Worldviews On Trial
by Debra Rae
News with Views (click to website)
A favorite boutique outfits its dressing rooms with flattering lights and what my sister and I laughingly call “skinny mirrors.”
Add to the ambiance a fawning sales staff, and women can’t resist shopping there.
For many, the illusion of looking younger and somewhat trimmer trumps the reality of “lumps and puffs” indicating otherwise!
The same rings true when it comes to worldviews that stroke the ego or promise special privilege.
Rather than embrace stark biblical reality of their sinfulness and personal accountability to a holy God, some concede reality to the skewed, though self-pleasing reflection of a preferred worldview to the contrary.
Getting down to business, Christian apologist Dr. David A, Noebel defines a worldview as speaking to any ideology, philosophy, theology, movement, or religion that offers “an overarching approach” to comprehending God, the world, and man’s relationship to both. In 21st century America, the four major worldviews at play are Secular- and/or Cosmic- Humanism, Marxism-Leninism, and traditional Christianity. Each defines an ultimate point of reference - be it the Imperial Self, the cosmos, the State, or the one true God. All four talk into every possible discipline from science to the arts; ethics to law, geo-politics to economics.
Contemporary exercise of opposing worldviews has exploded into what James Dobson and Gary Bauer identify as “nothing short of a great Civil War of Values throughout North America.” For this reason, it behooves us to become informed.
Worldview: Secular Humanism (Humanist Manifestos, I and II)
Not to be confused with “humanitarianism,” humanism dethrones God and, in His place, exalts man as the measure of all things. Its relativistic values exalt human worth based on self-determination through reason. In the early sixties, two landmark US Supreme Court cases made way for godless humanism by giving the proverbial boot to traditional faith (in the form of school prayer and Bible reading). It was then that Secular Humanism emerged as a non-theistic religion whose organized system of beliefs is upheld devotedly by some 7.3 million humanists who acknowledge no supernatural being apart from humanity.
Key documents (Humanist Manifestos, I and II, 1933 and 1973, respectively) advance a “science”-based, one-world belief system, coupled with global economics poised to redistribute wealth. An anticipated new age of trans-national government exchanges Bible bedrock for naturalistic atheism, Darwinism, moral relativism, and socialism. Proponents aspire to control their own evolution by means of social or genetic engineering.
Worldview: Marxism-Leninism (Writings of Marx and Lenin)
German philosopher Karl Marx argued for transformation of human life and nature, tacitly claiming for the mass proletariat an egalitarian super status as reflected in the godless State. When Lenin modified traditional Marxist doctrine to suit prevailing conditions in early 20th-century Russia, Marxism-Leninism was born and then served as base for communist ideology. Marxism-Leninism demands materialistic interpretation of world order.
To demonstrate inevitability of radical change, Marx used George Hegel’s dialectic in attacking religion and the social order of the European Industrial Revolution. In Hegel’s process, ends justify means. Not surprisingly, classic Marxism holds to the Robin Hood philosophy of distributing wealth; furthermore, the Marxist-Leninist maxim of earning one’s keep on planet earth is the very heart of the UN guiding principle of sustainable development.
In the words of the Trilateral Commission’s founding director Zbigniew Brzezinski, “Marxism represents a further vital and creative stage in the maturing of man’s universal vision.” Never mind that “non-sustainable, non-producers” delegated to the low end of humanity’s totem pole include the elderly, stay-at-home moms, and those incapacitated physically or mentally. Moreover, in this paradigm, all human rights are granted, controlled, and/or withdrawn by government consisting of elitists deemed more highly evolved and acceptably enlightened than the masses.
Worldview: Cosmic Humanism (New Age Literature)
Cosmic humanists blur the line between physics and metaphysics by claiming themselves to be “Mother Earth’s consciousness.” Theirs is a pseudo-Christian patchwork of spirit-ism and avant-garde, “fourth-force” psychology. For them, all life is energy; composite energy is god; and the promised expectation is “life beyond the grave” by becoming god. New Agers attain to cosmic- or group- consciousness—i.e., godhood—by aligning and then fusing with the universal life-force. As part of her Ph.D. studies at the University of Queensland's School of Population Health, 51-year-old Rosemary Aird conducted surveys of 3,705 twenty-one year-olds from Brisbane, Australia. Herself an agnostic, Aird examined two different belief systems—the first, traditional belief in God; the second, a-traditional belief in a higher power other than God.
