Saturday, August 30, 2014

World View vs. Christian View

I am borrowing my mother-in-law's computer for a post or two. Thanks, Carol!

Today I was working on my parish nursing course assignment. We all read an article that talked about how our societies help us form our own worldview, or our understanding of values, etc.  It is so easy to judge other cultures by our own worldview.  A worldview can differ greatly between countries but it can also differ between regions.

For example, when we moved from Montana to Southern New Mexico I found some differences. In Montana our children referred to our adult friends by their first names, unless they were their teacher or something. It was not because my children were rude. People, including children, called people by their first names where we lived before. It was not a show of disrespect.

In our town in New Mexico I noticed my friend's children called me Miss Sue. It was sweet but at first sounded really strange to my ears. For one thing, I was not a "miss".  I just noticed it as one of the differences in that region. I think it is kind of a Southern thing. One day, though, it occurred to me that my friends may have thought our children were being rude or disrespectful for calling them by their first name. To my children, that was their name and how they knew them.

Anyway, the article went on to make us think about how our world views can be in conflict with our Christian views. It was very thought-provoking. I was assigned to answer one of the questions and thought maybe you'd like to read it and leave me your thoughts on it. I realize you don't get to read the article but I think you'll get the drift...

How does the Postmodern worldview distort assumptions made about the nature of God, people and reality? What are the characteristics of a Christian worldview?

As I attempt to answer this question, I am so aware of how distorted my answer may be simply because I am constantly fighting this distortion. What I mean is that a worldview is like an accent. It is easy to see (hear) it in others while believing that mine is the "normal" way of seeing (speaking). I will attempt to tackle one aspect of my worldview as it I can clearly see how it is in opposition to my Christian worldview.

I believe a distorted assumption my culture expounds on is the importance of self. From a very young age the media has told me that I must look out for myself, take care of myself first so that I can take care of others and do what makes me happy. We all know there is great truth and wisdom in that. Yet, it becomes a distorted worldview from a Christian standpoint. Aren't we, as Christians, even called to lay down our lives for others? How is that looking out for ourselves? Aren't we to give freely? What if we like our time and our possessions and want them for ourselves? Aren't we called to drop our nets and follow him, even be willing to leave friends and family to follow Christ, no matter what we thought we wanted for ourselves? What if our lives are comfortable and satisfying? What if we want what we want when we want it?

I notice my own worldview has to do with becoming strong and self-sufficient. That seems like a reasonable goal, doesn't it? Independence is at the very core of our society. It is a great thing to be independent, isn't it? I used to think that was a reasonable goal. I now know it to be a very distorted goal. For one thing, it is impossible. We are fools to think we can be totally independent of other people, and even greater fools if we think we can thrive by declaring independece from God. We like to think of ourselves as capable, full of fortitude and intelligence. The truth is, we are totally dependent on God for all wisdom and knowledge and strength. We are nothing without God.

A Christian Worldview is about realizing we are humble creatures deeply in need of the love and compassion of the God of creation. It is about full surrender as opposed to an attitude of conquering. It encompasses an attitude of peace, love and gentleness with the full knowledge that all good comes from our almighty God, not from within ourselves.



Pam Brewer said...

I'd give you an A+ on this assignment! Good food for thought on a Sunday.

Sue said...

Ha, Pam, thanks!

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