What is a “perspective,” and how important is it?
The word “perspective” is defined as 1) a view or vista, 2) a mental view or outlook and 3) the appearance of objects in depth as perceived by normal binocular vision.
One’s personal perspective is shaped by the information received during one’s lifetime and by the many events experienced, either directly or indirectly, as a result of that information. Information, and more importantly, what that information really means to any person or group of people, is dependent on the perspective of the listener. That perspective may differ along political, cultural and/or religious lines.
Thanks to the failed/failing public education system in the U.S., people, especially those of the generations from the past 30 years or so, have been conditioned to accept the ideas promoted by their “educators,” who for the most part, end up being their “propagandizers.” In essence, their perspectives have been decided for them, making it easy for them to be led in the direction desired by the propagandizers. Once headed in a certain direction, based on the information they are fed, they are easier to control and mold into the forms desired by the propagandizers.
People who have been programmed to accept as “truth/fact” information provided by the U.S. public education system or the MSM, without giving serious thought to the source of the information, have a perspective that, whether they know it or not, was shaped by propagandizers with a specific agenda. That agenda is to gain a level of control over the thoughts and ideas of those who allow that perspective to guide their lives.
Perspective: Does It Matter and Why?
Nearly every person in the western world is bombarded on a daily basis with an overabundance of information, making “information overload” a very real possibility. The MSM, as well as some “conservative” media outlets, have morphed from a journalistic body that gathers and reports “news,” into a propaganda machine that not only fails to report “news” in an unbiased manner but openly publishes and pushes the pervasive communistic agenda along with its own biased stance on issues that are of critical importance to Americans.
I have seen no polling or surveys that might indicate how the public reads,understands or accepts the mass of information it receives through all the MSM or social media platforms, but I would hazard a wager that no two people see or hear that information in the same way, or understand it in a consistent manner.
Many times the info is intentionally worded so as to be incongruous and thus open to various interpretations that can mean many things to many people. There are so few journalists now who understand how to place words together to make them mean the same thing to all people, but most seem to deliberately make their information confusing.
This “information blast” aims to promote a perspective that benefits those pushing their agenda who use all media to get their information disseminated. That agenda has always included ‘mind control’ as a way of influencing a person’s thoughts, ideas and actions in a direction that will make the permanent long-term goal of physical control, or the ‘Ultimate Control’, easier to achieve.
From Perspective to Premise to Logic
The word “premise” is defined as “a proposition or statement that is assumed to be true and upon which an argument is based, or from which a conclusion is drawn.”
Logic is the study of patterns of reasoning by which the conclusion is “properly drawn” from an established set of premises.
From the above definitions, the importance of the proper shaping of perspective cannot be overstated in a person’s life. If the perspective is biased in a particular direction based on the (possibly invalid) information one has received, the result will be the establishment of incorrect premises which will then create a flawed sense of logic and/or a flawed belief system.
From Premise and Logic to “Foundation of Belief”
Every person has some kind of perspective based on the information they have read, seen or heard and accumulated, and those perspectives determine the premises on which people rely to make good, logical decisions. If one is living with flawed or incorrect premises, the possibility of making sound decisions in any area of life is lessened.
I know there are people who consider themselves to be atheists who would argue they have no belief system at all. They seem to indicate that a person can go through life believing nothing. They might base that argument on the fact that their stance on any given subject is totally contradictory to the stance others, even a majority, might have, but rather than being a lack of belief, it actually proves the presence of some belief, albeit totally different from another person’s. Whether they know it or not, everyone DOES believe something, about almost everything.
The World’s Perspective
When people of one “perspective” can interact peacefully with those of an opposing perspective, discussing their differences reasonably, rationally and logically, and can come to legitimate conclusions, that interaction can produce amazing results and sometimes the perspectives can be changed or at least, the parties can agree to work within the bounds created by each perspective to benefit all. That type of discourse was recognized as the way the system of U.S. government was supposed to work, and did work for many years.
But what happens when reason, rationality and logic are tossed out the window and every person who represents a certain perspective decides that ONLY his perspective should be accepted and all others should be banned? This scenario will usually result in new division, or worsening of a present division, along political, racial or religious lines.
The world (unbelievers) accept as true the information that seems to be of value and validity to them, regardless of, and sometimes in spite of, any proof the information is valuable or even valid. Those who so easily accept this doubtful information tend to jump into areas where they ought not and fail to determine the possible consequences of their actions. This failure then allows the information received from a worldview to influence, or even build, a perspective that is usually in contradiction to that of the Christian view.
A serious problem with the world’s perspective is that is isn’t just one unified view or outlook. There can be as many different perspectives, or viewpoints/outlooks as there are ideas, thoughts or ideologies or even emotions in the world. (Yes, many viewpoints are established on emotion alone, without any consideration of the validity or value of them). Because the information used to establish these perspectives, or outlooks, is provided by many organizations or groups with varied belief systems and political agendas, and because that information can be changed almost immediately with a simple keystroke on a keyboard, most of the world’s perspectives change often and sometimes with grave consequences to those holding them.
Establishing a Christian Perspective
How does the Christian Perspective differ from that of a non-believer? The process of establishing the perspective is nearly the same: information is gathered and carefully considered as to its validity and value.
