I sometimes think those of us who are Christians are not sensitive enough to the prevailing secular worldview endorsed by mainstream editors and reporters, and the entertainment industry. After all, do not most people of goodwill really want what is "good" for themselves -- and others? That being the case, what does the end result of a society filled with millions of individuals committed to a relativistic, secular worldview look like -- now that we are well down that road -- and how does it differ from the effects of a Christian worldview?
Dick and Jane, Heather and Harry, are two couples living the good life in Suburbia, USA. Dick has a good job with a dot.com that actually made it -- at least for now -- and Jane edits feminist poetry compilations from her home office. Harry is a builder, and Heather a stay-at-home mom.
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Dick didn't know it, but at the New Year's eve block party Jane saw him slip out the back door and disappear with Julie, another neighbor's college-age daughter. Jane followed them, and -- right there in the backseat of Dick's BMW -- saw them having sex. Jane returned to the party, only to be consoled by Heather, who explained that all men were like that, she'd experienced the same thing with Harry and that if Jane wanted to experience real love, she needed to look for it with another woman. Jane, who'd been curious for a long time, used her anger to propel herself into letting go.
The two women formed a bond. Jane filed for divorce and custody of their two girls -- citing Dick's ongoing affair as evidence that he was an unfit father. The court awarded Jane custody, and granted the house as part of her settlement, leaving Dick with his dot.com stock options, which two months later became worthless. Harry also divorced Heather. He,
too, applied for custody of their two boys, citing Heather's lesbian affair. The court denied this, ruling that Heather's and Jane's ongoing relationship was evidence of a "loving, committed relationship." Harry kept the business; Heather got the house and their retirement fund.
Harry, who had always been active in civic affairs because of his business, became involved in supporting the Girl Scouts. Due to his secretary's unexpected illness, Harry was obliged to host a self-esteem building wilderness weekend for 15 girls, ages 13 to 15, with only Marsha, his secretary's 17-year-old daughter to help. That weekend, as part of the esteem-building process, Harry had sex with two of the girls, one 13 and one 15. The 15-year-old became pregnant, but a school counselor arranged for an abortion. Her parents were never told. A year later, again pregnant, she committed suicide. The 13-year-old told her parents. Harry went to jail.
Heather knew her two boys needed a male influence in their lives, so she involved them in the Boy Scouts. Fred, the troop leader, urged her to sign the parental waiver for a weekend camping trip for her 8-year-old son. Fred -- knowing the boy was desperate for male
companionship -- used the time with Johnnie to build a special relationship. They had sex a month later, while Heather thought they were taking in a movie. The relationship continued, but a year later Johnnie became ill. A blood test revealed that he was HIV positive. Heather and Jane drifted apart and moved to other areas of the country.
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This story can go on -- and in fact it will -- for as long as we are prepared to tolerate the fallout. The families I've described here are compilations of today's headlines and entertainment. But the simple fact is -- no element of the behavior I've described would be condemned as harmful by any major media outlet in America today. In fact, much of the
entertainment industry dispenses just such nonsense as their prescription for happiness day in and day out, where it is absorbed by those "just listening to it in the background." Amazingly enough, these same editors and reporters craft stories daily on the disastrous effects on individual lives that this behavior brings about: teenage pregnancy, drug abuse,
rape, abortion, adultery, divorce, suicide and murder. Are these people really all incapable of making the connection -- or is something else at work here?
Secular society, you see, has sworn itself to a code of "tolerance." To some of us, it looks a lot like the code of silence found in old black and white mobster movies. "If I don't point out your bit of vice, you won't mention mine. And as heaven knows -- nobody's perfect!" Since human history has demonstrated that there is no practical limit to the varieties of vice, it follows that, in the end, everything becomes permissible. Citing behaviors that are hurtful to other individuals, and hurtful collectively to our society and nation as a whole, only provides evidence of one's "intolerance." One thing the secular world can agree on and is able to feel good about today is dumping its collective hatred on anyone who dares to be "intolerant" -- applying a yardstick to someone else's behavior. For without donning the mask of the hypocrite, a nation of men and women looking out on the world from behind their secular windowpane -- observing and writing about the daily carnage they see -- really have no hope of improving mankind's plight. To do so requires that we acknowledge one lifestyle as superior to another -- our society's only remaining taboo.
Could Dick and Jane, Heather and Harry's story be different in a society that looked at life through a Christian worldview? The Bible tells us that we can become new creatures, through changed hearts and renewed minds, two of God's promises for those who agree to follow Him. Under these circumstances, Dick leaves the party with the one he brought. Jane
feels loved and secure -- not a victim of Dick's desires. Their two little girls see daily a model for behavior between men and women which is indelibly imprinted on their minds. It defines the type of man they will look for to spend the rest of their lives with; in a sense, the
minimum acceptable standard. Heather may still lust after Jane, but the opportunity to satisfy that lust never presents itself. She may well take her desires elsewhere -- but she may also be positively affected by Jane's life and example. Harry may indeed run into the arms of his
secretary. But if good sense prevails -- always a dicey proposition -- he won't be invited on sleepovers with a troop of Girl Scouts. Why? For the same reason homosexual men don't belong in charge of a Boy Scout troop: "Lead us not into temptation."
The Christian worldview begins with indelible standards for behavior, which come directly from God, and are therefore non-negotiable by any individual. This worldview accepts and makes provision for human failings, through the grace of God, which has been provided to all who accept it in the sacrifice that Jesus Christ voluntarily made on the cross. This worldview permits us to warn others of "bad" or hurtful behavior identified by God as destructive to large numbers of human beings. It allows us to identify other behavior as "good," because God has so stated it, and to encourage the good in our society. Finally, it
provides a calm, inner assurance to the individual that we will, when our time on this earth is finished, and our character developed to the point where God would have it, enter into the joy of His full loving universe, prepared for us from the beginning of time, where we will be reunited with those who have gone before us.
Which road do you think leads to the Promised Land?