By Tim Throckmorton
One of the things my wife has trained me to do is practice the use of a very popular little product called “hand sanitizer.” So after a shopping stop or handling potentially germ carrying things, I am now pretty well trained to reach into my console and apply said hand sanitizer rather faithfully. Last week I reached for the trusty pump container and began to apply generously what I thought would effectively rid my hands of any unwanted contamination. When the aroma of “new car” began to waft throughout the interior of my Malibu, I thought, I don’t remember this stuff smelling like that! I soon realized I had thoroughly doused my palms with fresh-scent car smell. Good stuff until you are trying to get the smell to come off!
Things often do not smell right intellectually as well. Headlines smack of wrong assumptions. Hollywood finds itself ripe with questionable motive and vacant of moral character. Government is rich with politics and very wrong on policies. Many are feasting on a diet of wrong perception and false information, leaving a rancid smell in the air. In a December 2013 interview with Relevant magazine, Ira Glass, a professing atheist, said this regarding the treatment of Christianity in the mainstream media: “Many groups in America feel the media covers them poorly, but Christians seem to get it especially bad.” This depiction didn’t match his own experience with Christians he knew personally. He goes on to say, “The Christians in my life were all incredibly wonderful and thoughtful and had very ambiguous, complicated feelings in their beliefs. And seemed to be totally generous-hearted and totally open to a lot of different kinds of people in their lives.” At one point he says, “What Christians really are is not being captured by the press.”
Now before I go on, allow me to say that it is easy to begin to find yourself as pessimistic as the guy who fell asleep on his job. Someone slipped up and rubbed Limburger cheese under his nose. When he woke up he said, “It stinks in here.” He went into the next room and said, “It stinks in here also.” He stepped outside and said, “The whole world stinks.” What this guy needed was to wipe the smell from his nose in order to catch a whiff of truth and hope.
In fact the best smelling perspective, in my opinion, is a truly biblical worldview. Simply defined, a worldview is a comprehensive set of truth claims that purport to paint a picture of reality; the framework from which we view reality and make sense of life and the world. A biblical worldview, therefore, would find at its center the scriptures and the truth of who Jesus is. Author Os Guinness describes it this way: “Christian worldview involves believers thinking about anything and everything in a manner that is consistently shaped, directed, and restrained by the truth of God’s Word and God’s Spirit. Such a Christian worldview encompasses core issues and answers such questions as: Who am I? Where did I come from? What is the purpose of my life? Where am I going? Where did it come from? Is there a Creator, or are we the products of blind chance? Is there any grand theme to history and human life? If there is a Creator, what, if anything, does He expect of me?”
Critically important observations
Aubrey Vaughan, in Essential Worship, writes, “In our 21st century, western society there has been a huge paradigm shift, a turning away from the Judeo/Christian God-centered worldview, to a new atheism which desires a complete secularization of society with non-religious (irreligious) values and secular institutions. But the very fact they are turning away from God doesn’t mean they are turning to something that is neutral. In fact, to turn away from God means you have to be turning to something else, which by default becomes our 21st century idols.”
If left as is we risk failing to be good stewards of the culture God has placed us in. Charles Colson writes in his book, How Now Shall We Live, the solution to the modern day identity crisis of the American Christian, “How do we redeem a culture? How do we rise to the opportunity before us at the start of a new millennium? The answer is simple: from the inside out. From the individual to the family to the community, and then outward in ever widening ripples. We must begin by understanding what it means to live by Christian worldview principles in our own behavior and choices. Unless we do, we will interpret the biblical commands according to the spirit of the age and will therefore be conformed to the world rather than to God’s Word.”
As Christ followers, we have an amazing opportunity to spread a sweet smelling savor. “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Tim Throckmorton is pastor of Crossroads Church in Circleville, Ohio. He was raised in Southern Ohio and worked in retail management for 20 years, receiving God’s call to full-time ministry in 1996. He has served the Church of the Nazarene as Pastor, Credentials Board Secretary, and District Secretary. He is the vice chair of the Facility Governing Board at Star Community Justice Center in Franklin Furnace. In addition, he writes a weekly column for a number of newspapers in the Central and Southern Ohio region, is the former host of Tri State Celebration, Daystar Television’s local affiliate in Ashland Kentucky, and has hosted Morning Show WOKE 98.3 Joy F.M. With a deep love for the Lord, his family, and his country, he desires to be a faithful communicator of the gospel as well as an encourager, motivator, and leader. In 2010, he released a DVD project entitled Lest We Forget which is a study of our Godly American Heritage along with a companion book bearing the same title in September of 2011. His latest book, Jesus Hit Me was released in the fall of 2013. Tim and his wife, Terri, have two children and a granddaughter.
This article originally appeared in The Renewanation Review® magazine. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted here by permission of Renewanation. For more information regarding Renewanation, visit renewanation.org.