Resources for a Biblical Worldview
DT 5:17, EC 11:5, ISA 44:24, ISA 46:3, ISA 49:1, ISA 49:5, JER 1:5, PS 51:5, LUK 1:13-15
This word is not technically found in the NIV translation but clear instruction is given about life and death (murder). If we read the 32 references to conceive, conceived and conception we see the strong indications that human life (in this case let's define life as the assignment of a spiritual soul to a biological body) begins at conception, not birth nor some other arbitrary time after that. Just as important as those 32 verses is the complete lack of any verses that indicate life begins at any other time. Also notice the verses that severely frown on child sacrifice: EX 1:15-21, LEV 18:21, LEV 20:1-5, DT 12:31, DT 18:10-12, 2KI 17:17, 2KI 21:6, PS 106:37-38, JER 32:35, EZE 16:20. Clearly abortion is wrong and the child, if unwanted, should instead be given up for adoption at birth. As is the case with all sin, if it has already been done then it cannot be undone but we can repent (reverse our opinion) and encourage others of this truth so that they do not make the same mistake. This encouragement is not "make up" for sin because God loves us no matter what we have done, if we repent, and this good deed of encouraging others is simply the right thing to do. (See related quote for relationship to feminism.) Note that abortion and (a) unintentional miscarriages or (b) surgically extracting ectopic pregnancies are completely different things.
GE 2:16-17, JN 4:23-24, JN 8:44, JN 14:6, JN 18:33-38
The 21st century exists in "post modernity", where the lies of "modernity" (see quote for brief explain) have seriously revolted people, so truth is now considered relative. However relativism is just another lie, otherwise the tree of the knowledge of good & evil would not make sense, nor would Jesus' teaching, and Satan would not be referred to as the opposite. The word "truth" shows up 15 times in Psalms, just over a hundred in the gospels, and another hundred times in the remaining books. Besides, we would sure hope our surgeon, chef, or banker believes in absolute truth. It would only be our pride that would make us think we could get by without it. Granted some things are more absolute than others: facts are typically absolute, opinions and feelings are more nebulous.
EST 2:15, MAL 2:15, RO 8:15, RO 8:23, RO 9:4, GAL 4:5, EPH 1:5
Since God is willing to adopt us, then there's absolutely no theology that says anything wrong about us adopting other people (babies, kids, etc.)
GE 12:17-19, GE 20:2-9, EX 20:14, LEV 20:10, NUM 25, DT 5:18, DT 22:22-29, 2SA 12:10, PR 5, PR 6:26-35, MT 5:27-30, MT 15:19, MT 19:9, MK 7:21-23, MK 10:11-12, LK 16:18, ROM 13:9, HEB 13:4
This is about as non-controversial of a topic as we can get, but since it's such a problem for us hypocrites I thought I'd list the verses just so we're crystal clear. Also, notice in Genesis 20 that a random king recognized that sleeping with another man's wife was a heinous activity (I'm sure it helped that God himself spoke in a dream declaring it such). Somewhere along the line we have lost this. Keep reading below for more controversial topics of living together outside of marriage, homosexuality, marriage & poligamy...
Between humans, angels, and demons there is enough intelligence on this planet. We don't need artificial intelligence, we do need more compassion.
GE 8:21, DT 24:16, PR 20:11, 2SA 12:23, MT 18:1-11, MK 10:14, LK 18:15-17, JN 3:18, RO 9:11, ACT 2:38, ACT 16:31
If we begin our theology in Genesis 1-11 like Ken Ham often suggests then the Genesis passage would tell us of course babies go to heaven because man is evil from childhood rather than from birth or conception. The Deuteronomy passage would also have special meaning to a remorseful abortion victim. If we look at the rest of scripture we don't find contradictions but we also don't get clarification.
EZE 36:25, MT 28:18-20, MK 16:16, LK 3:7-9 MSG, AC 2:38, AC 8:16-17, AC 10:44-48, AC 16:29-34, RO 2:25-3:2, RO 4:9-12, EPH 2:8-9, PHP 3:2-7, COL 2:11-12, 1PE 3:21, 1JN 5:7-9
Not salvific but modeled by & suggested by Jesus so highly recommended. Don't let the Christian cermeony of baptism become like the Jewish ceremony of circumcision.
