Kennedy's 'Postcards from
A Christian worldview redux
Jonal entry 916 | Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Though I dealt in some depth with a Christian worldview last fall, several items this week have turned my attention back to that topic. First was a headline from the Barna Research organization saying that only 16 percent of Americans have a biblical worldview. As my former campus ministry was centered on teaching a Christian worldview for some years, I was both intrigued and not totally convinced by the evangelical public opinion research company's findings. Though it's true that the great majority of Americans, including serious Christians, have inadequate grounding in biblical principles, even Barna's findings show that the Bible is by far the most influential source of moral principles cited by Americans. And my journalistic and on-campus experience convinces me that most people are more influenced by biblical teaching than they would ever guess. It's out there, in the atmosphere, so to speak, and even if all you knew of the Bible were the tidbits mentioned in passing in irreverent comedic citations, the average person has absorbed more than he or she realizes.
I may be an optimist, but I'm not a Polyanna. The situation is getting worse. Fewer comedians every year know the difference between Pinocchio and Jonah (both of whom had intimate encounters with large sea creatures but only one of whom is part of biblical history). But I exaggerate; even more formative in most people's knowledge of social mores on right and wrong is the endless parade of morality plays that fills our TV viewing schedules, most of which still (though fewer than before) indirectly teach biblical values.
The second nudge in that direction came from the article discussed here on Monday, by 16-year-old web columnist Rudy Takala whose calls for separating religion and politics bared a disheartening ignorance of biblical knowledge and an outright aversion to a Christian worldview. The pertinent point there is that, contrary to a widespread misconception, being a Christian is not mainly about one's emotional life, an escape from reality or soothing a troubled conscience. It's not about getting through the night (though it helps); it's about knowing God, and becoming acquainted with God changes everything...everything else. It's not a matter of if there's a connection between religion and politics, but how religion and politics interact and interplay in the believer's life. Becoming acquainted with God first and foremost entails becoming predisposeddedicatedto pleasing God. And though some believers (Amish) think it pleases God to stay out of politics even to the extent of refusing to vote, most of us from the time of the Caesars have considered it a duty to serve God by serving our fellow men and women, which includes an increment of political study, action, and influencing others as best we can.
The secularist worldview represented by Rudy Takala and most of the nation's editorialists and "educators" wants to persuade us of what they're willing to allow us to believe about God, and if we don't fit into their pattern, we're not worth considering seriously. Such thinking is, by default, atheistic. God in anybody's box is no God. Those who have such conceptions are fooling themselves and think they're fooling us.
God is not mocked.
Webmaster Jon Kennedy