Monday, February 15, 2010

What's Your Worldview?

What is your worldview?  How clear is it?  Are you seeing what you need to see?

My wife and I took our granddaughters , ages 12 and 10, to a Titanic exhibition at the Louisville Science Center.  On display were 150 items brought up from the ocean floor of the chilly, northern Atlantic where the "unsinkable" Titanic sank.  There were stories of those who survived, as well as the sad stories of those who perished in the wee hours of April 15, 1912.

Being a student of history, and being especially interested in this particular oceanic disaster, I was listening and observing very carefully.  One of the details mentioned during the exhibit was the fact that Titanic's lookouts had no binoculars, thus severely limiting their view.

This particular detail reminded me of something I had read earlier in my own amateur research of the Titanic's demise.  Years ago I had purchased an original newspaper, the Tri-Weekly Gazette and Bulletin from Williamsport, Pa., dated April 24, 1912.  On the front page was the latest news concerning the disaster.  The main title read: "FATAL BERG SEEN AND REPORTED BY TITANIC LOOKOUT".  The additional sub-title read: "Would Have Discovered it If Provided With Glasses as Customary."

The story covered the Senate Committee investigation into the sinking of the Titanic, especially the testimony of one witness.

Fredrick Fleet was one of the lookouts on the  doomed liner.  Fleet acknowledged that if he had been aided in his observations by a good glass he probably could have spied the berg into which the ship crashed, in time to have warned the bridge to avoid it.  Fleet added they had, "...asked for them (binoculars) at Southampton and were told there were none for them.  One glass, in a pinch, would have served in the crow's nest."

Fleet also testified that he saw, "...a large black mass...about the size of two large tables."  However, amazingly, the iceberg Titanic struck was actually 50 to 60 feet high.

Could it be that the limited view of Titanic's lookouts resulted in the loss of over 1,500 lives?

Can a limited or obscured worldview also lead to a much more serious disaster?

By worldview I mean the platform on which we choose to stand and from which we look out and see the world.  Author Nancy Pearcy defines worldview as, "a mental map that tells us how to navigate the world effectively."  Worldview is the vantage point from which to see what Emile Cailliet called "the landscape of reality."

A person's worldview can be derived from any kind of ideology or influence.  For example, some view their life as originating from mere chance, the result of Darwinian natural selection.  Others, however, view their lives as creatures created by God in His image - creatures who must one day give account to their Creator.  These are two, totally opposing views.  Let's say, for the sake of consideration, that perhaps the second view is true, that we are all on a journey headed toward the Berg of God's judgment.  If the worldview we hold doesn't enable us to see this and to prepare for it, then our worldview is limited, it's impaired, it's insufficient.  And the result is we will crash headlong into God's judgment unprepared - and great will be our loss.

There is, however, hope.  The Gospel is the good news, the announcement that a new relationship with God is available by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.  Jesus took the judgment of God in our place on the cross.  Our sins were placed upon Him; He took our punishment that we may in turn have His righteousness placed to our account; He was raised from the dead for our justification.  Through Christ, the Berg of God's judgment has been dealt with.

Does your worldview include this hope?  If not, your worldview is severely limited.

Pastor Van Morris       


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