GE 3:19, DT 21:22-23, MK 16:1
I am not really clear why this is so important, the only references are more of an implication than a specific command.
GE 9:5-6, EX 21:17, EX 22:18-20, EX 23:7, LEV 20:2, LEV 20:9, LEV 20:27, LEV 24:14, LEV 24:16, LEV 27:29, NU 15:35, DT 13:10, DT 18:20-21, DT 21:21, DT 22:21, DT 22:24, 1KI 21:10, PR 24:11-12, PR 28:17, MT 15:4, AC 5:1-10
Recurring theme of "you must purge the evil" proves God is definitely for it. The command "must be put to death" can be found 30 more times and "do not spare" five more times. Note that the one time Jesus quotes one of these Old Testament verses He does not "update" it to be more lenient but instead expands upon it. Note that God is punishing blatant disobedience not simply mean nor showing favorites. Of course how this is carried out and by who after we put the government in charge, that is a different issue.
MT 10, MT 12:6-8 MSG, MT 12:18-21, MT 16:12, MT 16:18, MT 18:12-14, MT 28:19-20, MK 2:17, MK 16:15-16, LK 15:1-7, JN 21:17, AC 2, AC 20:28, EPH 3:10-11, EPH 4:15-16, 1CO 9:19-23, HEB 10:24-25
Dave Ramsey (Financial Peace University) says "If you aren't mad at your church then you're not involved". The church's biggest problem is it's full of people. It's so easy to forget why we're here and just think about ourselves, even if we continue to use religious sounding speech. Jesus was known for what He stood for, not what He stood against. If Jesus was known like this and we're His ambassadors then maybe we're doing something wrong.
When Jesus told Peter to "feed His sheep," He wasn't talking about the other disciples but rather the rest of the world. "Membership" as an organizational technicality is an orthodox concept, not a biblical one. People who are part of a community receive benefit by being with other believers, but the focus should be on the outsider, not the insider. The church is not supposed to be self serving, it's supposed to serve the world. In USA church circles there's a disagreement on whether our pastors should preach to "believers" or to "seekers." They can preach to both but if push comes to shove then the seeker must get a higher priority since they presumably have not repented and been saved from their sins, and the believer should be capable of and trustworth to study God's will on their own. The events at Babel (GE 11:1-9) are a perfect example of how many churches, at least in the USA and Europe, are so tempted to hunker down, bask in their own greatness, and let the world come to them. But that's not what God had in mind when He was in agony on the cross. The simple purpose of the church is that we can do more together than on our own. (See also [if] it matters which denomination we go to below.)
By the way, Christians want to hear theology and reassurance they're right. Visitors want truth (history, character of God & people) and may not even want our theology.
MK 9:38-41, LK 9:51-56, AC 11:1-18, AC 15:1-31
This is a ridiculous, dogmatic, prideful opinion that people add to their religion. There is a huge difference between what God/Lord we believe in and what human leadership/fellowship we belong to. The orthodox church tried that hundreds of years ago and the Jews tried it before them, but God said no then and he still says no now. Note this doesn't mean all churches are equal, but just that denominational affiliations neither make nor break a church. (See also the church and its purpose above.)
