Ray Carter: Biblical worldview offers youth a framework for making sense of history, new information
Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 11, 2023
It seems that reminders of how fallen our world is are being thrust upon us with increasing regularity. One might think it’s because things are worse off now than in previous generations. However, that’s really not the case, and even if a case could be made in part, it’s definitely not the whole of the matter.
Mankind has always had the proclivity to engage in heinous acts of evil, ever since our first rebellion against our Creator in the garden. All one has to do is consider all the atrocities recorded in history, not just the hard-hitting headlines of modern news outlets, but the very pages of scripture, stone tablets, papyrus, cave walls, and temple inscriptions, all record the sinfulness of man and groanings of creation through natural disasters throughout every generation.
What has changed is our access to information and news about the world we inhabit. In the weeks leading up to this writing, we were hit with a fresh wave of evils and disasters, starting with the killing of Tyre Nichols at the hands of five men who made an oath to serve and protect. This was followed by a satanic ritual-like performance at the Grammys and a catastrophic earthquake that has devastated parts of Turkey and Syria, boasting a current death toll in the tens of thousands.
Everything that is wrong with our world is unceasingly in our faces and newsfeeds. You would have to go to great lengths to avoid seeing, reading, or hearing how dark and wretched our world truly is. Now, consider these statistics:
A 2020 survey by the Pew Research Center found that 45% of teens in the United States reported using social media before the age of 13.
A 2019 study by the Royal Society for Public Health found that the average age at which children in the UK start using social media is 13.
A 2018 survey by Common Sense Media found that the average age at which children in the United States start using social media is around 10-11 years old.
No matter how well we think we protect our youth from being exposed to and consuming this information and material, we’re never going to be able to filter everything out. This generation has access to more information, good and bad, at their fingertips than any other in history. It’s been well recorded that “what goes in, comes out,” speaking of the dangers of consuming the filth that is paraded around as entertainment and being privy to unfiltered disasters and the horror that comes along with seeing death in real-time. There is no way around it. It has an impact on the psyche of our youth. Understanding they are already given to their sinful nature, these influences all the more encourage them to live it out rather than fight against it. But are we without a weapon to fight back against this encroaching darkness? Not at all.
Equipping our children with a Biblical worldview ensures that they will have the best set of lenses by which to process all the information that is flooding their minds daily. It provides a comprehensive and logical understanding of life, the world, and its Creator. This worldview is based in truth, defined as that which conforms to reality, which many seem to have lost a grip of entirely. A Biblical worldview offers a framework for making sense of history, new information, forming relationships, and living a purposeful life. It also provides the most comprehensive understanding of the big questions of life. Where did we come from? Is there a god? If so, does He require something of me? Who gets to say what is right and wrong? What happens when we die?
Everyone, without realizing it or not, employs some type of worldview. Most are inconsistent and contradictory, failing miserably at making sense of the world and leaving its adherents more confused than anything else. Like a ship at sea without a rudder, our culture is being tossed to and fro by the whims of the elites and celebrities who are at best misguided and at worst, intentionally demonic. If you doubt the veracity of that claim, just check your child’s playlists on Spotify or iTunes. Check the chat logs of their online interactions when gaming. I would suggest checking their browser history, but they now have insight into how to hide that from us as well.
So where does this equipping begin? I’m glad you asked. In the home! I’m stunned when I hear parents trying to push this responsibility off onto someone else, particularly the public schools. I’m well aware that we have many wonderful educators in our public schools who do hold a biblical worldview, however, they are unable to teach or even discuss it without penalty or outright dismissal. As one of my favorite pastors, Voddie Baucham, said, “We cannot continue to send our children to Caesar for their education and be surprised when they come home as Romans.”
When children are exposed to a certain culture or environment, they are very likely to adopt the beliefs and practices of that culture. Thus it is important to be mindful of the cultural influences to which children are exposed to when considering where your child will be educated.
Bringing a child up in a culture that is increasingly hostile to Judeo-Christian values five days a week, and then trying to counter that with one hour of a youth group or Sunday sermons just isn’t going to cut it. Not to mention that according to a recent survey conducted by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, only 37% of pastors in the U.S. hold to a Biblical worldview. Even more concerning, that number drops to a measly 12% of those that minister to children and youth.
It starts in the home, friends, and it should start early. Parents are to be the primary disciplers of their children. It’s then the role of Christian educators and ministers, equipped with a biblical worldview, to come alongside the parents to reinforce those teachings and worldview.
Parents don’t send children off in a storm without protection, and they don’t let them play sports without the proper equipment and coaching. Why in the world would we send them off into a culture that Jesus said will hate them, into a world that Scripture clearly states is being ruled, in part by the powers of darkness, without preparing them the best we possibly can?
You do have a choice when it comes to your child’s education. Choose wisely. Choose Biblically.
Ray Carter is director of marketing and communications at North Hills Christian School and youth pastor at Jackson Park Baptist in Kannapolis.