Findings demonstrated that, despite claim to spiritual illumination and wholeness, proponents of Cosmic Humanism are subject to higher rates of anxiety, disturbed and/or suspicious patterns of thinking, depression, and anti-social behavior. These, she surmises, arise from inordinate focus on self-transformation, self-fulfillment and self–enlightenment—in a word, self.
Most often by means of meditation, achieving an altered state of consciousness enables the Imperial Self to give way to collectivist spirituality defined by a coveted state of presumptive “godhood.” On the spiritual climb upward, evolution from embryo-god to “Christhood” through multiple reincarnations invites the me-centric process of “earned egoic advancement.”
Worldview: Biblical Christianity (The Holy Bible)
Christianity is founded, not primarily on universal principles, but rather on the perfect life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. Of the lineage of King David, Christ was born of a virgin. In what the Bible declares to be “the fullness of time,” He was fathered by God Himself. His remarkable life mission was to “seek and save the lost”—be they Jews or Gentiles. Without a doubt, the Gospel of Jesus Christ conveys supreme “good news.” You see, Jesus who “knew no sin” Himself became sin and accepted just retribution on Calvary’s Cross for past, present, and future sins of mankind. This selfless act bridged the divide of sin and, thus, enabled unlimited access to the heavenly Father.
Christ’s matchless ministry of just retribution, forgiveness, reconciliation, sanctification, empowerment, and ultimate glorification on behalf of “whosoever will come” delivers total restoration of body, soul and spirit hitherto tainted by sin. Created in God’s image and ever accountable to His authority, redeemed humans yield to the Holy Spirit and, over time, are fashioned into the very likeness of Jesus.
At His first coming, Jesus was a common step-son of a humble carpenter; however, His Second Coming will pack a punch like none other. His glorious appearance will halt the blood bath of Armageddon to usher in a millennial kingdom in which He will rule and reign in righteousness. Thereafter, the old will make way for a new heaven and earth. Evil will be defeated utterly and, at long last, redeemed humanity will experience what eye has yet to see, ear has yet to hear, and the heart has yet to fancy.
The Final Bow
Of today’s competing worldviews, Biblical Christianity takes the final bow. Indeed, the best of Western culture has the Christian worldview to thank for its extraordinary contributions in the arts and sciences. Throughout the decades, its positive impact on politics, education and popular culture is unparalleled. In contrast, contesting views have served only to pollute the arts and blur the sciences. As we shall demonstrate in subsequent articles, their negative impact is reflected in anti-social behavior; it is evidenced in failing public education; and its fate is memorialized in collapse of the Berlin wall.
True, the wisdom of our time boasts plenty of “bright ideas” and dupes enough to be ensnared by them. Rather than search for the fountain of youth, my purpose instead is pursuit of “a fountain of smart.” Please join me in this quest. As previously established, four major worldviews at play in 21st century America are Secular- and/or Cosmic- Humanism, Marxism-Leninism, and traditional Christianity. Each defines an ultimate point of reference that dramatically influences every possible discipline from science to the arts, ethics to law, geo-politics to economics.
Over the past century, foundations (as Rockefeller, Ford-Carnegie) have courted not only education and the arts, but also politics. Clearly, prevailing world views drive partisan politics, nationally and internationally. The Tides Foundation is a major player in advancing a leftist political agenda. Reporters and writers within the mainstream media vote overwhelmingly for liberals, and the nation’s largest newspaper, USA Today, is unmistakably left of center.
Indeed, a Pew Research survey taken before the 2000 presidential election found that more than a quarter of all adults gained campaign news from late-night comedy shows. Moreover, in survey after survey, journalists themselves (including comedic journalists) self-identify as “liberal” on all crucial social issues of our day and age. The outcome of post-war Europe’s precipitous fall from an overarching Christian worldview is a lost world suffering from religious, cultural and historical amnesia that manifests in a tsunami of anti-American, anti-Christian propaganda.
How Secular De-Humanism Plays in Politics
Revisionist history ignores the fact that our nation’s founding documents mirror the biblical perspective that human rights are a gift from God to be protected by government. In contrast, politically correct theories springing from humanism maintain that human rights are a largess of the State to whom service is owed. Too many Americans have abandoned the wisdom of George Washington, who proclaimed that “reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” As a result, many today lack moral compass.
