The following is an Anonymous Guest Post by a reader of PIP. Please feel free to reach out and share your thoughts as a guest poster (named or un’), if you are so inclined. PIP does not require that your worldview conform to the posted threads of thought. Rather, we seek dialog, debate, discussion, a bustling “marketplace of ideas” where considerate sharing of ideas can be reviewed.
How In The World Did We View Our World Like This?
Is this just the imaginative labors of a Gen Xer trying to make up for the lesser losses of his life? Or, is this supposed to be more? When surveying the scene surrounding my surroundings, I am left pondering the itch on my head. Do I scratch it?
This behavioral act is a tell. I respond to my stimuli. As do we all.
Is it possible that those higher than me have arranged my surroundings to elicit a particular response? Or, as an act of independent assertiveness, have I committed to an action, sovereign in its own accord. Is sovereignty even an option, given my humble existence?
Had I been born in a non-Western society, would I even waste thought on such exercises, expending my efforts instead on re-incarnational attributes worthy of my diminutive caste’s perspective?
No matter where we stand, gazing up at God’s wonderful provision of stars and greater awe, I believe He is ever-ready to respond to our curiosity.
Throughout the course of His-Story, or History, a Pattern of choice has been established. Man was always destined to make choices. Unfortunately, as the Garden proved, our choices often lack the wisdom based on proper Pattern Perspective. While made in His Image, humankind lacked the internal worldview, belief, value, and behaviors necessary to live up to His Plans. Consequently, we Fell. Now, in God’s redemptive Grace, He has provided His own Spirit to guide us on each level of determination: guiding our Behaviors, based on Values, solid on Belief, upholding Worldview.
Throughout this grand story, Humankind has followed this pattern (even if parts have occurred on a subconscious level): Our Worldview influences our Beliefs, which impact our Values, which steer our Behaviors. Regardless of physical locale, this Pattern has prevailed in each ethne, wherever/whenever they may be in the globe or in cyclical Pattern of existence.
In times recent, however, information has accelerated in unprecedented rates. Is this relative somehow to the situation in Babel? Did that discordance with God’s grace foretell this current age of triumphal intelligence? In light of the consequence of Babel, should we repent and turn from our current trajectorial aim of intelligence, human and artificial?
I can only respond as of yet according to the experiences of my life and how they balance against the scales of the Scriptures. It has been my experience that God will ordain certain situations to occur in one’s life. Later, He may disclose their sequence and importance, in testimony to His overarching grace.
But, beyond my personal witness, does this occur on a scale more macro than my micro? If we study recorded history, I think we readily will validate this theory. (Certain aspects of Biology or Geology may differ, but this is largely due to their refusal to include evidence that fits poorly with presumed hypotheses.)
Worldview is more than how we view the world. Each of us, as individuals, may view the world through the lens of our own eyes, which is appropriate. However, it is easy to adapt the fallacy that our own lens is perfect. To make an analogy, how many of us require glasses to perfect our vision? It is widely accepted that spectacles are necessary to give guidance to inaccurate perspective. Has not God provided many spectacles to bear His witness? If we require such spectacles, does it mean we are any less inferior than we already are when compared to perfection incarnate, or perfection complete? So, regardless of personal view, we should look to the broader vision of our people to interpret our worldview. This can be compared to our personal worldview, but proper logic should be applied. The worldview is relative to the view of the world by the people who are ‘like us.’ While small differences may occur in this view, the larger construct remains the same.
Accepting this Worldview, we can then turn our attention to Beliefs. While it is currently easy to ‘believe’ almost anything, given our permissive attitude to the new definition of ‘freedom,’ we should instead refer back to the meaning of Belief that has guided humankind throughout the ages. Things of Belief are determined through Worldview as things that are true and can be reliable when faced with disparate alternatives that challenge that which we know. In today’s society, people wish to determine their own beliefs and apply to them the concept of Truth, regardless of experience, experiment, and exclusion. While this may, in the nearest of terms, gratify such endeavors, these beliefs will not stand with the strength required to bear the weight of the Pattern. This is not a Pattern established to placate personal desires. It is a Pattern that was disclosed in the Beginning. Following the Fall, we lost the Perspective to view this Pattern in the fullness of God’s Glory. In today’s fractured mirror, we can only reflect our best approximate of this eternal ‘Patternal’ glory. The situational artifacts of personal desires hoping to alter the Pattern are nothing new to humanity’s attempts. Paul’s letters to the Corinthians depict similar circumstances. The only difference is ‘when’ (which is no real difference, when viewed from a Perspective irrespective of Time). People will be people. Nevertheless, Jesus offered a sacrifice for all people to move toward, and accept. The Pattern provides the narrative: some will come to Him; some will blame Him, ironically, for not forcing their hands.
One final note about Worldview: one’s native culture is irrelevant to Worldview. To the properly introspective and larger-perspective-based soul, God has provided enough evidence in His creation to make one curious about one’s surroundings. Whether this is in a population steeped in ‘church culture’ or in a society that has never heard of Jesus’ redemptive plan, it matters not. Hearts respond to God’s call; we are all, after all, made in His Image. Rather than wasting time or effort on illogical logical arguments, we should, rather, follow the impulse of our hearts. The Spirit does not desire isolation.
