The battle for your Christian mind is a battle of ideas. As ministry leaders, we need to constantly remind those we teach that mindless Christianity does not please Jesus. We need to stay focused on sharpening our worldview. Why? Because we live in a time of war. There are no soldiers in this battle. There are no landing craft, no bombers flying in formation, no artillery emplacements. Yet attacks occur every minute of every day.
Ideas are thoughts and suggestions about what we ought to do. Our ideas largely determine our understanding of life’s meaning and guide us in the way we live. Everyone forms ideas about questions such as:
- Am I loved? If I were to disappear, would anyone miss me?
- Why do I hurt? Bad things have happened to me. Can I overcome them and find joy?
- Does my life have meaning? Is it possible for me to find direction in life?
- Why can’t we just get along? What will it take for us to stop fighting and find harmony?
- Is there any hope for the world? So many things seem to be going wrong. Are we doomed?
- Is God even relevant? Does God get involved with the details of my life?
The set of ideas that we form in answer to these questions is called a worldview. A worldview monitors the ideas we are exposed to and isolates the ones that appear to be destructive. But it’s possible to have a worldview that is porous, letting through some of the most damaging ideas. Or a worldview might be skewed in some way, welcoming ideas bent on doing us harm.
We can develop a worldview that gives us something to live by—and something to live for. A worldview also helps us ward off bad ideas that make us miserable. It functions like as an immune system for ideas. This is important because bad viruses can’t be conquered with good viruses. There is no “good” cold that combats the virus that causes a bad cold. Preachers and politicians and philosophers can’t live out our worldviews for us. It’s time for each of us to step up.
My life revolves around boosting the power of good ideas and blunting the effects of bad ones. Through a program called The Summit, I help prepare people of all ages to strengthen their Christian worldview and become leaders. Once my students tune in to the world of ideas, they can see the way that bad ideas fill their hearts and minds with wrong answers to questions to life’s biggest questions. In the end, most of them learn to trust what God has revealed about himself, the world, and humanity. I have seen it change thousands of lives.
Long experience shows me that our deepest heart questions revolve around love, hurt, meaning, peace, and hope. Here’s a simple set of “declarations of freedom”—six truths that release us from the grip of idea viruses that intend to do us harm. These declarations help us get a proper view of the world and for the world and resist the bad ideas trying to penetrate our defenses:
- I am loved. Deep, unconditional love exists, and I can have it.
- My suffering will be overcome. Hurt will not win. Indeed, it already has lost.
- I have an incredible calling. My life has meaning. I bear God’s image.
- I am meant for community. I can overcome conflict and live at peace with those around me.
- There is hope for the world. I am not doomed. What is right and just and true will win.
- God is relevant. God is real and the Bible is true. His love is unconditional.
These declarations of freedom are not just positive self-talk. They have deep roots in the teachings of Jesus and his culture. Nor are they theological platitudes. They’re very practical and livable. That’s the good news.
But the bad news is that these declarations are under attack. Bad ideas flood our minds and hearts every day, trying to convince us that love isn’t real, that suffering is meaningless, that our lives have no purpose, that we are all alone, and that despair is our lot. Bad ideas are on the attack. We need a strong worldview to keep them at bay.
True Christianity is not mindless. We need to strengthen our minds and have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:16).
This is an adapted excerpt from Dr. Jeff Myers’ new book, The Secret Battle of Ideas about God. To read chapter 1, click here. To continue reading about how the Christian worldview stands apart from false world views in answering life’s biggest questions and how you can bring this to your church or home, download sample materials or purchase at secretbattlebook.com.
Listen to the ChurchLeaders podcast with Dr. Jeff Myers.