MT 26:26-29, MK 14:22-25, LK 22:14-20, RO 14:10, 1CO 11:20-34
(the only verse I can find is GE 38:8-10 but the specific context makes it difficult to accept as a model for everyone, see complex topics of fathers, mothers, parents and kids below for closest thing)
First some clarification on terminology: Contraception is the prevention of pregnancy from happening in the first place, as opposed to birth control which is concerned with terminating a recent conception. Abortion is the termination of a more mature human life that birth control can't. Some people believe they should have as many kids as possible because they think there is a "pool" of souls who get born arbitrarily to whoever gets pregnant first, but there is no scriptural basis for this and AC 17:26 may even contradict this. The Bible does say children are a blessing and God wants couples to raise them to follow Him. He is very clear that we shouldn't kill the innocent and should protect the defenseless, but unjoined sperm and eggs aren't human by themselves so don't fall under the umbrella of those instructions. Life starts at conception, not before and not after. An adult is fully human, so is a child, an infant, a baby, a fetus and a zygote. Unjoined sperm and eggs are only half human and don't deserve full respect. (Though I'm not saying they can be disrespected, I'm just saying there's a distinction between a sperm or egg and a adult that can't be made between a zygote and an adult.) God neither says "have as many kids as you can" nor "don't avoid having kids", and there is no absolute correct number a couple should have. There's no scripture saying we can have too many, though intentionally avoiding ever having any kids would be a risky thing for a couple to do for an entire marriage. But even then as long as we're discipling other peoples' children to know/ fear/ love God that wouldn't be too much different than couples who can't have kids (and don't want to or can't adopt). Contraception is neither scripturally right nor wrong. (See also abortion above and God's plea through Zechariah below.)
LEV 19:18, PS 141:4-5, PR 12:1, PR 15:31-32, PR 25:9-13, PR 27:6,9,17, PR 28:23, PR 29:1, MT 18:15-17, GAL 6:1-2, PHP 3:15-16, HEB 3:12-13, 2TH 3:14-15, 1TI 5:19-20, 2TI 2:23-25, 2TI 4:2, 1JN 5:16-17, TIT 3:10-11
We can all be wrong sometime, but correct in love.
MT 20:1-16, JN 3:16, JN 5:24
God is beyond time so sees us as an infant, when we take our first step, laughing with mom & dad when our first tooth still hasn't come through, observing a sunset for the first time, committing every sin we ever imagined, and repenting all at once. This is true for every person. If we don't approve of deathbed forgiveness then we don't understand what the love of God is really like nor how bad our own sin really was.
GE 1:24-28, JOB 40:15-24, JOB 41:1-34, PS 74:13-14, PS 91:13, ISA 14:29 KJV, ISA 27:1, ISA 30:6 KJV, JER 51:34
If land animals and Adam were created together on day 6, of course it was true. Why would all these references be nonchalantly included if they were not real?
MT 10:1-2, MT 11:1, MT 20:29, MT 23:1, MT 26:18, MT 28:16-20, MK 3:7, MK 4:34, MK 6:41, MK 8:1, MK 8:34, MK 10:10, LK 6:13,17, LK 7:11, LK 8:22, LK 9:36, LK 14:25-27, LK 19:37, LK 22:38, JN 4:1, JN 6:24, JN 6:66-67, JN 7:3, JN 8:31, JN 13:5
(Disclaimer: this "controversy" is just a technicality.) If we infer our definition from Matthew and Mark then it seems the word disciple is synonymous with apostle. However if we read Luke and John then we'll see the two words are not synonyms. There were twelve apostles (minus Judas who betrayed him and plus Matthias, Saul/Paul was great but not one of the official 12) but by the Luke & John definition there were very many disciples. Not all disciples were believers because the word actually means follower and is a broad term but apostles is a narrow term meaning the elite in-crowd of people who both knew Jesus in person and were instrumental in spreading His message. Therefore we today can easily make disciples of non believers by simply engaging them in matters that are important to God and getting them to be curious about Jesus. Discipleship is not a concept meant to be exclusive and make the members of a church feel like an in-crowd.