When one can see the world through the realistic Worldview, then Beliefs can be evaluated. Beliefs, in the Western world, have been redefined as some indiscriminative free-for-all. While the hippie in us all would love for this to be true (who doesn’t desire free love, long hair, guitar riffs relative to the depth of consequence, and eternal popsicles), experiential real life does not bear witness to this ideal. Whatever our personal beliefs, they will be weighed according to the greater purpose and weight of reality. Reality will always tip the scale against our personal desires. There are many philosophical debates which postulate that beliefs, when undergirded with enough faith, may alter reality. However much they are exciting, they must, in the end, bow to the Truth: Reality is bigger than any of us, no matter how many others we persuade to agree. Belief, then, must have precedent in Worldview. If one chooses to try to discredit Belief, he must first fight against the Worldview. And, this is a very unfortunate task, as God has revealed His Truth to each Worldview, however skewed it may have become over time.
Accepting Belief, which, admittedly requires a monumental degree of faith, one moves closer to encounter Value. Our economic, capitalistic society has significant influence on the meaning of the value of a thing. But, we are looking deeper into the value behind commercial value. Commercial value is always deterministic, according to prevailing market-value. Intrinsic value, or Societal value, is determined only by Belief. That which we ought to do has always held high regard in noble people. They are noble because they are able to stand alone, stand against the onslaught of that which does not value. If we can agree on what we Believe, then that which we value will naturally follow. Valuations can find their basis in the Beliefs held in common within a people.
Once things are held in Value, Behaviors should follow in like-mindedness. What we do, our how we behave, should follow that which we Believe, or that which we ought to do. Behaviors that bring glory to Belief are reputable, regardless of culture. When one acts out of accord with the accepted and expected Behaviors of a people, it is immediately noticed, and, usually, considered as abhorred. There is a reason that behaviors are dismissed as an aberrant to norms.
The entire premise of Conviction relies heavily on this Pattern. However, when we turn around, casting our gaze in a circular Pattern around our being, we encounter any number of things which are abnormal to this Pattern.
As the technological advancement that depicts the current age is quick to try to provide proof to our choices and even our very existence, we must evaluate this according to the Pattern that has been established throughout the ages of humanity. This isn’t to negate or repudiate novel thought or invention. Rather, when weighed against the past, it may, indeed, uphold it. God ordained the Pattern so that we may measure our lives and prove His Sovereignty.
Today, perhaps due to such an acceleration in technological communication, we seem to have bypassed the process of the Pattern. To have done so is to simply choose Behaviors that fit the moment, and to not respect the greater realm of human existence. When not taking these greater realms into account, the Behaviors chosen will not have same impact on society. Rather, these instances have gone against the grain, so to speak. When monumental decisions take into account the Pattern, following suit from Worldview to Belief to Value, then the appropriate Behaviors are self-evident. God has created us to follow this Pattern and, thus, reach the choices that affirm His Will. When we deviate, it is because we have not properly evaluated the options in terms of Worldview, Beliefs, and Values. Consequently, our Behaviors fall out of alignment with that which ought to be.
When behaviors do not follow the Pattern, they can be discerned with feelings of discontent. They are dyspeptic and disconcerting to the natural emotive element of the world. They can immediately be identified. Some people will, upon identification, choose to push them forward as the ‘newfound truth of the modern age.’ However, when placed on the just balance of the scales of time, these behaviors will fail to have significant effect on the proportion of the world. Rather, the society which enabled such immature conclusions will be viewed in inverse proportion to the weight of these behaviors.
This is not to elevate humanity to some preternatural exaltation. We are, as we were meant to be, images of God, subservient to His Design and able to glorify Him through the proper Pattern of His worldview, belief, value, and behavior. Today’s society seeks to circumvent this Pattern. It has been ‘deduced’ that we can act according to an incidental whim, irrespective to proven Truth and Fact. Such action is folly, and can even be seen as the action of Pride. This Pride is what ruined the relationship for both Lucifer and for Adam and Eve. If these are the precursors for such action, I want nothing to do with it. Part of subservience to God is admitting that I don’t know it all. I will readily admit that I want to glorify Him, but don’t know how to adequately do so. I think it’s fair to say that breaking His established Pattern is not the way to bring Him glory.
I would challenge you to evaluate your Worldview. This isn’t to demean or disparage your ethnicity, heritage, economic upbringing, or any other temporal situation. God placed you where you are for a reason. How can you bring Him glory based on where you are? How can you bring His Kingdom into your social sphere? This is to truly evaluate Worldview. When you act upon the view of His Kingdom coming into this World, you can be sure that all following Belief, Values, and Behaviors will align to His Will (provided you are a servant to His Spirit). Can you hear His prompting? If you can’t hear it directly, then I implore you to reflect on His Word. And, consider the good qualities of His World. His Greatness is evident, no matter what aspect of His creation is viewed.
This written piece cannot have possibly summed up the entire realm of existence in respect to God’s provision. Additional insight is welcome to help all of humanity grow closer to our Creator. It grieves my heart that we have lost such a closeness to Him as a result of our sin. My own sin has not helped the situation. But, I fully know that His redemptive grace is real and open to all that ask for it. Will you ask for it? Even if it means placing yourself within the Pattern, prescribed from the beginning to bring about the end? Though perhaps the scariest place to be, it is, in the end, the safest. I’ll meet you there.
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