Constructing Your Worldview
As we journey through this book we will find many examples that God left no area of life untouched by His call to worship. He prescribed many laws for the purpose of making sure that the land where He would dwell with His people was clean. ‘Clean living’ was not primarily so that God’s people could avoid disease and disaster but rather it was for the purpose of their being enabled to walk with God. This raises another important observation: the call to worship was not only a call to communion but it was also a call to new categories of thinking. So is the call to follow Christ.
One reason perhaps that we find the book of Leviticus so ‘frustrating’ is that it addresses areas that seem so mundane and in many cases, unfamiliar. After all, when we think of worship we are tempted to think of things ‘religious.’ And so we think of hymns, prayers, Bible reading, offerings, etc. But when you read the book of Leviticus, though it begins with 7 chapters dealing with offerings and then with several chapters describing the rules and functions of the priesthood, it soon begins to speak about clean and unclean animals, it speaks of a woman’s menstrual cycle, it talks of childbirth, it addresses the presence and removal of mildew, it addresses matters of sexuality, it talks of the planting and harvesting of crops, it addresses issues of slavery, issues of economics, issues of criminal justice, etc. And of course we may be thinking, what on earth is ‘spiritual’ or ‘religious’ about these?! Precisely.
You see, when God calls us to worship He is calling us to a completely new worldview where everything in life is to be undertaken with a view to His Lordship. God’s call to worship is a call for us to establish new categories of thinking and thus it is a call to a new way of living. We call this a worldview. And to the degree that our worldview is informed by the categories of Scripture, to such a degree all of our life will be lived as worship (a bowing to the will of God).
What then is a ‘worldview’?
Francis Schaeffer described a worldview as “The grid through which one sees the world.” Much like a pair of glasses. Depending on the lens, the world around you may seem larger, smaller, tinted or even obscured. A worldview is like that.
Our ‘ground-floor assumptions’ compose our worldview (James Sire). Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey define a worldview as “the sum total of our beliefs about the world, the ‘Big Picture’ that directs our daily decisions and actions.”
Everyone has a worldview. Everyone has basic assumptions by which they interpret the world around them. Everyone makes decisions (whether they know it or not) motivated by how they think of reality. We make decisions based on our view of God (and whether there is one), on our assumptions about truth, knowledge and ethics. We could put it this way, belief determines behaviour; and conversely, one’s behaviour reveals ones beliefs.
Leviticus is a book that emphasizes behaviour because it is an expression of what God expects His people to believe. In other words, if they believe God as He has revealed Himself in His Word, then they will behave as God commands them to. But if they fail to respond to God as He is then they will be selective with respect to their obedience to that revelation. And this certainly has implications for you and I.
When the Lord graciously called us to Himself by His Spirit through His Son He was calling us to a life where His Scriptures would inform and shape every area of our life. We are called to comprehensively obey the Lord. No area of life is to be treated as ‘secular.’ There is no area of ‘neutrality’ for the Christian. Our worldview is to be God-informed and God-centred; it is to be God-shaped. This matter of a ‘Christian worldview’ is so essential that Voddie Baucham has said, “A church filled with people who lack a biblical worldview is no church at all.”
How is yours? My prayer is that our study of Leviticus will be used of God to further solidify and shape our worldview in such a way that radical shifts in how we behave in every area will take place. God’s glory deserves it and the good of our own souls and those of our family and church demands it. And so does the good of a lost and dying world.