Spiritual stories are a hot commodity. This was evident in the leaflet thrust into my hand by an eager panhandler in downtown Edinburgh. “Storyteller Angela Knowles is on a journey into the rich and diverse world of stories in faiths and spiritualities. Would you like to share that exploration?” The pamphlet was a reminder that postmodern values are alive and well, a way of thinking that assigns equal value to stories of all faiths. We label such “stories” as worldviews. Worldviews are innumerable—Atheism, Animism, Monotheism, Pantheism, Polytheism, Empiricism, to name only a few. A religion is a worldview. No doubt the Scottish storytelling emporium would have resembled the first-century philosophers in Athens who,
“…spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.” (Acts 17:21)
Sharing such a hodgepodge of worldviews would be like map makers around the globe coming together to show off their latest drawings, only instead of using compass references, such as North and South, each would have invented their own set of directions. Such maps would create confusion. Maps need agreed upon coordinates. For hundreds of years, travelers have used maps and compasses to guide them in their journeys. A compass needle is attracted to the earth’s pull and responds by pointing to magnetic north. Knowing that point of reference allows you to align North on your map, and then with the aid of a compass, determine where to go. But a compass user has to be careful. A magnet or heavy metal object can act as a false north, attracting the needle and sending the user in the wrong direction. In the same way, the Biblical story is like a ‘Divine North’ tugging hard at the compass-needle of man’s heart. But other forces, sinister ones, are at work in the minds of men—ones like the fanciful fables being trotted out in Edinburgh. They function like magnets that pull our spiritual compass off course—in the wrong direction. It is like walking through life wearing a giant magnet around our neck, our spiritual compass pointing self-ward. It is as the Bible declares,
We have turned, every one, to his own way… (Isaiah 53:6 NKJ)
In life, mankind is badly in need of a spiritual compass that reliably points to the Biblical worldview. When the Biblical story is properly understood, the Spirit of God uses it as a powerful draw. People rethink their worldviews. There is a drawing of ones internal compass-needle away from a self-ward fixation and onto Divine North. So convinced was the Apostle Paul of the power inherent in the Biblical story, he asserted,
“…It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16 NAB)
It is our duty as ambassadors of the Lord to invite others to explore the Bible’s message—to point people to their Creator. When presented clearly, the Bible is a story that eclipses all others. And people listen. We often hear responses such as, “This just has to be true. I believe it!” When this happens, it’s a good indication that a compass-needle has moved—to Divine North!