Hey everyone! Last time I wrote for the midweek I was overwhelmed by the amount of support I received, so I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for all the thoughtful messages and texts. They were a huge blessing, so thanks again!
Recently, I attended Summit again. (I talked about some of my experiences at Summit in the last midweek I wrote for, so if you’re curious, check it out! It’s on the church website.) Due to some scheduling issues, I was not able to go in person. However, they have an online option, which is a fantastic way of experiencing Summit without the extra costs of traveling. I mostly did Summit again to receive credit for college, although I left being challenged in my beliefs. Again, if you’re planning to go to college, I highly recommend doing Summit, because it provides a solid foundation against attacks on Christianity from the secular college environment, and you can receive college credit while doing so.
It’s really cool, because every time I’ve attended Summit I always pick up something new. This time, mainly because I was focusing on the papers I needed to write for the credits, I started comparing Christianity with some of the other worldviews out there. As I was processing all the information, I was surprised at what I discovered. While at college, some of the ideas from false worldviews found their way into my thinking. I believe that as a church, we need to learn these patterns of ideas in order to “demolish arguments” and “take captive every thought” (2 Corinthians 10:5) to learn how to guard against these false ideas. As Jeff Myers (one of my all time favorite speakers) describes, we need to “inoculate” ourselves against the idea viruses throughout our world. His book that discusses this, The Battle of Ideas about God, is in the church library.
Anyways, while studying, I started to realize that little pieces from different worldviews had started finding their way into my thinking. What was even scarier was that I realized that some of these ideas had been picked up and discussed in different Christian circles and Bible studies I’ve been in throughout the years. For example, Postmodernism is a worldview that talks about how everything is individualized. Your truth is as valid as my truth, and no one can know The Truth. Any religion that claims to know Truth is wrong, and to be viewed with suspicion. This is an extreme version of Postmodernism, but I’ve seen in my own thinking how it’s infiltrated my thoughts. Have you ever heard someone talk about a Bible verse, or been asked, “What does this verse mean to you?” This is Postmodernism! Reinterpreting a Bible verse to fit your life is a subtle form of Postmodernism, and it is dangerous. Does God speak to us through the Bible? Absolutely. But God also wrote the Bible in a specific time, and understanding the context is vital. A better question to ask would be, “What was the intent of the author and what was he trying to communicate through this verse? And how can this apply to us today?” This way, we can understand the original intent of the author instead of trying to make the verse fit us.
There were lots of moments in the past few weeks where God has been bringing to my mind faulty thinking and unconscious bad habits I’ve picked up from the ideas at college. It’s not so much the really obvious false beliefs (like Evolution) that are dangerous. It’s the subtle ideas that feel good and have just enough truth to make them sound right. We have to stay in the Bible to understand Truth, and, as I mentioned before, I believe that studying the patterns of false beliefs can highlight the bad ideas. Ideas and beliefs lead to convictions, which result in habits that inform how we act every day. As Summit speakers likes to say, Ideas have consequences, and Bad Ideas have victims.
Another thing is that it can seem super overwhelming at times to study every single religion out there. I remember feeling overwhelmed by the tsunami of information and crazy thinking out there. There’s even a religion of the Jedi order listed in world religions, which is hilarious but also shows the power of bad ideas spread through the media we consume. What Summit does, and I really love, is they break up all the religions into six different categories. These patterns of ideas form six main worldviews: Secularism, Marxism, Postmodernism, New Spirituality, Islam, and Christianity. Understanding the foundation of these worldviews is important to isolating the bad ideas and replacing them with God’s Truth.
If anyone wants to learn more, there’s a ton of resources out there. This midweek was a very brief description of hours of listening to speakers and reading books, so I wasn’t able to be very detailed. Summit has some great resources, and the worldview talks about the six different systems of beliefs are provided in a CD set in their bookstore. And if anyone is interested in more information about Summit or attending Summit, let me know, I’d love to share. Thanks for reading, I appreciate you all!