We thought last week about living in an age of outrage – the art of dialogue and disagreement has been lost in our society and we behave in a polarised fashion now, taking sides and yelling abuse. In the face of this, even when we are the abused, Christians are not commissioned to retreat into our buildings to form holy huddles and talk about the good old days. We live in a broken and fragmented world in need of the Gospel; and the God who did not spare his own Son for us has given us a mission focused on the outraged.
Outraging against outrage and retreating from outrage are not Gospel options. Proclaiming the Gospel is what is needed. But how do we do this?
I am convinced that the first thing you need to do is actually know what you believe. I am concerned that what many Christians may believe is neither biblical nor Christian. Ed Stetzer writes that while many people claim to have a certain worldview, their habits and reactions paint a different story. Philip Ryken says,
The way people respond reveals their worldview… Even ordinary interactions reflect our commitments and convictions about the basic issues of art and science, work and play, family and society, life and death. Whenever we bump into the world, our worldview has a way of spilling out. It comes out in what we think and love, say and do, praise and choose.
In 2014 James Anderson released a book called “What’s your worldview?” It’s an interactive journey of discovery aimed at helping you understand and evaluate the option when it comes to identifying your worldview. It would be a fascinating read to help you analyse just how far you have drifted from the crucified Saviour.
But rather than work out what you believe, I want you to work on what you believe.
Most people reading this trust Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, therefore you want to have your worldview shaped by his Gospel. So please, make that happen. How do you do that? Get back to the ancient disciplines.
Regular Bible reading provides a daily reorientation of your life and helps you form a gospel shaped identity.
Regular praying enables us to cast our concerns on God and to trust him with our insecurities. The discipline of prayer prevents us from venting, flaming or savaging others, either in person or online.
Regular pursuit of godliness enables us to keep in step with the Spirit who is guiding us in the way of truth and love for all people.
(And did you know that those who meet weekly in small groups with other Christians find it easier to pursue the ancient disciplines? Yes, that was a sneaky plug for Growth Groups!)
As followers of Jesus, we have to decide how to live in light of the truth. We believe he is the true King of the world. He offers the right way to live in our world. Whether or not most Christians follow that path, we must. It’s time to live as people shaped by a gospel centred worldview.