The Apostle Paul clearly warned believers when he wrote, “See to it that no one takes you through hollow and deceptive philosophy, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not  according to Christ” (Col. 2:8).  The word “philosophy” literally means “the love of wisdom.”  Wisdom is not a bad thing.  Hollow and deceptive obsession with wisdom is a bad thing.  

Within our culture, you will be barraged with an onslaught of attempts at gaining wisdom completely devoid of God.  The deceptive part about that attack is wisdom apart from the All-Wise one does not exist.  

We are unable to obtain wisdom apart from the giver of wisdom.  

The fear of the Lord is the very first step to knowledge which leads to wisdom (Prov. 1:7).  Someone with true discernment will seek God’s wisdom versus turning to the teachings originating from this fallen world (Prov. 17:24).

Wisdom that is comprised of the best human traditions always falls short.  God’s Word is sufficient.  It has been tested and tried over the years, and the closer one scrutinizes the biblical claims, the more that person will find that the answers are true and reliable.  The Bible does not need someone to defend it – the message defends itself.    

In our culture, you might be labeled as a backwards hick if you claim to believe the message of the Bible.  If you choose to live and to think godly, you will be persecuted at some level (2 Tim. 3:12).    If you are to maintain credibility with those around you, your worldview must be backed by more than heartfelt faith.  While that faith is essential to your salvation, you must begin to think through why you believe what you believe.

One thing I have encouraged people to do is to use their minds and their hearts when it comes to religion.  Many of them were spoon fed religion as a child by their parents and believe what they believe based upon family tradition.  Once they enter into college, they are spoon fed humanism and postmodernism by professors, and many students have not thought through the questions these professors propose.  In light of these forces in their lives, many students jump from worldview to worldview based upon who the current authority is in their lives.  

A faith that is not personally possessed is not real faith.  

Faith by association is not genuine.  I encourage you that regardless of what you believe, you need to own it.  You must not only know what you believe.  You must know why you believe what you believe.  

Daniel and Company

Students on many college campuses find themselves in the same situation as a young man, Daniel, and his friends did years ago.  His nation Israel had been captured by the idolatrous Babylon.  The king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, took the best and the brightest of the young adults from Israel in order to assimilate them into the Babylonian worldview for a short period of time (Dan. 1:3-4).  The king knew this fact about a culture: if he can sway the worldviews of the best and the brightest of a nation, the rest of the people will not be far behind.  Not only was the king promoting his worldview’s agenda, but also he was subverting these Jewish young men from the worldview that they had come to possess internally.   

This story is very similar to our culture.  The best and the brightest are prime for mental molding, and people with every possible worldview imaginable are eager to do the instructing.  The worldview of our generation will affect the future of this world.  If you believe the Bible, you must acknowledge that spiritual forces are at work around you.  A struggle is taking place for the minds of each and every person (Eph. 6:12).  Forces are assisting your ability to maintain a biblical worldview, but opposing forces are also retaliating by attempting to infiltrate your belief system.

How did Daniel and his friends respond?  They resolved that they would not be defiled by the king’s provisions (Dan. 1:8).  Daniel stepped out on faith.  He decided that even in an idolatrous culture, he was going to remain unmoved.  In the midst of a pagan society, he was going to remain faithful to God.  No matter what temptations or obstacles would come his way, he decided to remain steadfast to God’s commands.

If you are a Christian, you will have to resolve to do the same things.  You will have to prepare to meet challenges as you express a biblical worldview.  In your attempt to remain untainted by the ideologies of the world, you will have to commit to allowing God to shape your mind and thinking.  You must commit to an authoritative source.   

Romans 12:2 says it best:

Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may prove what the will of God is that which is good and acceptable and perfect. 

For anyone who feel as if their worldview is a minority within their culture, how are you utilizing God’s Word to renew your mind?  If you aren’t filling your mind with truth, the lies will find a vacancy in which to occupy.

Travis Agnew is a Christian, husband, father, pastor, author, blogger, and religion instructor.