By John Cline
“The scene: The African plain comes alive with the gathering of zebras, gazelles, giraffes, elephants, all the animals on a majestic pilgrimage to see their future king, the cuddly newborn lion cub, Simba. After receiving the blessing of Rafiki, the lion pride’s shaman monkey, the animals big and small all bow on bended knee in worship to the uplifted cub. In the background plays the song, “The Circle of Life” – “It’s the circle of life/ And it moves us all/ through despair and hope/ Through faith and love/ Till we find our place/ On the path unwinding/ In the circle, the circle of life.”
Any parent with children older than about 8 knows the scene described above well, and most can still sing the song. Disney movies are like that -full of wonderfully creative characters, compelling story lines and memorable music. Millions of families across America watched the popular movie The Lion King when it came out in 1993, delighting in Simba and the antics of his friends Pumbaa and Timon singing “Hakuna Matata.” Pure Disney genius. But what worldview was being absorbed by millions of impressionable preschoolers? Is the concept of the “circle of life” true according to God’s Word? Do the ideas in the movie square with the Christian worldview?
Like everything we watch, listen to or read, The Lion King contains a worldview. And unless you know what you’re looking for, unless you have a strong understanding of your own worldview, it is often difficult to discern.
So what’s the worldview in The Lion King? Despite a handful of good moral lessons, it is not biblical Christianity. The notion of the “circle of life,” that history is circular and the present is heavily influenced by the spirits of one’s ancestors, is closer to Eastern pantheism or native spiritualism than the linear view of history presented in the Bible. But how is the average parent to know and discern the worldview, and how can parents equip their children to evaluate worldview for themselves?”
Thus, the questions before us are “what is meant by the word ‘worldview’?” and, “what is your worldview?”
Again, Tracy F. Munsil explains, “Worldview is the latest buzzword in Christian circles. We’re all told we need one, and whether we know it or not, we all have one. But what is a worldview? Literally, of course, worldview is how a person views the world. A person’s worldview consists of the values, ideas or the fundamental belief system that determines his attitudes, beliefs and ultimately, actions. Typically, this includes his view of issues such as the nature of God, man, the meaning of life, nature, death, and right and wrong.
We begin developing our worldview as young children, first through interactions within our family, then in social settings such as school and church, and from our companions and life experiences. Increasingly, our media culture is playing a key role in shaping worldview. We are a culture saturated with powerful media images in movies, television, commercials and music. And like the entertaining and seemingly benign Lion King, what we watch, listen to and read, impacts the way we think. Consistently consuming entertainment with false ideas will inevitably distort our view of the world.
Although the Bible never uses the word “worldview,” in Colossians 2: 6-8, we are commanded to be able to discern and discard false philosophy-which is essentially worldview. “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world, rather than on Christ.”
Jeff Baldwin, a fellow at the Texas-based Worldview Academy, says worldview “is like an invisible pair of eyeglasses-glasses you put on to help you see reality clearly. If you choose the right pair of glasses, you can see everything vividly and can behave in sync with the real world. … But if you choose the wrong pair of glasses, you may find yourself in a worse plight than the blind man – thinking you see clearly when in reality your vision is severely distorted.” To choose the “right” glasses, you have to first understand and embrace the true worldview…”In truth, then, there are three major worldviews operational in our world: an animistic worldview, a secular humanistic worldview and a biblical worldview. God wants His followers to live with a biblical worldview, but we have grown up in cultures that espouse one of the other worldviews. To find out your worldview and then how it may be different from a biblical worldview go to www.focusonthefamily.com/ faith/christian-worldview/ whats-a-christian-worldview/ whats-your-worldview. May God give you insight as you choose to follow Him.
By John Cline
By John Cline
By John Cline
Here is a quick fact about All Saints Day: It happens this week, on November 1st, just like it does every year on November 1st. But, what is it all about?