1 Kings 18:20-39 So Ahab sent a message among all the sons of Israel and brought the prophets together at Mount Carmel. Elijah came near to all the people and said, "How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him." But the people did not answer him a word. Then Elijah said to the people, "I alone am left a prophet of the Lord, but Baal's prophets are 450 men. Now let them give us two oxen; and let them choose one ox for themselves and cut it up, and place it on the wood, but put no fire under it; and I will prepare the other ox and lay it on the wood, and I will not put a fire under it. Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, He is God." And all the people said, "That is a good idea." So Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, "Choose one ox for yourselves and prepare it first for you are many, and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under it." Then they took the ox which was given them and they prepared it and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon saying, "O Baal, answer us." But there was no voice and no one answered. And they leaped about the altar which they made. It came about at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, "Call out with a loud voice, for he is a god; either he is occupied or gone aside, or is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and needs to be awakened." So they cried with a loud voice and cut themselves according to their custom with swords and lances until the blood gushed out on them. When midday was past, they raved until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice; but there was no voice, no one answered, and no one paid attention. Then Elijah said to all the people, "Come near to me." So all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord which had been torn down. Elijah took twelve stones according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, "Israel shall be your name." So with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he made a trench around the altar, large enough to hold two measures of seed. Then he arranged the wood and cut the ox in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, "Fill four pitchers with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood." And he said, "Do it a second time," and they did it a second time. And he said, "Do it a third time," and they did it a third time. The water flowed around the altar and he also filled the trench with water. At the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet came near and said, "O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today let it be known that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant and I have done all these things at Your word. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that You, O Lord, are God, and that You have turned their heart back again." Then the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said, "The Lord, He is God; the Lord, He is God."
Last week Joyce and I went to the movie, The End of the Spear, that one of our elders encouraged all of us to see. There are many memorable statements in the movie as it draws a distinct contrast between a very primitive, violent people and what you and I would consider to be very civilized people. Some of those statements were shared with us on a recent Wednesday night.
What I want to share with you is not a statement, but a situation. The movie reflects on at least three different ways to look at the world. (1) There is the view of the world held by the missionaries. (2) The view of the world held by civilized people who were not missionaries. (3) And there was the view of the world held by the primitive, violent people. All three views clashed with what most of us would consider horrible consequences.
(1) Because of their view of the world, the missionaries made an extraordinary effort to make contact with the primitive, violent people. (2) Because of their view of the world, the civilized people killed the primitive people in an attempt to produce self-protection. (3) Because of their view of the world, the primitive, violent people killed everyone--including their own people--because they were convinced the way to be strong after death was to kill people in this life.
(1) The missionaries' view of the world was huge including not only this physical earth but another world that exists after death. (2) The civilized people's view of the world was limited primarily to what was good for the Amazon basin. (3) The primitive, violent people's view of the world was limited to existence in the rain forest.
(1) The missionaries view of the world declared there was more to life than physical survival. (2) The civilized people's view of the world was basically restricted to physical survival. (3) The primitive, violent people's view of the world was becoming strong enough to "jump the great boa" when they were killed.
About two years ago the elders announced five goals for us to adopt as a congregation. The fifth of those five goals was this: "To proclaim a biblical worldview that is obedient to Christ."
This evening I want to ask and seek to answer the question: "What is a worldview?" All of us have one. Likely most of us do not even recognize it. How would you answer the question, "What is your worldview?" Some of us might even declare we do not have a worldview because we do not know what it is. Yet, whether we know what it is or not, we all have one.
Your worldview is a significant factor in your choices. If you are going to change how you live, you need to start by changing the way you look at the world.
Link to next sermon
Link to other Writings of David Chadwell