MT 22:37-39, LK 12:13-15
Among other things God created man to rule the Earth, but He never said how (other than to demonstrate good character while doing it). As with government submission (below) no matter which macro economic theory we prefer (for example: capitalism, socialism and feudalism) the "bottom line" is: are we brining honor to God through our lives and obeying God by being generous to our fellow man? If not then all economic systems turn into enablers for "redistribution of wealth" and separation of made-up classes. To deny this reality some people will try to claim their perspective is fair and everyone else isn't. However there are two kinds of fair:
GE 4:7, MT 11:27, RO 8:28,32, RO 11:36, 1CO 9:22, EPH 1:22, TIT 1:15, 1PE 2:11-12, 1PE 4:11
These are not a matter of right & wrong but of self discipline, nobility and even being a good example. Any hand tool can be used both for good or evil depending on the user and this applies to media & technology as well. Jesus was a carpenter and Paul was a tentmaker. Just because hammers and scissors can be used to kill people doesn't mean they should be avoided as legitimate tools or that we shouldn't teach our kids to use them appropriately. As with dancing (see above) and gambling (see above) the real question is what is the end result, what is the trajectory of the action? If people are brought closer to God then great and who should care if it is done with paper or computer, speech or music, personal dialogue or prerecorded video? Of course the concern some people have is how easy we allow/ excuse ourselves to sin when we use the medias since they can be used alone. So we must remember the little children's song "Oh be careful little eyes what you see," regardless of how demeaning that may feel to a grown-up.
From another angle, AC 8:11 reminds us we must be careful about entertainments role in our worship. The more senses are engaged (audio, video, drama) the more the people will be able to relate to the message the leader is communicating. Jesus spoke in parables on purpose, and perhaps one small reason was so we'd relate to his teachings. As long as the message is explicitly worthy of hearing, we shouldn't worry over whether it's presented by parable, story, drama, band, video, etc. Though we must be careful not to cross the invisible philisophical line between engaging our audience and simply entertaining them, lest we fall into the trap of simply having followers of our magic than followers of Christ. See also Purpose of the Churh above.
GE 1:1, GE 1:31, JOB 38:1-38, PS 102:25, PR 3:19-20, ZEC 12:1, MK 10:6, AC 17:24-25, 2PE 3:5-6
There is no scriptural basis for anything other than a literal six day creation about 6,000 years ago. All other beliefs are attempts to compromise between atheistic/ agnostic men and God's Word to keep men happy. (Hint: these people don't make anyone happy but themselves.) I made a whole separate page to discuss this controversy here.
(See related topic of economic systems above.)
GE 22:12, EX 20:20, DT 6:1-3, DT 10:12, DT 31:12-13, JOS 4:23-24, 2SA 23:3-4, 2CH 26:3-5, NE 5:9, JOB 28:28, PS 25:14, PS 34:7, PS 103:13, PS 110:10, PS 112:1, PS 128, PS 130:3-4, PS 147:11, PR 1:7, PR 3:7, PR 14:27, PR 29:25, EC 12:13, ISA 8:12-13, JER 5:21-25, LK 12:5, 1PE 2:17, 1JN 4:18, REV 14:7
If we read all these verses, or even just 1JN 4:18 and PR 1:7, before reading this conclusion, at least if we have a critical heart, we may be saying "ah ha, here is a perfect example of how contradictory the Bible is!" However the explanation is: what you fear establishes the boundaries of your freedom. (See quote from Erwin here.) Moses explained why we should do this (EX 20:20) and God both gives us the original warning in GE 4:7 and assures us of His intent for us in JER 29:11. (There are over two hundred references to fearing God or fearing the Lord, these are just some highlights)
PS 118:6, ISA 8:12-13, RO 8:30-39
There is no need to fear anyone or anything but God, even death. For to follow Jesus means we die up front so that we can truly live. And God can take care of anyone we leave behind.
PR 4:23, EC 11:9, JER 17:9-10, MT 6:21, JN 5:37-38 NLT
Considering the natural state of man (see below), we should lead our heart rather than follow it.
GE 2:16-17, GE 4:7, DT 30:19, PR 1:32-33, EC 11:9, RO 6:16, JAM 4:11
There are two kinds of freedoms: 1. freedom to gratify the now, 2. freedom to live a long peaceful life. The two are incompatible more often than we'd like, hence the need for discipline (see keyword review above). God always prefers us to choose the later but he still gives us the choice. Have you noticed how God is obsessed with free will? Once we come to grips with this we may resent God for giving us this burden because sometimes we are too immature to make the right decision, but another reality is freedom is mandatory for love to exist.
