This “class” ended last week with a four-hour question from the back of the auditorium—is a Christian worldview consistent with the rough and tumble workaday world that we live in? Another way of putting it: is following Jesus a pie-in-the-sky proposition?
Perhaps I’m on a fool’s errand, but let’s try to squish a college course on worldview into a zip file of 700 words …
What’s at stake? Marriages, partnerships, careers, friendships, and families—even countries—fall apart due to opposing worldviews. The divorce hearing calls it incompatibility or the inability to communicate; friends and associates say he couldn’t be trusted; and the shareholder report labels it as a problem of differing objectives and values. These are simply manifestations of opposing worldviews.
To find the primary objection to my Christian worldview, I went to an atheist website: In general, a nonreligious worldview is absent supernatural interpretations, whereas a religious worldview permits or often embraces such conceptions.
So, the acceptance or disbelief in the existence of God is the deal-breaker. The Christian (as opposed to “religious”) worldview presupposes God exists; that he created us according to his plan and purpose; and that we are accountable with consequences beyond this life.
My acquaintance states the other side this way: “There isn’t anything else. This life is it. When you’re done; you’re done.” I like him but I can never join him in any type of personal commitment.
Somewhere in between, agnostics would claim the knowledge of a supernatural being is unknown or unknowable.
That atheist website goes on thusly: 1) No gods worth having exist; 2) no life after death exists; 3) no ultimate foundation for ethics exists (no right or wrong); 4) no ultimate meaning in life exists; and 5) human free will is nonexistent” (Provine, 1998).
This means human life can be demoted to the level of animals. Darwinwrote that “… a man who has no assured and ever-present belief in the existence of a personal God or of a future existence with retribution and reward, can have for his rule of life … only to follow those impulses and instincts which are the strongest or which seem to him the best ones.” In other words, if your partner takes the position of “whatever works” or “other people don’t matter” or “if they’re in the way, get rid of them” or “I need to leave–permanently,” your committed relationship is just a mirage.
Big deal, Sam, all you’ve done is blather about the problem. The question remains: how can I make a Christian worldview work in a world of fuzzy ethics; if it feels good do it; if I think it’s right, it is right; and man is the measure of all things?
We have to make it work by the imposition of two things into our lives—truth and honesty. God’s truth and submission to that truth. That truth is Jesus, who came to show us what God is like. Honesty means I cannot bind myself to another person of a different worldview. The Bible has a lot to say about all of this. Take a look.
But this is all background. I’ve gotten into hot water more than once because—at the beginning of a potential relationship—I simply hadn’t considered the other person’s worldview. My shoot-from-the-hip style headed me toward commitments that would have separated me from who I was and what I really believed.
If you and I believe in God-ordained ultimate purpose in life, we have to expose potential alliances to the plumb line of God’s truth and then honestly ask if there are any deal-breakers in the mix.
If you have given careful thought to whom you’re partnering with, and you claim to be a follower of Christ, some hard choices may await you. You may be unfriended, discriminated against, called names, or worse. But Jesus never promised you a rose garden, did he? He did say, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Years ago, I tried to have it both ways—one foot in the “whatever works” world and the other as a Sunday Christian. That’s harder than Jesus’ yoke, believe me.