intellectual one. Pray for the people you are speaking to. Although God can do it, don't necessarily expect a massive change after the first conversation. If someone has had a worldview for many years they will interpret everything you are saying through that filter. It takes time. It takes prayer. Don't try and offload every thing you know in one conversation until they don't want to talk to you anymore. Listen to them, ask a question, share something and move on to something else.
Be Kind and Loving
Of all people in the world Christians should be the kindest and most loving because, down at the bottom of our worldview, we believe that every human was made with intrinsic value and worth and should therefore be treated with dignity and respect. Don't belittle, don't mock, don't look down at. Not only should we be kind because of our worldview, but we also believe that Christ lives within us and has transformed and is transforming our hearts to love like He loves. He loved sinners enough to die for them - and this love is in you now. Be a friend. Be someone who is there for them. Be a shoulder to cry on. Be someone who they can share with and talk to without fear of judgement.
Be Honest and Open
Christians are not hypocrites because they sin. Christians are people who believe they are sinners who needed rescue. Whenever we sin, we are demonstrating that basic core belief. However, with Christ's transforming power within us, we are daily becoming more like Christ and we are being set free from the grip of sin. We will sin. We do struggle. We have our doubts. With courage, wisdom and humility sometimes the best thing we can do is be honest with our no-god worldview holding friends. We can share about how sometimes we seek our identity and purpose in other things and come up empty. We can share about the false gospels we sometimes preach to ourselves. People can resonate with real, weak, broken people. Sometimes our best conversations can begin with an apology over something we did wrong and an explanation about what it means to be a Christian who still wrestles.
I hope it has been a help to you, Christian, to better understand the Biblical Worldview and that it has equipped you to engage the world around you. I hope it has helped you, no-god worldview holder, to see that the Biblical Worldview is intelligent and consistent and I hope it has caused you to dig a little bit deeper into what you believe and why you believe it.
Alan Campbell is from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He came to Christ as a young adult and trained for ministry at Bethesda Free Church, Sunderland. Alan ministered in Bethesda as the Associate Pastor until 2019 and now ministers at Union Chapel, Bath. From time to time he teaches at North Cotes (NTM/Ethnos 360) College and The Theological College of North Staffordshire. Alan travels across the UK, Ireland, Europe and the States speaking at universities and equipping churches and campus ministries to share the gospel in a post-modern context. He is passionate about helping the believer to root their identity more and more into the person and work of Jesus Christ. Alan is married to Victoria.