Two hundred years of Darwinism, materialistic naturalism, and reductionist psychology have logically lead to the faulty conclusion that humans are no more or less than animals. It is no wonder, then, that many act like the lemming, a mindless rodent wired to follow the masses over a cliff! According to Humanist Will Durant, “The greatest question of our time is not communism versus individualism, not Europe versus America, not even the East versus the West.” “It is,” he adds, “whether man can live without God.” The more important question is “How is that working for you?” Although Paul Kurtz insists that the Humanist Manifesto is committed to reason, science, and democracy, Secular Humanism is really Secular De-humanism. After all, Kurtz’s worldview recognizes no mandate to celebrate, facilitate, or protect life. Instead, it advances an individual’s right to “die with dignity”—whether by euthanasia or suicide.
Planned Parenthood enthusiasts should be disturbed to learn that its founder Margaret Sanger wrongly championed “sterilizing genetically inferior races” (specifically, blacks) and eliminating “human weeds” (her term for Evangelicals and Catholics). Astonishingly, Sanger offered that the most merciful thing a large family can do to one of its infant members is to kill it. Sanger’s heinous beliefs are repugnant to the mainstream, as well as prolife Christians.
Add to this trend so called “Smart Growth,” which severely restricts human activity based on the flimsiest of science; and it becomes clear how Secular De-humanism wrecks havoc with “the American dream” of gaining affluence in a competitive marketplace, owning private property, raising a family and enjoying old age. Increasingly, and by design, de-humanized masses are herded out of the “-burbs” into “urban clusters” regulated by special interest groups likewise committed to population control and wealth redistribution. The Humanist Manifesto urges “people of good will” to work together toward such “human ends.” To do so, they must transcend “parochial loyalties” and “inflexible moral and religious ideologies.” That is to say, patriotism and traditional faith have no place in this godless worldview.
Eco-Logic’s publisher Harry Lamb answers the salient question, “How is that working for you?” In “deploring the division of humankind on nationalistic grounds,” the Manifesto’s one-world ideal demotes the United States to what Lamb distinguishes as “the lowest common denominator that forced equity demands.”
Marxism-Leninism at Play in Proletariat Politics
Big in modern politics is class antagonism between owners of the means of production (the bourgeoisie) and workers (proletariat). To address escalating tension between those perceived as society’s “have’s” and “have-not’s,” the proletariat is empowered increasingly to operate as an authoritarian, union-backed majority. This revolutionary dictatorship of sorts seizes political power from the bourgeoisie with a view to instigate socialism. A socialist principle of government-managed development—namely, sustainable development—demands totalitarianism, deemed necessary to enforce human subservience to biodiversity. Now we’re getting to the crux of the matter. It’s control, plain and simple. Truth be told, “in the balance” are humans—not so much earth, as Gore would have us believe.
In 1853, Hillsdale College President Edmund Fairfield reasoned rightly that “the more the ignorance, the better the slave.” The chronically uninformed accept without question that sustainable communities “meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (1987 UN Conference on Environment and Development, headed by then vice-chair of the International Socialist Party).
After all, the secretary-general of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit Maurice Strong says so; and Europe, as the Pied Piper, leads the merry way.
How Religious Humanism Plays in Partisan Politics
Religious humanism purposes to change society and the world by means of self-transformation and self-promotion. Inevitably, the Imperial Self leans toward Dog-and-Pony-Show Politics over and above statesmanship. Case in point: At a recent political convention, one U.S. congressman remarked that his candidate of choice was “the most gifted politician” (not necessarily the most principled statesman) he’d ever met.
All too often, expediency trumps principle when religious humanism is at play in politics. Purportedly led to Islam by his Indonesian stepdad, and eventually enrolled in a Wahabi school in Jakarta, Barack Obama (D, Ill) aligns now with the syncretistic United Church of Christ. Although a civil-rights religious icon refers to Obama as a sort of “John the Baptist,” no “a-ha” moment of enlightenment is evident. This could well suggest that political expediency prompted Obama’s alleged conversion (Jamie Dean in Atlanta for World magazine, 6 October 2007).
All the more so in an election year, it’s not whether you win or lose, but how you place the blame! In the world of politics, opportunism frequently trumps matters of conscience. Regarding religion, morality, ethics, and personal accountability with respect to marriage and family, savvy politicians on both sides of the aisle enthusiastically embrace what is self-serving all the while they distance themselves from principled stances “inconvenient” to successful campaigning.