GE 4:7, ISA 65:11-12, 1CO 6:12, 1CO 10:23, 2PE 2:19
As occasional mindless entertainment (as opposed to watching a movie, eating out, playing miniature golf, etc, where we go into it expecting to leave with one more experience and a little less money) fine. As a money maker or a lifestyle, forget it. Social evidence clearly shows gambling is addicting and any addiction is harmful since we should not be mastered by anything but God. See complex topic of money (below).
EX 22:28, EC 10:20, ISA 8:12-13, DAN 4:17, RO 13:1-8, COL 1:16, HEB 13:17, TIT 3:1-2, 1PE 2:13-17
All human governmental systems can seem good in an ideal world but we are quick to forget that we have an invisible enemy who wants to ruin our lives and all our plans for utopia. It's in our own best interests to understand that each design has fatal flaws in it. For example, we must remember that power corrupts and no help is needed from Satan. Any form of government (for example: dictatorship/ fascist, democracy, monarchy, republic, communist/ marxist and theocracy) have the potential to be good (and can only truly have long term feasibility) when the people in power are moral, and better yet if they fear, obey, and honor the living God. As Christians we are called to be God's ambassadors, exemplifying His love and the rest of His character no matter where we are and who our leaders are. This doesn't excuse people in leadership to lead any which way they choose (see National Accountability below) nor excuse Christians from serving in the military (see Should we be pacifists below). Don't confuse governmental systems with economic systems (above).
Considering the only quote in the Bible I can find is from Jesus Himself there must be some truth to it. But He only mentions it offhand and doesn't get into any detail so we can't seriously claim to have any idea how this really works. (For more on angels see my 3 consecutive angel sections below.)
EX 28:4, LEV 8:9, LEV 16:4, JOB 29:14, ISA 61:10 (isaiah 61:10`NIV), EZE 21:26 (ezekiel 21:26`NIV), EZE 23:15, EZE 24:17-23, EZE 44:17-18, DAN 3:21, ZEC 3:5, 1CO 11:2-16
The only instructional reference to a turban I can find is for the priests (Aaron and his descendents.) Growing up as a westerner I don't get why middle easterners wear so many turbans, nor have they been able to explain it to me when I've asked. Perhaps the custom began as a symbol of a spiritual revival and a noble call to return to the holiness of the priesthood? But since then it just degraded into a cultural norm.
JOB 1:1-2:10, PS 25:1-3, PS 34, PS 37:22-40, PS 91-92, PS 112, PS 121:5-7, PS 128:1-4, PR 12:21, PR 14:11, EC 2:26, JER 20:7-18, JER 29:11, MT 5:45, MT 10:16-28,34-39, MK 10:29-30, LK 10:19, LK 13:1-5, LK 18:18-30, JN 17:15, RO 5:3-4, RO 7:21-25, RO 8:17, RO 8:35-37, 1CO 3:17, 1CO 4:9-14, 1CO 15:30-31, 1CO 11:23-29, 1PE 1:6-7, 1PE 4:12-16
A related concept is "there is no safer place to be than the center of the will of God". Surely if anyone experienced the center of the will of God then the Apostle Paul was one of those people. With eternity in mind, these concepts are right on. But during our short time on Earth, which is usually where these are applied, what a dumb idea.
At a high level, when we obey God we are acknowledging that He understands the way life is supposed to work and things will naturally go better for us. But God is slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love so does not necessarily punish evil immediately (though He does say we may as His ambassadors, see why is there evil below). Lastly, since He is more concerned about our character than our comfort He does not shelter us from all short term suffering but instead may use it (see inevitable suffering below).
MT 19:28-30, MT 25:14-30, LK 19:11-27, 2CO 12:2, REV 22:12
We won't all be equal in Heaven, but that doesn't mean there are "levels," as described in Dante's fictional work, Divine Comedy, or by some religions/denominations. Historically the term "heaven" has interchangeably been used to refer to the sky, outer space, and a spiritual heaven. This triplicate of concept is likely what Paul is referring to.
