When I was a kid the TV shows and most of the books we read assumed a Biblical Worldview and contained a working knowledge of the Bible itself. I’m reminded of that whenever I watch reruns of old westerns—they always provided a positive moral message. I recall working on a sermon PowerPoint one Saturday morning with the TV running in the background. Between my sloth on the computer and the distraction of the shows, I was able to watch part of three different programs: Daniel Boone, Have Gun Will Travel, and the Guns of Will Sonnet. All three had either a direct quote from the Bible or a reference to a Bible story. And in each case the storyline provided a positive moral lesson to be learned.
I also remember reading Aesop’s Fables in school. How many of you have even heard of them? My guess is most kids today have never heard of them. One of my favorites was the story of the “Ants and the Grasshopper.” The original read like this:
One bright day in late autumn a family of Ants were bustling about in the warm sunshine, drying out the grain they had stored up during the summer, when a starving Grasshopper, his fiddle under his arm, came up and humbly begged for a bite to eat. “What!” cried the Ants in surprise, “haven’t you stored anything away for the winter? What in the world were you doing all last summer?” “I didn’t have time to store up any food,” whined the Grasshopper; “I was so busy making music and before I knew it the summer was gone.” The Ants shrugged their shoulders in disgust. “Making music, were you?” they cried. “Very well; now dance!” And they turned their backs on the Grasshopper and went on with their work.
This fable sounds much like the Parable of the Ten Virgins told by Jesus:
Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
Unfortunately in a culture without a Biblical Worldview the following modern-day adaptation of Aesop’s Fable of the Ants and the Grasshopper can happen in real life:
The ant worked hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thought the ant was a fool and laughed and danced and played the summer away.
If the contemporary version of Aesop’s Fable is more common in our day-to-day life than the original version, what happened? Specifically, “What happened to our nation’s Biblical worldview?” Several years ago, I was wrestling with this question and cried out to God in prayer. Needless to say, I did not appreciate the prompting I received from the Holy Spirit: “Yes it is true, and it happened on your watch!” I cried out to God in prayer and made a commitment to constantly strive to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.
I would ask that you honestly evaluate what is happening in your life, your family, your church, your community, our region, and our nation. Is it true that we are reflecting the values of the world more than we are living the values of God? If you agree with me that it is true, then will you join me in a personal commitment to better understand the meaning of a Biblical Worldview? As we see and hear more clearly from God’s word, will you join me in making a personal commitment to be more of the solution than part of the problem with each day that God gives you life and breath? I’m praying for a great spiritual awakening for our nation, knowing that God also purifies His people through persecution.
Yours in Christ,
Mark R. Elliott, AMS
Mark is in his twenty-seventh year of serving as an Associational Missions Strategist. He served in western Iowa for almost eight years, and is in his nineteenth year with HCN. He has a passion to see pastors and church leaders grow in their abilities to lead their churches. He continues to have a heart and desire to see new churches planted and God continues to use his strategic thinking skills in this area. Mark also has a wealth of experience in helping churches clarify who God has created them to be, and what they can do best to reach their community. He has had ample opportunities to help churches in times of conflict, and has seen God do exciting things to restore a spirit of harmony, returning churches to a time of fruitfulness. He also helps churches in transition by working with search committees. Mark and Phyllis who were married in November of 2018 have four children and three grandchildren. They will enjoy their combined 87th anniversary in just a few days.
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