When asked about her faith, Senator Hillary Clinton volunteered that she doesn’t feel comfortable speaking out about her religious beliefs. In fact, in her words, she’s “a little too suspicious of people who wear their faith on their sleeves.” Hillary’s disdainful reference to Phariseeism suggested that those otherwise inclined are self-righteous and hypocritical. On a television special featuring the ministry of Billy Graham, however, Hillary freely reminisced about her first date with Bill, allegedly to a Billy Graham Crusade! Moreover, she campaigns within Christian churches. Still, she is known to gesture with slight bow of the head, hands pressed together, fingers pointing upward. Among the cosmically enlightened, this is called Namaste, indicating that “the God in me greets the God in you.”
In the broadest sense, religious humanism in the political realm propels transformational politics intent on converting ideas-into-action for the global future of one world, one humanity, and one life. This evolutionary new world view relies on “survival of the fittest,” the most “fit” of whom ascend to ruling elite class. To be crowned “king of the mountain” is a fantasy most politicians can get their minds around! For many, the illusion of self-god actually propels their politicking platform and agendas.
Adherents to the Marxism-Leninism worldview embrace an utopian ideal. This, they anticipate as an attainable condition, place or situation of social and political perfection. Eerily, H.G. Well’s Fabian Socialist prophecies (The Open Conspiracy and The New World Order), Orwell’s satire (Animal Farm), and Huxley’s futuristic disillusionment smack of 21st-century reality in the steady march toward one-world government (A Brave New World), egalitarianism (with some deemed “more equal” than others), and mandated submission to “Big Brother.”
Left-leaning Democrats generally believe that in order to achieve good things, government must somehow be involved. Curious, isn’t it, that Senator Hillary Clinton fingered as her “most influential book” George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949), the prophetic message for which portrays excessive State control over individuals. The ultimate rational system of Marxism is a sort of secular vision of the Kingdom of God. Key to utopianism is hollow belief that humanity’s problems can be solved by human creation of a completely just society. It is, after all, society (or the environment) at blame for moral failing. Folks who fall victim abandon personal responsibility and instead look to an all-powerful State that ostensibly “knows what’s best.”
Truth be told, despite numerous Marxist-inspired revolutions worldwide, the empty promise of a classless utopian society has yet to actualize.
Biblical Christianity at Work in Politics
Christian believers rightly acknowledge personal failings and need for a Savior. Because Christianity emphasizes man’s fallen condition, it addresses one’s innermost failings. While humanism and Marxism blame moral failings on society, or the environment, Christianity mandates moral accountability coupled with social responsibility. Rather than redistribute wealth, Christianity in politics works to equip and empower people who exercise personal accountability. While charity is freely dispensed, the Christian worldview discourages “eating any man’s bread for naught” (2 Thessalonians 3:8).
Traditional Christianity is committed to rule of law, individual effort, and fair dealing. Its key values embrace humanity’s inherent dignity and worth, the centrality of godly relationships, social justice and community service, especially on behalf of the poor and/or disenfranchised.
The Final Bow
Research demonstrates that church attendance parallels lower school drop out rates, diminished drug abuse, and overall falling crime rates. Faith-based, grassroots efforts are credited with eliminating neighborhood prostitution and drug houses, not to mention adding street lights and viable, successful youth programs. When it comes to national defense, “bearing a sword in readiness” characterizes the Christian worldview; indiscriminate use of weaponry does not (John 18:10-11).
Christian patriots exalt, not in humanity, nor in the cosmos, but rather in the Lord Jesus Christ. As Trinity Law Professor James Hirsen points out: “The origin of the grand experiment we call America was based upon divinely inspired and uniquely political perspective that individual rights do not come from government, but instead are endowed to mankind by the Creator.” In the realm of politics, the Christian worldview takes the final bow. © 2008 Debra Rae - All Rights Reserved
Daughter of an Army Colonel, Debra graduated with distinction from the University of Iowa. She then completed a Master of Education degree from the University of Washington. These were followed by Bachelor of Theology and Master of Ministries degrees-both from Pacific School of Theology. While a teacher in Kuwait, Debra undertook a three-month journey from the Persian Gulf to London by means of VW "bug"! One summer, she tutored the daughter of Kuwait's Head of Parliament while serving as superintendent of Kuwait's first Vacation Bible School.
Having authored the ABCs of Globalism and ABCs of Cultural -Isms, Debra speaks to Christian and secular groups alike. Her radio spots air globally. Presently, Debra co-hosts WOMANTalk radio with Sharon Hughes and Friends, and she contributes monthly commentaries to Changing Worldviews and NewsWithViews.com. Debra calls the Pacific Northwest home.