Would you say that there is a problem in America today based on the direction our country is moving? Would you say that these problems are reflected in the country’s moral fiber, educational development and legal system? Would you say that America today is a radically different place that it has been in the past?
What is the Problem?
Just how much has America changed over the last couple of decades? In many ways, that is hard to measure. But a look at some of the current headlines gives us an indication that the change is very real and very dramatic. Just take note of some of these news stories.
- Gator Christian Life, an officially recognized Christian campus organization at The University of Florida lost its official status when it refused demands to adopt the school’s non-discrimination policy and allow in active homosexuals.
- The city of Pittsburgh enacted an ordinance which restricted access to and speech within public areas surrounding abortion clinics.
- A pastor in Oakland, CA faces jail time for expressing his pro-life views by carrying a Christian sign in front of an abortion clinic.
- The Arkansas legislature is considering allowing holders of concealed weapons permits to carry their guns in houses of worship after a shooting in a church.
- A television station in Grand Rapids, MI has banned a TV special showing how the media is silencing Christians. The show was pulled after complaints from homosexual activists.
- A young woman basketball player at Central Michigan University had her scholarship revoked by the coach who was upset because she was not homosexual.
- The police in Wildwood, NJ informed a Christian man that he could not distribute Christian literature on a public sidewalk without a permit.
- Two Florida high school students in Jacksonville, FL are suing the school board because they are not being allowed to form a Gay-Straight Alliance club.
- The parents of a child in Bayport, NY were grilled by the school’s attorney for applying for an exemption for their children from having to receive certain required vaccines. After the interview, the attorney denied their petition indicating their beliefs were not “sincere” enough.
- The University of Cincinnati is hosting UC Sexploration week, a week long event promoting pornography.
- The membership of the National Christian Broadcasters association are having actual discussions about how to respond if the “fairness doctrine” is revived requiring them to broadcast shows which have non or anti-Christian content.
- The White House is considering a policy to no longer enforce federal drug laws against marijuana in states which have legalized it.
- The biological mother of a six-year-old girl is being sued by her former partner for unsupervised visitation rights after she became a Christian and left the homosexual relationship.
- The just passed stimulus bill contains a clause which will force colleges and universities to throw religious clubs off campus if the schools receive federal funds.
- An openly homosexual persona has been chosen as the new CEO of the Chicago Public School system.
- The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in California has ruled that the US Government must pay health benefits to the same-sex partners of federal lawyers.
All of these stories appeared in articles within the last few weeks. There are literally dozens and dozens more that could have been included. There are cases of people being arrested or told to quit sharing their faith or giving out information on public sidewalks. There are cases of people losing their jobs, being vandalized and even physically attacked for saying they don’t believe in homosexual marriage. There are cases of business being charged and fined for following their conscience and not catering to homosexual clients. There are cases where hospitals have had to choose between performing abortions or closing down. There are cases where adoption agencies have chosen to close down rather than support homosexual adoptions. Then there is the case of a Methodist camp losing its tax exemption for not allowing homosexuals to use their facilities for weddings. This list could literally go on for pages and pages.
Does this sound like the America that we have always known? There is a dramatic upheaval that is currently taking place and it is affecting the very core of our culture. So, just what is the cause of these kinds of changes? It is nothing less than a change of worldview.
Historically, American culture was founded on a Judeo-Christian foundation and represents a solidly Theistic approach to understanding reality. This foundation is not just a reflection of the fact that most Americans have always been Christians. While that is true, there is something at play that runs much deeper. The fact is, the founders of the American form of government specifically created it to reflect a belief in God. It was not simply that they, themselves, believed in God, but they created the structure with a conscious understanding that the nature of God was holiness, that man tended toward sin, that man’s sinful nature needed to be checked and that power needed to be disbursed in such a way as to mitigate against corruption. They also consciously created a society which recognized that God created mankind to be a particular kind of persona and endowed him with certain rights. The conscious and intentional establishment of a society founded on faith in God is overtly and prominently expressed in all of our founding documents.
But beginning around the 1950s, Naturalism began blasting its way into American life in a way that is causing our Theistic worldview to be pushed aside. The headlines above are exactly the thing you would expect to see based on that shift.
A Naturalistic worldview asserts that there is no God, or any supernatural reality. As such, there is not a way that society ought to be ordered. Rather, Naturalists believe that any system is morally equivalent to any other, and it is the ones who are able to grab the reigns of power who may put their preference in place.
To Naturalists, mankind is not a person created in the image of God with certain inalienable rights. Human beings are simply the animal creature with the most highly evolved brain. There is no inherent worth in humanity as man is no more special than any other animal on earth.
Additionally, there is no such thing as a transcendent moral code since there is no transcendent being to give one. Morality is nothing more than the consensus of those who participate in the social order – at least the consensus of those who have the power to enforce a moral code.
So, what do we have with a Naturalistic approach to governing?
1. There is no such thing as sexual immorality, so homosexuality, bigamy, polyandry, bestiality, polygamy and any other relationship grouping are perfectly okay as long as it is not threatening the survival of the species.
2. Since mankind is not special, the rights of individuals need not take precedence over the desires of those who hold the reigns of power.
3. Law is not based on transcendent principles, but on the desires of those who hold power.
With these three principles in place, and with people who believe in them holding the positions of power, all of the headlines above are to be totally expected. And you can expect to see more of this in the future.
What is the Cure?
So, are we without hope? Have we passed the point of no return? It has not happened yet, but unless something dramatic transpires, the Naturalistic worldview will completely take over. But if it is not yet too late, just what kind of remedy will be necessary?
The cause of this change in the first place was a shift in worldviews – the conversion of America to Naturalism from Theism. The remedy is nothing less than the reconversion of America.
In the past, there have been dramatic spiritual awakenings. But in past times there was a difference. Even though there have been times when America has drifted away from God, there was still always an underlying Theistic worldview that dominated the culture. In the days when Theism was the culture’s worldview, it was not necessary to convince people that God existed, or even that the God who existed was the God of the Bible. As a result, all that was necessary was to call people back to God. The primary evangelistic thrust could be centered around churches and in camp meetings. It is very different now.
With Naturalism such a prominent part of the American landscape, we have to approach things differently. The gospel message doesn’t change. But now, instead of simply calling people back to God, we have to be able to give evidence that God exists and explain who he is. Gone are the days when we can scream from our churches, “Y’all come.” It is now necessary for Christians to become educated on the topic of worldview in order to even be able to speak a language that non-believers can understand. Then, when we have that, we must actively and intentionally take the message into the marketplace.
The old paradigm will reach some people. But to turn America back to her founding roots, we must be willing to take the next step to learn worldview and become proactive in our witness.
© 2009 Freddy Davis