The Battle of Worldviews
January 16, 2020 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments
Posted in: Pastoral Encouragement
This weekend is significant for the cultural, political, and moral battles in America. January 19 is the National Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, corresponding to the anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. Ronald Reagan initiated this annual tradition in 1984 stating that in Roe v. Wade the Supreme Court “struck down our laws protecting the lives of unborn children.”
Monday, January 20, is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national holiday commemorating the life and contributions of the great civil rights leader. Incidentally, Reagan signed this national holiday into law in 1983.
Both of these observed days deal with the sanctity of human life. One of the unborn; the other of all ethnicities. Both issues, however, tend to be highly volatile and contentious in the cultural and political scenes. How should Christians navigate these debates?
One of the most important things a Christian can do in these contentions is to recognize how one’s worldview shapes the debate. In fact, I would argue that the debates surrounding abortion and race and the more recent sexual revolution are so contentious in America because there is a fundamental conflict of worldview. Christians need to understand what worldviews are and how they shape the entire argument.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines worldview: “a comprehensive conception or apprehension of the world especially from a specific standpoint.” In other words, a worldview is like a pair of glasses through which we interpret everything in the world. Everyone has a worldview. It shapes how we respond to situations, good or bad. Our worldview directs our emotional responses.
This “comprehensive apprehension of the world” is formed by our answers to three fundamental questions:
- What is paradise? What is the perfect ideal for life? For what are we ultimately made? What is our chief end?
- Why don’t we live in paradise? What has gone wrong? Who is to blame for the lack of paradise?
- How can we regain or achieve paradise? How do we solve our problem to make things right?
As a Christian, the Gospel and Scripture ought to shape our answers to those questions. Unfortunately, not everyone who professes to be a Christian submits to the authority of Scripture in this way. A biblical worldview would answer those three main questions like this:
Paradise is living in perfect relationship with our Creator.
We don’t live in paradise because we have sinned against our Creator. Our Creator rescues us from our sin through the sacrifice of his Son, so we can enjoy the promise of paradise.
That’s the short form of our biblical worldview. Scripture fleshes out details of this worldview that impact how Christians understand human life, the unborn and all ethnicities. God has created every human being in his image with the chief end of enjoying relationship with him. Every human being is equally sacrosanct because of God’s design. Therefore, we do not take human life but seek to advocate for those who are oppressed.
Those who oppose a biblical view of sexuality or the sanctity of human life typically have a different underlining worldview. Their idea of “paradise” is not related to God but to self. The obstacle to paradise is anything that opposes individuality or self-expression. The solution is the freedom of restraints against individuality.
This conflict between a biblical worldview and a secular worldview feeds the contentious debate over these issues, and they often go unacknowledged. As Christians, we are better grounded when we allow Scripture to form and strengthen our worldview. And we are better equipped to analyze and engage cultural issues when we can discern the underlining worldview convictions.