Phillip Johnson, the lawyer who launched a movement to challenge the scientific dogma of atheistic evolution, once wrote that a basic knowledge of worldview is an absolutely necessary part of any Christian’s toolkit today.
If we didn’t have reason to believe that before, we certainly do after the last week as our president and vice president voiced their endorsement of so-called same-sex “marriage.” Their opinion wasn’t a surprise, but in light of the results of the North Carolina ballot initiative and initiatives on the ballots of so many other states this fall, this fight over the definition of marriage will be hotter than it ever has been in our country.
In my own state of Colorado, the legislative session had one of the most dramatic endings in state history when a civil union’s bill was prevented from reaching the floor. Any delusion of a Republican success was short lived when Governor John Hickenlooper, for the first time in 15 years, called the legislators back for a special session to force the debate, saying, “It’s a civil rights issue.”
But like Eric said on yesterday’s BreakPoint, all of this political noise is downstream from culture. Eric quoted Chuck, who often would remind us that politics alone can’t save us, because politics is nothing more than reflection of culture.
Then Chuck would always ask, and this is the most important part, what is culture? It’s the cult – or the beliefs and worship – of a people, a reflection of what they most deeply believe about the ultimate questions of life. In other words, culture is nothing more than the application of the worldview of a group of people.
I don’t know about you, but the most frustrating part of this debate about marriage for me is the difficulty in communicating what the debate is actually about. And many Christians feel stumped when the question comes up in conversation – I mean, how do you answer without sounding like a bigot?
Well, that’s where worldview training comes in. First, it offers insight, biblical insight, into why we and others hold the values we do so you don’t get lost in language games. So, when someone says gay “marriage” or civil unions is a “civil right,” you’ll recognize that a behavior and an inclination has been equated with an identity. But those are very different things.
Worldview insight takes your understanding beyond the current talk about Christian values versus non-Christian values, to the more fundamental issues of what is true about reality.
Second, worldview training provides foresight. You see, you realize that ideas have consequences, often unintended ones. I hear too many Christians repeat the argument, how will homosexual “marriage” impact my life? What that argument completely misses is the recognition of alterative relationships as marriage in law forces the recognition of those relationships as marriage by businesses, clergy, neighbors, school teachers, and everyone else. We might hear promises that freedom of conscience will be protected, but the thoughtful Christian will realize those promises are empty – just like the promises that assured contraception laws wouldn’t violate our conscience proved empty in the HHS mandate.
All Christians need the insight and foresight that worldview thinking provides. I fear that far too many of us listened to the Chuck Colsons and Francis Schaeffers for years and thought – well, I sure am glad someone cares about those issues.
But you see, that wasn’t good enough for Chuck. He knew all Christians – for the sake of the church, and the sake of the culture – needed to understand the fullness of the Christian worldview. And he was so proud of the Centurions Program he established, and the scores of Centurions – like Kristin Waggoner, Jimmy Lin, Nancy Fitzgerald and John Murray – who were engaging culture themselves using the training they received in the Centurions program.
So, is worldview in your toolkit? Should you join the Centurions? The deadline to apply is May 18.
Publication date: May 15, 2012