• Five-Time Oscar Winner Reminds Us: A Person’s Worldview Determines Everything

    Surge summary: Director Francis Ford Coppola reveals his worldview through his statements about “no hell” and “heaven on earth” — reminding us that the prism through which a person views life determines what are his beliefs and convictions.

    In an extensive Wall Street Journal interview with world-famous director, Francis Ford Coppola of “Godfather” fame, he shared about his new film project presenting utopia here on earth. He also told us that, “There is no hell, but the other news is that this here is heaven!” (WSJ 8/17/19). He’d been raised in a strong Catholic, Italian family so obviously he’s embracing a different worldview than that of Scripture and Roman Catholicism.

    In his classic, Oscar winning “Godfather” series, the brilliant director featured a mafia kingpin making a memorable line often repeated to this day. “I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse.” It’s apparent Mr. Coppola offers listeners a “deal” if they accept his belief about no eternal judgment and that they can escape accountability to a loving but holy and just God.

    According to the Bible, the wisest human being who ever lived was Solomon. In his collection of divinely inspired wisdom he stated, “A prudent man foresees the evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished” (Prv.27:12).

    He also summarized his lifetime of learning with these words, “Now all has been heard. Let us hear the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep His commandments for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Eccl.12:13-14).

    Jesus came to redeem us but made it clear we must repent and trust Him alone for salvation.  He reinforced the doctrine of eternal judgment in which hell is real and real people go there.

    Secular vs. Scriptural Worldview

    A biblical worldview means the lens through which we view reality. It’s our personal belief system based on convictions riveted rock-solid in the authoritative, divinely-inspired Word of God.

    God’s charge to us: be courageous amidst opposition and live by convictions not necessarily what’s popular or politically correct. This has become increasingly important in light of the Barna Research report showing only 1 in 10 Americans have a Biblical worldview and only 4 percent of Millenials!

    “…all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But continue in the things that you have learned and have been assured (“convinced of”)” (2Tim.3:13-14 NIV).

    Beliefs are what we hold. Convictions are what hold us!

    It’s enlightening to contrast prevailing unbiblical worldviews circulating in our culture with those grounded in sacred Scripture. Examining these worldviews side-by-side helps us to grasp the stark differences between authentic and counterfeit perspectives.

    In our culture today many are deceived into believing we can accommodate error, look for “common ground” and then gather to sing “Kumbaya” in sentimental interfaith services. A Methodist university in Virginia recently hired a Muslim chaplain to complement a cleric who’s an LGBTQ advocate in their Spiritual Life Office. “Hey, we’re progressive…this is diversity… we all pray to the same God anyway and we’re committed to being welcoming and all-inclusive!” They’re in serious error, in fact heresy!

    Professing Christian leader Rob Bell sells scores of books and propagandizes people on campuses and in churches peddling his secular, heretical belief on the absence of eternal judgment.

    “Secular” doesn’t necessarily mean atheism. It comes from the Latin word “saeculum” which means “time or age” – focusing on this age alone; rejecting religion and eternity.

    What you believe determines how you live and where you’ll go when you die.  People flourish or flounder and face eternal separation from God based on their worldview.           

                                         The Scriptural “Sweet Sixteen”

          The following is not an exhaustive list but it helps us with some core

    beliefs of Christianity. These are non-negotiables – fundamentals of our

    historic Bible-based faith.


    ISSUE                          SECULAR VIEW                    SCRIPTURAL VIEW

    Truth                     Subjective and experiential                Objective and Biblical

    (what feels true to me)                                      (“true truth” revealed by                                                                                                                 divine decree)

    Bible                         Religious book with stories                     Inerrant and inspired

    and helpful insights                                 revealed will of God

    Origins                   Evolution and man-centered                          Creation and God-centered

    Man’s Condition        Inherently good and                          Originally sinful and hopeless

    ever-evolving                                    without redemption
    Source of Problems    Ignorance, environment,                  Fallen condition and need

    victim mentality                                for personal responsibility

    God                          Whoever, whatever or denial            Loving Creator, merciful

    Savior, righteous Judge

    Plight                       Ignorant of potential; evolving            Separated from God                                                                                                                                                                                  (spiritually dead)

    Sin                         Redefined as sickness, addiction          Willful violation of God’s

    or weakness                                               commands given for His

    glory and our good

    Solution              Legislation and education                  Regeneration (spiritual rebirth –                                                                                                                                                           supernatural transformation)

    Provision              Education, science,                        The Person and finished work of

    technology and therapy                   Jesus Christ, mankind’s only                                                                                                                                                                 Redeemer

    Jesus                 One of history’s many                     Son of God, Sovereign Lord

    religious leaders                              and mankind’s only Savior

    Response         Better self through human effort           Change direction (repent) and

    and possible charitable activity                trust Jesus Christ alone for
    Change           Excuse, blameshift, plead ignorance,     By God’s grace “put off”

    rationalize                                                    harmful habits and “put on”
    responses of obedience                                                                                                                                                                           reflecting His character

    Afterlife              Denied, ignored, reincarnated, all            Body decomposes awaiting

    saved; Hell only for history’s worst          future resurrection while
    spirit/soul enters heaven or                                                                                                                                                                    hell based on one’s response                                                                                                                                                                  to gospel

    Judgment         Nonexistent as “God is Love”                 Obedience is rewarded and                                                                                                                                                                    disobedience punished by a                                                                                                                                                                    just, holy and loving God

    Purpose of Life       Self actualization, pursuit of              Glorify God and fulfill one’s

    pleasure and pleasing oneself,           destiny by joyful service,

    acquisition of fame and fortune          obedience and pleasing God

    Here’s the Deal: Living in a time like one spoken of in Scripture when “Everyone did what was right in his eyes” (Judg.17:6), we must prioritize developing an uncompromisingly biblical worldview. Then with confidence and compassion let’s be “salt” as Jesus directed as a bulwark against the avalanche of deception rampant today.

    Look for the debut of the “Here’s the Deal” podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network to engage and encourage you to be an informed influencer in these days of deception but incredible opportunity.

    The views expressed here are the author’s and not necessarily those of Daily Surge.

    Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

    Larry Tomczak

    Larry Tomczak, with over 45 years of trusted ministry experience, has trained leaders and planted dozens of churches in the U.S. and abroad. He’s the author of 10 books including the 1/4 million bestseller “Clap Your Hands!” and the innovative, video-supplemented “Bullseye Challenge” which develops informed influencers in 30 days. His weekly commentaries reach millions on Charisma News, World Net Daily, Barbwire, The Christian Post, ChurchGrowth.org and Intercessors for America. He’s a speaker for professional sports teams and currently seen on the major Christian TV networks and heard weekly on “InfoAmerica” broadcasts.

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