Recently I was asked to speak to an audience of grandparents about Lightgliders. I shared how the Lightgliders virtual world game is the result of looking for a culturally relevant and global way to impact the next generation with biblical faith and values. I talked about how kids get to enter into a story-based adventure and learn five specific values–purpose, humility, confidence, hope, and love.

During a time of Q&A, I was asked by a sweet lady why I didn’t make Lightgliders more inclusive. I didn’t fully understand the question, so I asked for greater clarification. She said,

“You are limiting your audience by implying that those ‘Lightglider values’ are only Christian. They are universal values shared by every religion.”

With two hundred people watching, I responded diplomatically and incoherently. I thanked her for the comment and mumbled something about all the faith activities in Lightgliders being optional.

Let me try again. And let me be more clear.

The idea of universal values is a myth. Values are not universally shared among the world’s religions or philosophies. They come from a place of belief, and the five Lightglider values explicitly come from a belief in the Christian faith as taught by the Bible. Here’s how:

  • Purpose. The Bible teaches that God created us and did so in His image. Therefore, specific purpose exists for our lives. We can live as if our lives matter, because they do.
  • Humility. The Bible teaches that we are severely flawed due to our selfishness. So, even on our best day, we’re not that great and have little reason to live with pride.
  • Confidence. The Bible teaches that Jesus, God’s Son, died for our sins at the cross. So, even on our worst day, we are greatly loved by the Creator. If the One we’ve offended the most loves us the most, we have reason to be secure.
  • Hope. The Bible teaches that God will restore this broken world. All suffering and selfishness will cease. No matter how dark our days are, we can trust that the future will be brighter. Maybe not tomorrow, but some day.
  • Love. The Bible teaches that God is love. And the cross is our proof. This is our basis for love and our example.

I do not know how to substantiate these five values with another religion or philosophy. But I can with Christianity. The reality is that we all have values stemming from a belief system that we have adopted or created. We should investigate what they are and from where they come.

Let’s consider for a moment a value that is assumed to be universal–love. Who should we love? And to what extent? Your understanding of the scope and depth of love will vary greatly depending on what you look to as its basis and ultimate example. Therefore, love is not a universal value.

At the heart of Christianity is a man dying for his enemies so that they can live. That’s a love that is inclusive and sacrificial. That’s a love worth adopting as a value and teaching to kids.

This kind of love is not a universal value, but it will change the world. And it has.