“The basic problem of the Christians in this country in the last eighty years or so, in regard to society and in regard to government, is that they have seen things in bits and pieces instead of totals.” -Francis Schaeffer
Dr. Schaeffer wrote these words about 40 years ago, and I think they ring truer today than even in his own time. Amazingly, Christians, for the most part, seem to still have the same problem which he diagnosed. We can see things as “bits and pieces instead of totals.” For example, we see the problem of abortion, and we rightly attack it, but do we ever stop to think why the abortion problem exists? We see the issue of fundamental values such as the fact marriage is between one man and one woman being undermined in our culture. It is good to fight against this issue, but do we stop to think about why the issue exists in the first place? Why is the culture trying to redefine marriage?
The answers to these questions lie in understanding the concept of a worldview. Dr. Jason Lisle has rightly said, “We all have a way of thinking about the world – a worldview. Our worldview contains our most strongly held convictions about how the world works: how it came to be, the nature of reality, the nature of truth, and how we should live (Lisle, p. 25).” Here is the question, what is the fundamental worldview of our day? What is the worldview which dominates here in America? God does not exist, there are no absolute standards for morality, truth is relative to each individual, and we should live in a way which allows us to obtain maximal happiness. That is the dominant thought process of our culture.
Think about the issue of abortion. Why couldn’t a woman have an abortion under this secular, humanistic worldview? There is no unchanging ultimate standard for telling her it is wrong, and she believes it will make her happier if she has the abortion. So, abortion becomes widely acceptable in the culture and even celebrated. Why? Because abortion accords with the worldview of the majority and so it is not seen as any sort of evil. The question then becomes, what does a Christian worldview look like? I will let the great theologian Dr. R.C. Sproul answer that question:
“To think theistically, to have a Christian worldview, is to see ourselves, the world, life, and history under the guidance, direction, and will of God.” -R.C. Sproul
Therefore, we must see all of life and all of the world, in light of biblical Christianity. Jesus Christ said He has been given all authority on heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18). There is not one single centimeter of this earth, which Christ does not have authority over. This necessitates that we do everything to His glory. When we are in business, we operate for His sake and manage our businesses in a distinctly Christian way. If we are raising families, then we must do so in adherence to the biblical model. Every aspect of our lives must be viewed through the lens of biblical Christianity.
Understanding all of that information about worldview, you must also see that those who hold to the secular worldview will approach all of life in light of their worldview. Why are people burning down cities? Well, why shouldn’t they if there is no ultimate justice or standard for morality? They are acting in perfect accord with the logical conclusions of their false worldviews. Why shouldn’t political officials and leaders at multiple levels of our government lie and act corruptly? They are acting in accordance with their worldview. It is only biblical Christianity that provides the unwavering foundation for true morality. It is only the biblical worldview that can truly provide a definition for what is moral. The reason is that these things are all grounded in God Himself. They are rooted in who He is and His character. Humans must act morally because they are made in the image of God, and He sets the standard as the Creator and sovereign ruler. However, if you affirm a worldview where God is omitted from the equation, then you have just pulled the plug on having any standard for morality.
And so, I circle back to where I started. Schaeffer points out the fact Christians fight in “bits and pieces instead of totals.” Fighting against the issue of abortion is something Christians must do in our lives. But, if we only fight against abortion and do not understand the undermining worldview supporting abortion, then we may win a battle or two, but we will lose the war. Just like politics, you may win an election or two, but unless this underlying worldview of the culture is dealt with, you will be overrun, and the dominant view of the culture will overtake the political realm. What is the cure? How do we fight this war?
We must take the Word of God and stand upon the totality of its teaching. We must bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Holy Scripture to bear on the false ideas of the world. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” and we must use this weapon for the glory of Christ. We must preach the Gospel to lost sinners and bring the teaching of the Word of God into every single realm.
For example, when fighting against abortion, we must tell others that abortion is evil, murder, and sin because God proclaims it is in His Word. When they object to that assertion, we must proceed to show them the folly of their worldview. We must respectfully attack their worldview with the truth of Christianity and show them how their worldview doesn’t even logically stand-up to the test. That is because logic, reason, truth, and reality are grounded in the God of Scripture Himself. Therefore, all other views will be inconsistent because Christianity is the only one rooted in the revelation of God.
Thus, when we go into the culture and fight, we must use the Scripture to both set forth the teaching of God and demonstrate the fallacy of other views. Through this approach, we will both fight each individual issue in the best way and also contribute to upending the worldviews which oppose Christianity. We want to see souls saved for Christ, biblical standards upheld in all of life, and the church of Jesus Christ marching strongly forward. By understanding and upholding the Christian worldview, we can accomplish all of these goals for the glory of our Lord.
Lisle, Jason. The Ultimate Proof of Creation: Resolving The Origins Debate. Green Forest: Master Books, 2017.
Schaeffer, Francis A. A Christian Manifesto. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2005.
Sproul, R.C. Truths We Confess: A Systematic Exposition of the Westminster Confession of Faith. Orlando, FL: Reformation Trust Publishing, 2019.