January 28, 2010
People often ask me why worldview is so important. Here's a timely—and disturbing—example.
For years Catholic Charities has served the poor of Washington D.C. They run shelters for the homeless, feed the hungry, and care for foster children. The city pays Catholic Charities $20 million for the services, and Catholic Charities kicks in $10 million of its own money. It also provides a caring army of 3,000 volunteers.
But now all those ministries may come to an abrupt end, thanks to a clash in worldviews.
A few weeks ago the D.C. city council passed a bill legalizing same-sex "marriage," and now Congress is reviewing it. If the law goes into effect, Catholic Charities will be in violation of it. Why? Because as a city contractor, Catholic Charities would be required to obey all city laws—including the same-sex "marriage" law.
That means that Catholic Charities would have to offer employment benefits to same-sex couples and place children with homosexual couples who want to adopt. In other words, it would be required to violate church teachings.
Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont, all of which have same-sex "marriage" laws, made exemptions for religious groups. D.C. could have, too, but its leaders chose not to. Why?
As Emily Esfahani Smith concludes in the Wall Street Journal, "In the conflict between gay rights and religious rights, the city favors gay rights."
Or to put it another way, we are seeing a "clash of orthodoxies," as Princeton scholar Robby George put it—a clash between the Judeo-Christian worldview, which honors God's teachings about sexuality, marriage, and family, and a secular worldview, which does not. Nor will secular elites accept a "live and let live" policy; they are determined to force everyone, including Christians, to acknowledge the rightness of their views.
And we're accused of trying to force our views on others?
Well, the Archbishop of Washington, Donald Wuerl, thank God, is a courageous fighter for righteousness and biblical truth. He's refused to give in, because it would be tantamount to recognizing same-sex "marriage" as legitimate. So the church must either withdraw from its charities, or find some way to serve the poor that does not involve city funds. And Washingtonians will probably have to spend tens of millions of dollars more on programs for the poor than it currently does.
Battles like these are why we need to understand worldview. We need to understand our opponents' views and be able to counter them—and defend our own positions. This is why I urge you to download a free Bible study about the Manhattan Declaration. Go to ColsonCenter.org and we'll show you how.
The Manhattan Declaration defines worldview; it takes biblical truth and applies it to the three pressing moral issues of our day: Life, liberty, and marriage.
If you haven't signed the Manhattan Declaration, I urge you to do so, and then download that Bible Study and get to work.
The battle lines are being drawn; we need to know how to defend biblical truth, and know the point at which we must resist. As we put it in the Manhattan Declaration, "We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar's. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God's."
Chuck Colson's daily BreakPoint commentary airs each weekday on more than one thousand outlets with an estimated listening audience of one million people. BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today's news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print.