Steps in Applying a Biblical Worldview to Hot-Button Topics: Sort, Search, Seek
There is so much division in the Church today, let alone in our culture. What is in line with a Biblical worldview and what is not? We recently did a new presentation on this exact issue. Scroll down to view the YouTube video of the talk. Or, you can also view directly on YouTube and access a link in the description to download the powerpoint slides. Here are the topics we address: Who is Jesus?, Who is Mankind?, The Trinity, Inerrancy of Scripture, Public Schools, Covid-19, Role of Government, Marxism/Communism/Socialism, Involvement in Politics, Social Justice, Racism/Black Lives Matter, Immigration, Sexual Immorality, Abortion, Human Trafficking.
There is a tension between striving for the unity of the faith and lovingly dividing over certain essentials. The command for Biblical unity is consistent throughout Scripture. Jesus prayed for all believers in John 17:20-21, “I pray also for all those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” Jesus even links effective evangelism to this unity. In addition, Paul exhorts all believes in 1 Corinthians 1:10, “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.” Clearly there is a consistent command for unity within the body of Christ. Yet Scripture points out that there are also times to divide when the essentials are compromised. Paul writes in 2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.” But when correcting we are to “speak the truth in love.”
The reformers and believers throughout history have used this phrase: “Unity on the essentials, grace on the non-essentials, and covering over all, love (agape).” This has been a very useful phrase that can help us live out this Biblical mandate of unity, while not compromising the truth. When someone disagrees on the essentials, we lovingly divide, but we should also have grace on the non-essentials. We discuss the difficult task of sorting whether issues are essential or not in our YouTube video.
Stephen and Sarah Williams of Prepare the Way Ministries have come up with 3 simple steps to help every believer know how to handle any issue– even hot-button topics. Step 1: Sort the Issues. Step 2: Search the Scriptures. And Step 3: Seek wise counsel. Sort, Search, Seek. Lets break it down…
Step 1: Sort the Issues
The first question we should consider is this… Is this a salvation issue? Salvation is based on a pretty short list of issues. Who is Jesus? How can a person be saved? Is Jesus the only way to salvation? These are a few of those essentials of the faith that we would lovingly divide over if someone doesn’t agree. But here is another critical question: is this issue important in partnering together in ministry? In addition, does it affect our ability to share the gospel? We need to be careful not to divide the body of Christ too often and especially over non-essentials of the faith. However, some issues that might not be essentials to salvation could be issues that would make it difficult for partnering together in ministry. We explain in more detail in the video.
Step 2: Search the Scriptures
After sorting, we need to go to the Bible so that we can have a proper Christian worldview about the issue. Look up Scriptures on that topic (not just one taken out of context). In our YouTube talk, we dive into the differences between Hermeneutics, Exegesis (to lead out of) vs Eisegesis (to lead into). We want to let the inerrant Word of God define our beliefs (exegesis) about any issue and not read into (eisegesis) Scripture to make it say what we want. Again, check out the video for more info.
Step 3: Seek Wise Counsel
Finally, we should seek many advisors. Get wise counsel from parents, trusted pastors, leaders, good Bible commentaries, Christian authors, etc. There is a plethora of resources available to believers today and we should take the Scriptural command to get wise counsel seriously.
Watch the video, where we go into much greater detail about using this process of Sort, Search, and Seek. In addition, we use this approach to tackle difficult hot-button topics, including: Who is Jesus?, Who is Mankind?, The Trinity, Inerrancy of Scripture, Public Schools, Covid-19, Role of Government, Marxism/Communism/Socialism, Involvement in Politics, Social Justice, Racism/Black Lives Matter, Immigration, Sexual Immorality, Abortion, Human Trafficking.
To download the powerpoint slides in this talk, view this video on our YouTube channel and see the link in the description below this video.
Click here for our blog on Marxism/Communism/Socialism for a more detailed look into this important issue of our day.