We live close by and want to talk with you about something important to both of us.
- In my academic career (Alex) I’ve been privileged to take a degree in intercultural studies. That journey allowed me to travel and be exposed to people all over the world. Part of that years-long process was an introduction to the fascinating investigation of worldview.
- In my experience (Chan) as an international UN refuge, coming to the US as an adult, I have been exposed to a variety of religions, worldviews and philosophies of life. We can’t know ourselves or each other until we understand our deepest presuppositions. Understanding one’s worldview has become increasingly important to both of us.
So we (Chan and Alex) want to encourage you to explore your own worldview more deeply. As we overview our perspective, please contrast your worldview with ours.
Basic to our understanding of worldview is that we were all born with a conscience (con-science mean “with science” or a knowledge of our inner self). That is, since our youth we have known, intuitively, the difference between right and wrong. We know that it’s bad to lie, cheat, steal and to fornicate, etcetera, because God has placed certain universally accepted eternal principles in our hearts.
And while we know that we have a conscience and that it is trustworthy, we often, sometimes daily, violate our own consciences. Chan and I think and do things that we know are wrong and we violate the standards of justice given to all humanity by God. Wait a minute, you may say, “You guys think bad thoughts! You do bad things! You violate the just laws of God and your own conscience! But I don’t!” Okay, fair enough. We’re admitting to disrespecting our own ethical standards and violating the basics of human justice. You may not be. So, let’s evaluate if you also may be abusing your own standards of ethical fairness.
Please answer the following questions.
- Have you ever told a lie in your lifetime? Even a little white lie? Yes or no. What does that make you?
- Have you ever stolen anything, regardless of its value, like a pen at the bank?
- Have you ever looked at someone and really lusted after them sexually? Va-va-voom!
- Have you even used the name of God in a disrespectful way (Like: ‘O.M.G., what an amazing pizza!’)
Alex and I admit that we have done this and more. Consequently, we admit to you and to our Maker that we are liars. We are thieves. I am an adulterer deep in my soul and I have, many times, blasphemed the name of God. If you are honest with yourself, you will admit that like us, you have too.
Integral to all of life is relationship. So, how does someone like me (or you), with all our impurities, come into relationship with God? (This is a pivotal worldview question.) Unlike me, God is the perfect standard of justice, perfection, purity, right thinking and living. He’s going to evaluate (judge) me by His perfect Law, the Ten Commandments. What will we do on judgement day? Will you be found innocent or unjust and guilty.
Thankfully, God sees my weakness, my brokenness and our perpetual perverse violations of His righteous standards… And He has made a way for us to come into relationship with Himself. Our lives on this little planet are ending soon. We all know that. The good news is that you can be forgiven by God, know Him personally and be acquitted on Justice Day. Jesus, the sinless Son of God died in our place. That’s right. Knowing that God (who cannot live with injustice) wants to be with me, Jesus paid the fine for my many sins with His own blood, when he was executed on cross. “God demonstrated his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ (Messiah) died for us.” When Jesus died on the cross, he absorbed the guilt and penalty of my immorality. After Jesus suffered and died, he was buried and physically rose from the dead three days later. Jesus has power over life and death. After he came back from the dead, he was seen by more than 500 people and interacted with many others. Before Jesus was born the Hebrew Bible predicted that Messiah (Christ, Jesus) would arrive on earth. Jesus proves who he is by rising from the dead and by fulfilling each of these hundreds of Messianic prophecies. (The scientific law of mathematical probability demonstrates that Jesus is who he says he is.)
Consequently, you and I can be in relationship with God when we accept the freely offered gift of His Son Jesus. We cannot earn relationship with God by being better or by doing any good works or by following a religion. But if we submit to Jesus, turn from (stop practicing and repent of) our sins and place all our confidence in Jesus and what he did for us on the cross, we can be saved from the just punishment we deserve and be kept in a loving and secure relationship with God. I must choose to accept the grace and pardon God is offering me in Jesus to be saved from myself and from what I deserve. I deserve God’s justice because I have violated His moral Law many times and in numerous ways. God delights to forgive and accept those who come to Him on His terms.
So please talk to God right now. Agree with Him that He is perfectly just and that you are not. Accept His offer of forgiveness and relationship with you through the merits and sacrifice of Jesus. Reject your own self-righteous attitudes and humble yourself before God. Then show your gratitude toward Him by doing what He says, being baptized and getting in fellowship with a local Bible believing church.
Chan and I would love to hear from you. Thank you for reading about this aspect of our worldview.
All the best,
Alex & Chan
PS: Read more worldview questions here: http://JesusPDX.org/world-view/
Or, on a fun note, listen to world music here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWLJeqLPfSU&ab_channel=NPRMusic
Visit our church here: www.HopeInternationalChurch.org
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER IN THINKING THROUGH THIS.
1) Am I keen to explore my worldview further? Why?
2) Have I answered each of the 12 worldview questions at the link above?
3) Do I agree that I have a conscience and that I have violated it?
4) Is pure justice a thing that I genuinely value?
5) Do I concur that God is just and that He will bring perfect justice to me?
6) How did I do on the 4 question Morality Quiz above?
7) Do I see how God wants relationship with me – and how my injustice breaks my connection-relationship with Him?
8) What are my thoughts about how God has provided for me to receive perfect justice for my sin AND be in intimate relationship with Him through the sacrifice of Jesus?
9) How close am I to God, on His terms, today?