MT 5:29-30, MT 7:13, MT 13:49-50, MK 9:45, LK 12:5, LK 13:22-30, LK 16:19-31, 2TH 1:9, JAM 3:6, 2PE 2:4, JUD 1:6, REV 1:18, REV 14:9-11, REV 20:10-15, REV 21:8
Hell/Hades is a very serious topic that shouldn't be taken lightly nor simply thrown out into a conversation. It's not simply an alternative to Heaven where we can go if we don't want to bother worshiping God all the time. It's the worst place immaginable and then infinitely worse. People say experiencing a war is like experiencing Hell on Earth, yet no one would claim experiencing war is just an alternative if we don't like the picket fences in the suburbs.
EX 3:5, 1SA 4:22, 2CH 8:11, PS 127:1
Where God is, is holy. Where He's not, isn't. No matter how much stained glass or how many religious objects are there.
MT 11:12, LK 10:19-20, RO 12:21, 2CO 10:4-5, EPH 6:12, REV 19:11
Um, no. God can do this because he is holy, but we cannot because we are not. (For example, the European Crusades of the 12th & 13th centuries were a perfect lesson in missing the point.) In the last couple years I've noticed that my strategy at debate has always been superior firepower. That is good for winning battles and wars, but not people.
GE 1:27, JOS 1:8, PS 1:1, PS 127:3-5, PR 13:20, PR 22:6, ISA 54:13, MIC 2:9, MT 12:30, MT 22:21, MK 12:17, LK 6:40, LK 11:23, LK 20:25, RO 12:2, 2CO 10:5, COL 2:8
One of the primary jobs of parents is to raise their kids to know and fear God (see MAL 2:15 and 'fear God' topic above). Nothing informs worldview like education. If there are teaching environments available to us that prove themselves better at doing this than we can do, then great. But the track record of the American public school system and even most of our private schools are going from dismal to worse (see PEERS trend chart here or here). Thinking our kids will be "salt & light" isn't an acceptable excuse to send them to public school because our kids aren't going to change the school, it's got teachers' unions and hoards of secular humanists running the whole thing (see website). When we're honest the reason most people fear home schooling is they don't trust the teacher, and sadly the reason they don't trust the teacher is because so many home schoolers are taught an explicitly biblical worldview.
GE 19:5-7, LEV 18:22, LEV 20:13, DT 22:5, JDG 19:22-24, RO 1:26-27, 1CO 6:9-10, 1TI 1:9-10, 2PE 2:6-8, JUDE 1:7, JUDE 1:22-23
Homosexuality is a sin and therefore a choice, so it deserves no protection and no benefits. Like any sin, some people are more tempted by it than others, but we must all repress any urge to sin and acknowledge that any thought or activity is wrong. (Compare sexual immorality of homosexuality to adultery.) That being said, nobody deserves persecution (not even homosexuals) and all people need protection (even homosexuals) from evil (in its many forms). Remember, this is not an unforgivable sin and these people need to be treated with love just like anyone else. We must also be careful how we handle sins we do not personally struggle with, lest our motives and intentions be misinterpreted. But fewer people will misinterpret love than condemnation, and the Holy Spirit can take care of convicting any sinner. (read more)
GE 8:21, ISA 14:13-14
We want to be God and we don't care what it costs. It's not good enough that God created us in his likeness, we want to take His place and forget He ever existed. Fortunately, in addition to having all the omni's (omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient) God can also be described as loving & just, so being made in His likeness means we have a knowledge of what it means to be like this too. Some of us accept the word of our Creator and try to exemplify the characteristics that God has asked us to exemplify (and yes, we can exemplify them without acknowledging the Creator but then can't assume our plans for the afterlife will be accurate). Some of us rebel against our Creator and just pursue getting those omni's, even if it means the rest of the universe must burn. From the second we're born we want everything our way and we want it now. As we get older we realize that it takes one or both of two things to get our way: being nice and being cunning. When someone is being "mean", there's a good chance they're being very logical and very reasonable, it's just that they're being self centered and don't care about what that means to us. This human condition is why popularity is so widely desired and envied: we want to be worshiped like a god.