Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer wrote, “As Christians we are not only to know the right worldview, the worldview that tells us the truth of what is, but consciously to act upon that worldview so as to influence society in all its parts and facets across the whole spectrum of life, as much as we can to the extent of our individual and collective ability.”
A worldview really matters. And everyone has one. It is not a question of whether you have a worldview. It is a question of what kind of worldview you have. Our worldview, the way we see life, is formed by a lot of things. It is formed by the culture we are raised in. It is formed by our upbringing. It is formed by the books we read, our education and the media we expose ourselves to.
The reason our worldview is important is because it is comprehensive. It will affect you in everything that you do, from your personal morality to the way you spend your money to the way you vote to the way you live.
In his book “Think Biblically!” John MacArthur wrote that a Christian worldview is based on two presuppositions: “The first will be the eternal existence of the personal, transcendent, triune, Creator God. Second, the God of Scripture has revealed His character, purposes, and will in the infallible and inerrant pages of His special revelation, the Bible, which is superior to any other source of revelation or human reason alone.”
There is a living God, and he has revealed himself in the Scriptures. Therefore, as a Christian, I believe that I can find absolute truth from the Bible. Regardless of what the culture says, regardless of what is politically correct, regardless of what we feel is right or not right, a Christian bases his or her beliefs on what the Bible teaches. That is what it means to have a Christian worldview. And this will affect the way a Christian sees everything.
But a prevalent worldview today is moral relativism, the belief that there are no absolutes and there is no right or wrong. Moral relativism teaches that we are all products of the evolutionary process, that we are not made by a Creator God, and there is no plan or purpose for our lives. Moral relativism says there is no good, there is no evil, and that we make our own luck and create our own fate. It says we are all basically good, and if we happen to go bad, then it is because we are simply products of our environment.
The funny thing about people who accept moral relativism is they are very tolerant of everyone – except people who have absolute beliefs. Then they suddenly become very intolerant. If you dare to stand up and say, “Well, I believe that the Bible is the word of God,” instead of saying that you have your truth and they have theirs, they will call you a narrow-minded bigot. There is no tolerance for a view like that in our culture today.
Moral relativism may sound fine in theory. I have my truth, you have your truth, and your truth is not necessarily my truth. But what if we were to put it into practice? What if we went out tonight and removed all the traffic lights and stop signs and painted over all the lines in the streets? The next morning it would be chaos. And that is what moral relativism is doing in our culture.
If ever there was a time Christians need to know their Bibles and have a close walk with Christ, that time is now. Listen to this description of the end times given by the apostle Paul: “People will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly” (2 Timothy 3:2–5 NLT). Is that not an accurate description of the times in which we are living?
Some years ago I read the transcript of an interesting interview Marilyn Sewell, a Unitarian minister and self-described “liberal Christian,” did with Christopher Hitchens. She said, “I don’t take the stories from the scripture literally. I don’t believe in the doctrine of atonement (that Jesus died for our sins, for example). Do you make and [sic] distinction between fundamentalist faith and liberal religion?”
Hitchens responded, “I would say that if you don’t believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Christ and Messiah, and that he rose again from the dead and by his sacrifice our sins are forgiven, you’re really not in any meaningful sense a Christian.”
He could define what a Christian believes, while the “liberal Christian” could not. I thought, What’s wrong with this picture? It is this kind of sloppy thinking that has crept into the church today. People have a lot of crazy ideas about God. Our country was founded on what we call Judeo-Christian principles. Many of our Founding Fathers were professed believers in Jesus Christ. Although revisionists have tried to change that narrative, a careful study of history will show that it is true. In 1776, Patrick Henry wrote, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great Nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians, not on religion but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here.”
A biblical worldview is believing there is a God as revealed in the Scriptures, and the Scriptures – and the Scriptures alone – are the authority and source of that belief. It is not what we feel. It is not what is popular. It is not what is acceptable. It is not what is perceived as cool. It is what the Bible says. And when we come up with our own version of God, then we are essentially making a god in our own image.