Worldviews and Lake Itasca
- Sheldon Clowdus
The picture on the left is of Lake Itasca in Minnesota. Nothing extraordinary in and of itself really. Just a lake with what looks like a small stream flowing from it. Except that the small stream flowing from it is the very beginning of the Mississippi River. The Mississippi river flows from here in Lake Itasca all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. It widens from approximately 25 feet here to a maximum width of nearly a mile. Here, the Mississippi is 3 feet deep. The deepest point of the river is in New Orleans and is 200 feet deep. In total length, the river stretches over 2300 miles on its journey from Minnesota to the Gulf.
What does Lake Itasca and the Mississippi River have to do with worldviews, you ask? Our worldview is the Lake Itasca for your life. It is the source of everything else. Everything in your life flows from your worldview. The way you approach difficulties, the way you interpret information, the way you set about making decisions, everything. So, then, what exactly is a worldview?
Dictionary.com defines a worldiew as:
In other terms, your worldview forms the lenses or filter through which you view the world around you. Whether you have spent any time at all thinking about it or not, you have a worldview. Everyone does. The problem is not all worldviews allow you to accurately see and interpret everything in your world. In, fact, I would argue that only one worldview does. The reason this is important is because at the root of every ill, every issue, every anything in your life is your worldview. Unfortunately, in many churches today it is assumed that everyone is operating with a biblical worldview. That is, that they are seeing and interpreting the world strictly according to how the bible says the world operates. Because of this assumption, many problems in the lives of church goers are addressed with surface level answers. It is like trying to change the course of the Mississippi River where it is a mile wide instead of at its source where it is only 20 feet wide. It just doesn't work.
The reality is that a great deal of church goers, maybe even a majority of them, are not living with a biblical worldview. Usually they operate under a non-biblical worldview that they have labelled with biblical terminology. If we are serious about seeing God move and transform people, we have to stop making worldview assumptions and start intentionally teaching what a biblical worldview looks like and how to live according to that worldview. What this looks like in practice is teaching people the whole council of God, teaching and preaching the Word of God instead of religious self-help.
We have to start pouring into the Lake Itascas of our people lives and changing things from their source, not trying to play catch up 1000 miles downstream.