Biblical Worldview

We had a teaching on Worldview by Ms. Christine Colby, who is the International Director of Community Development Centre in Kona, Hawaii, and it was awesome! In the past, I did not understand worldview very well. I felt the subject was too big, had too much jargon, and was complex and technical. So I was looking forward to learn from this world renowned scholar on worldview. Christine could explain it simply and clearly; she was able to bring the subject matter to an irreducible minimum that the class could capture and understand.
Worldview is everything in Community Development. An understanding of it will move people towards God’s intention. Society and culture have distorted true biblical worldview into Animistic Worldview and Secularistic Worldview. In Animism, everything is spirit and hinges on the supernatural. Fear is the issue and the way out is to appease the spirits by offerings and sacrifices. In Secularism, everything is physical or natural. Pride is the issue and man seeks to achieve, produce and gain. The man who is the richest, most intelligent, and has the most toys is viewed as successful. In Secularism, there is no understanding of God at all. Everything is controlled by man. However, to reach the Animistic or Secular culture, we need to educate the people on the Biblical World View that God created humankind according to Gen 1:26. And God made human to be male and female. They are equal in terms of value but different in function. God had given dominion or authority to man and even though man fell due to sin, the dominion was not removed from man. God values us. God calls us to reign with Him. This is the correct world view of who we are in God.
After we have understood the worldview of the people, we must discern the belief tree of the culture. Don’t just simply solve the fruit or behavior issue in the community such as poverty, oppression, violence, alcohol abuse, drug abuse etc. Go deeper and look at the root issues such as rejection unbelief, unforgiveness, pride etc. Keep asking questions and keep probing on why the problem exists in that culture. What has happened? When did it happen? Who has caused it to happen? And then after we have evaluated the questions, we need to go to God in intense prayer and seek a suitable solution and strategy to help the society.
To change a worldview in any society or culture is a very long process. We have to uncover the lies and deception that the people have been bound to believe in for a long time. Those in community development must think in terms of 100 years development. It’s a tall order and something we enter into it for a long haul in order to bring a change. History has shown us there are breakthroughs such as Wilberforce; it took him 36 years to change the British government to abolish slavery in England. Another example is Father Salman, who worked for over 30 years among the garbage collectors in Cairo. And the breakthrough came for these two heroes of faith.
We should never give up hope but continue to press on. Isaiah 61:1-4 is a great encouragement for community development workers; God is still very much at work in the world!
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord ‘s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.” (Isaiah 61:1-4 ESV)

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