Building the Wall Part 1

Whenever we hear teaching regarding the book of Nehemiah the subject of the wall around Jerusalem is generally raised (okay, pun intended). In reading Nehemiah, we discover that his major focus as a leader was the rebuilding of the wall to protect the city. He had a God-given mission birthed in intercession, that was rooted in his concern for Jerusalem. If you are not familiar with the book of Nehemiah, once he started rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem, he monitored progress, encouraged others, dealt with opposition and remained focused until the task was complete.

We see Nehemiah’s mission come about in chapter one (1:1-8) when he identified the problem and responded with intercession. In chapter two he acted when given the opportunity to do something about the problem he saw (2:1-8). We see Nehemiah’s motivation here.

3 And they said to me, “The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.” 4 So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven. Nehemiah 1:3-4 (NKJV)

Let’s connect rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem to rebuilding a scriptural worldview. If you are not familiar with the concept of worldview, think of it like wearing glasses. Our prescription determines how we see. In my book, and daily life, I define worldview simply as, “The lens through which we view and interpret reality.” For us as the church to change our worldview to align with scripture, we, like Nehemiah, first need to do an assessment of the present state of the worldview of the church. This requires an honest look at what Christians believe to understand how badly the “walls” of our worldview have been neglected. Warning, the numbers are sobering and the walls are badly in need of repair!

Here is some of what Christians believe about their world. The following statistics are excerpts from my book, Worldview: The Adventure of Seeing Through Scripture (available on Amazon). The statistics highlight the problem in the church regarding what Christians believe.

In the 2018 State of Theology Study sponsored by Ligonier Ministries, LifeWay Research polled 3,000 Americans and asked them a number of questions about God, Christian ethics and religion in general. They found:

  • 32 percent of those with evangelical beliefs say their religious beliefs are not objectively true.
  • 51 percent of those with evangelical beliefs also believe God accepts the worship of all religions, including Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.
  • 78 percent of those with evangelical beliefs also believe Jesus is the first and greatest being created by God.

Many Americans who hold evangelical beliefs about the Bible, salvation, and Jesus Christ, also hold beliefs that are not (in) keeping with Scripture.[1]

More recent research on worldview continues to paint a bleak picture. Here are some highlights from the 2021 worldview survey completed by George Barna and the Cultural Research Center (CRC) at Arizona Christian University in Glendale, Arizona and released August 31, 2021. The CRC uses the following categories in their research.

“The segments explored include those who call themselves Christian; self-identified born-again Christians; self-described evangelical Christians; people who theological beliefs establish them as born-again Christians; and people who possess a biblical worldview (referred to as Integrated Disciples).”[2]

The percentages who hold to biblical worldview is very telling. The study found that only 6% of those who claim to be Christian hold to a biblical worldview, that is those who live their beliefs. I won’t go through the data on every category. Samples will suffice. Here is what those who profess to be Christians believe that is at odds with scripture. Among the errant perspectives most widely embraced are:

• 72% argue that people are basically good

• 71% consider feelings, experience, or the input of friends and family as their most trusted sources of moral guidance

• 66% say that having faith matters more than which faith you pursue

• 64% say that all religious faiths are of equal value

• 58% believe that if a person is good enough, or does enough good things, they can earn their way into Heaven

• 58% contend that the Holy Spirit is not a real, living being but is merely a symbol of God’s power, presence, or purity

• 57% believe in karma

• 52% claim that determining moral truth is up to each individual; there are no moral absolutes that apply to everyone, all the time.[3]

By contrast, those who embrace a biblical worldview, the Integrated Disciples, hold to the following. There are a number of issues for which a shockingly large minority of Integrated Disciples challenges biblical principles include the following beliefs:

• 25% say there is no absolute moral truth

• 33% believe in karma

• 39% contend that the Holy Spirit is not a real, living being but is merely a symbol of God’s power, presence, or purity

• 42% believe that having faith matters more than which faith you pursue

• 52% argue that people are basically good[4]

These stats highlight the errant beliefs that the best of the best in the church hold. While the above stats are from the US, there is reason to see a major difference in Canada given how much our two countries are affected by similar cultural and social media influences. This is sadly the present state of the church.

However, if we follow Nehemiah’s process, we in the church can rebuild the wall of our worldview. We can assess our own worldview to identify whether we hold a worldview at odds with scripture (most of us do), seek the Lord in intercession and then respond with a plan of action. To that end in my next post (Part 2) I will look more specifically at a plan of action regarding how we shift our worldview to align with scripture based around Paul’s great apostolic heart cry ‘Until Christ be formed in you’ (Galatians 4:19).


[1] Aaron Earls https://factsandtrends.net/2018/10/26/what-do-evangelicals-believe-about-god/ Accessed March 5, 2019.

[2] CRC_AWVI2021_Release06_Digital_01_20210831.pdf (arizonachristian.edu) Accessed September 24, 2021

[3]  CRC_AWVI2021_Release06_Digital_01_20210831.pdf (arizonachristian.edu) Accessed September 24, 2021

[4] CRC_AWVI2021_Release06_Digital_01_20210831.pdf (arizonachristian.edu) Accessed September 24, 2021

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Randy

I have been walking with Jesus since 1985. I am currently retired from my career in the helping professions but still focused on ministering to others. I completed a Doctorate of Philosophy in Apologetics in September 2020.

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