A Worldview Problem
By: Deji Yesufu
It is Friday, 24th November, 2023. I am seated at Ace Mall, situated in Bodija, by a central spot in Ibadan that people like to call “Housing Roundabout”. I had been doing some marketing for my new book, HUMANITY, and was whiling away time as I awaited word from a distributor. Where I am seated, I can see through the windows of a hair salon. What caught my attention was that a lady was plaiting the hair of a man. Ordinarily, there shouldn’t be anything wrong with a man wearing plaited hair. It is just that as backward as we are in Nigeria, we are still sane enough for responsible men not to wear braids here. I cannot wear braided hair to work. Doctors, male nurses, lawyers, etc, will not wear braided hair in the Nigeria of today. When you see young men wearing braided hair in this clime, they are either Yahoo Boys or, at best, musicians. I know a few boys in the IT industry who wear such but largely it is not common. As I looked at the young man, I concluded that what is at the root of this young man’s thinking is a worldview problem. While all men share one humanity, what distinguishes us is our thinking: our worldview. Your worldview could either be good or bad. PubMed Central defines worldview thus: “A worldview is a collection of attitudes, values, stories and expectations about the world around us, which inform our every thought and action. Worldview is expressed in ethics, religion, philosophy, scientific beliefs and so on (Sire, 2004). A worldview is how a culture works out in individual practice.”
When a child is born, the mind of that child arrives in our world as an empty slate of some sort. As the child grows, things are written on that slate that form his or her beliefs, which in turn will determine how the individual will behave. Because the Christian Faith is very interested in the subject of good and evil, behaviours and their corresponding outcomes, the Bible is concerned with children being properly instructed. Such that their worldview is biblical, redemptive and laced with the fear of God. One child is born into the world, surrounded by a depraved worldview, grows into an animal of a man, and leaves this world a menace rather than a help to society. Another child grows up in a godly, responsible and productive community, and imbibes this culture. Everywhere he goes, he oozes out good which is the product of a well-rounded productive worldview.
The immediate question one wants to ask is this: what informs the worldview in a young man to plait his hair and strut around society that way? I will hazard a few guesses. First, maybe, Big Brother Naija. He has spent hours watching housemates do nothing but eat, argue and fight over nothing during the day, while they have sex at night. He is probably an upcoming artist, trying to break into the already saturated music industry, while he eyes being selected as a housemate one day so that he can go on to build a show biz career. Etc. Or, he might have hammered big from some maga and is now plotting a future with some elderly white lady who is convinced she has found the love of her life. In short, the young man’s life is built on the ephemeral. He forgets that the hair he plaits so nicely today will tomorrow degenerate into baldness. He forgets that his glories and strength today will result in weakness and dependence tomorrow. This worldview has no plans for old age; it has no lessons for generations to come; and it has no hope of eternity. The worldview a child possesses may either be good or bad. The very manner you interpret this article will depend on whether your worldview is good or bad. The deception of the age is to say that every man has a right to his thinking, his philosophy and worldview. While on the surface this is true, ultimately, we must agree that some worldviews are beneficial and others are not. I shudder at the thoughts of the mindset of a child born to a Boko Haram terrorist in the heart of Sambisa Forest. That child cannot be normal. Pure and simple.
I have chosen to pursue a calling to Christian ministry because I am convinced that only the Christian worldview is beneficial both for this world and the world to come. In my book, HUMANITY, I argue that the Christian worldview is at the heart of everything functional, productive and wholesome in our world today. Besides, the Christian message alone can bring around all-round changes to the worldview of a man. It does not matter what is built into the mind of a man, the moment a heart is possessed by the Holy Spirit, God begins to rewrite every faulty worldview that man possesses. It begins with the man submitting to the laws of God, then that man bringing those laws to bear on every facet of his life. So that the whole matter of renewing of mind scripture counsels (Romans 12:2), will involve a whole round change of worldview from bad to good. Growth in holiness is essentially the sanctification of a man’s worldview which ultimately leads to a renewing of a man’s way of life. The man simply becomes a better person and the world can testify to it.
It takes one possessing a certain worldview to kill another human being. My children’s catechism brings us to the sixth commandment: thou shall not kill. It goes further to ask: What does this commandment teach us? Answer: you must avoid angry passions. In my children’s worldview it is not enough to avoid killing another man, they know already that anger is a sin and angry passions must be avoided. We must bring our wrath under God’s power and influence. While I labour to bring a well-rounded worldview to my kids, some other child is building his worldview on cartoons and Hollywood. The state of our world is essentially a worldview problem. We can begin to right society by ensuring that men grow up with wholesome learning and worldviews. And where the man is depraved and beyond repair, there is still the power of God in the gospel that makes a man a new creation – bringing him into a whole new kind of way of thinking; a whole new worldview.