The person who claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ has, or should have, established a foundation for that claim based on a thorough knowledge of the source of the information used to establish and guarantee the blessed promises contained within.
For the believer, that source MUST be the Bible, the words of prophecy and promise that God Himself inspired and provided to His prophets to pass on to His people, the Jews, and thence on to all non-Jews who would accept Jesus as the promised Savior. The Bible is an accurate historical record and the outline of God’s plan for mankind, but it is far more than that: it is a complete book of instruction on how to live a satisfying and fulfilling life, one that, when the last breath has been drawn, will have been of great benefit to all were a part of it. Those instructions and promises are what truly sets the Christian apart from the unbeliever. The perspective it provides to the believer is one of steadiness that will give the believer an unshakable foundation on which to build and grow.
The Lord God, Creator of the universe and everything in it, repeatedly tells us that HE DOES NOT CHANGE. That statement alone provides us the assurance that, if we adhere to His perspective, we too can maintain a properly established outlook that will serve us well in this life and beyond. Because He does not change, we are also expected to become, and remain, steadfast in our belief. This is one of the most important decisions we will make after we commit to following Jesus Christ as our redeemer and guide through life. He has provided HIS thorough guidebook, The Holy Bible, that lists every word inspired by Him and committed to us for success.
Having reached the conclusion that the information used to establish a Christian perspective is REAL and TRUE, the true believer must go even further and make the conscious decision that no other information can take precedence over that source for the remainder of his or her life. If that decision is made, and becomes one about which there is no questioning and from which there is no retreat, the perspective of a Christian’s life will not only become solidly established, but will never give way to the perspective(s) of the world, the propaganda which Satan has used for millennia to try to establish an evil kingdom on earth.
Maintaining The Christian Perspective
In Ephesians chapter 5, we are given a dissertation by Paul that will lead the believer through the morass of worldviews unto a place where living with a soundly established Christian perspective will enable the Christian live a successful life.
And just to be clear, allow me to elaborate a little on what that successful life is. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with how much money you have accumulated or how many titles and/or degrees you have “earned.” True success in life will be determined by the words you will hear when standing at the Judgment Seat of Christ. If you hear, “Well done thou good and faithful servant; thou has been faithful over a few things, I will make the ruler of many things: enter thou in to the joy of the Lord” (Matthew 25:23 KJV), then you may consider your life to have been successful.
Paul tells the believers in Ephesus to be diligent in avoiding the errors of those still living in the darkness from which they came. He cautions them against allowing themselves to be deceived with “vain (empty, unprofitable) words” (v 6) which will hasten God’s wrath against those who use these deceptive tactics.
After being encouraged to refrain from partaking in the evil practices of the World, and instead to partake of the light that dispels all darkness, Paul warns us all to “walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (v 15-16).
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word “circumspectly” is from the Latin words “circum” (around) and “specere” (to look), meaning to be wary, to look around carefully and it implies the surveying of all possible consequences before acting or deciding. Put into today’s words, it is saying “look before you leap.”
As we live day by day, we must be willing to honestly examine everything that we see or hear, any slight word that could lodge in our minds and, over time, bring wrong-thinking into play. These words are carefully crafted to sound good and desirable, even religious, but unless they line up with the premises we have established in forming our beliefs, they must be rejected as empty and useless. If accepted, they tend to produce actions on our part that could move us into a position of compromise.
This act of living circumspectly, constantly “looking around,” is more than just an outward viewing, it is also an inward viewing, peering diligently into our own souls to ensure that nothing found there is crossways of God’s word. In these times of “inward viewing” we are to challenge every thought and if disobedient, bring them into captivity (2 Corinthians 10:5).
The apostle Paul, the writer of the book of Romans offers some sage advice on gaining and maintaining a Christian perspective. In Romans 12:1-2, he says: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
To clarify, we should 1) Present our bodies, (not to be slain or burned since Jesus has already done that once and for all time), but holy (set apart), acceptable to God (pleasing to Him), which is our reasonable service. We must NOT allow anything in this world to change us (conform us) into the image that seems right to the world, but we must allow God, through our obedience, to transform us to HIS image by the renewing of our minds (think of this command as a computer hard drive that has been “reformatted” and reloaded with new data that aligns with God’s word (His will). This action will allow us to prove (Greek dokimazo, Strong’s 1381, pronounced do-kim-ad’-zo, meaning “to discern”) what the perfect (that which is complete, needing no further work) will of God is for our lives.
This Christian act will reinforce the perspective that MUST be a part of living a life pleasing to God. When done on a regular basis and as an act of commitment to a godly life, the proper perspective will become so ingrained that not even Satan himself can move a person from it.
That perspective, built only on the foundation of God’s word, will become a sound guide through every hardship, snare and stumbling block that can be used against us.
I have never been a fan of making “New Year’s Resolutions,” but the beginning of a new calendar year is as good a time as any to make the decision to examine and “rework” our perspectives as Christians. We are now living in times when that perspective is more important than ever. The world is constantly reinforcing their perspectives and their desire is to force them on us. If our own perspective, founded on God’s word, is strong and sure, theirs will have no impact on our lives.