In your community, town, state, and nation, there are embedded worldviews. A worldview helps you identify the way you understand life. Principles, good or bad, build and express your worldviews. Dr. J. P. Moreland explains the nature of a worldview:
A person’s worldview contains two important features. First, it includes the set of beliefs the person accepts, especially those about important matters such as reality, God, value, knowledge, and so on…[and] a worldview includes the rational structure that occurs among the set of beliefs that constitute it. (Kingdom Triangle, by J. P. Moreland, p. 33)
Worldviews are formed and confirmed by the way a person interprets the world around him or her. Christian worldviews derive from truth, because God is truth. Ungodly and unbiblical worldviews are derived from falsehood (lies) articulated by Satan, the father of lies. It only takes one step to turn a legitimate discipline in life, like being human into a worldview, which then turns into a false god. To put it another worldviews may become your object of worship.
The easy way to identify and express worldviews is the “ism” attached to the end of a noun. When the noun forming suffix, “ism,” is added to the end of a noun, it describes an ideology or a way of life. Christians should have some knowledge of how the various “isms” affect them corporately as a church and individually as Christians. It is the duty of Christians to formulate a worldview that places the God they worship in the centerpiece of their thinking. It is a way of life that has ultimate value for you, your community, your town, or your nation. When the majority assume a worldview, it is “the dominant worldview”.1 The following worldviews are mere samples of many used in modern/postmodern culture.
Theism is the fundamental worldview of the Christian religion. Theism is the worldview that acknowledges our relationship to God in a personal way and further that God’s nature and character is what is claimed in the Word of God.
Humanism is contrary to theism. A brief description of humanism: “Humanism asserts that the nature of the universe depicted by modern science makes unacceptable any supernatural or cosmic guarantees of human values” (American Humanist Association). An ancient Greek philosopher named Protagoras has given the modern humanist a motto: “Man, the measure.” Protagoras believed that man was the measure of all things.
Secularism is the most misinterpreted worldview. The root of the word Secularism is derived from the word secular. The word secular describes the here and now. Secular is actually a good word because we all live in the here and now. However, when you turn it into a worldview it means, “Live for today, because there may not be a tomorrow.” Secularism is probably the most influential worldview and is in direct opposition to theism. Theism places the importance on the sacred rather than the secular, the divine rather than the human, the truth rather than expedience, and the good life rather than the happy life.
Naturalism is the worldview that denies the existence of a theistic God. Naturalism believes the Universe is natural and energy and matter is the substance of existence. Naturalism denies the spiritual nature of man. Humanism, secularism, and naturalism are contrary to thesim and supernaturalism.
Individualism is the worldview that produces irresponsible and mass confusion in the church and in the culture. An individual person is a creative work of God. However, when the noun forming suffix, “ism,” is added to the word “individual,” it describes an ideology or a way of life. Individualism may become a false god to the individual. The philosophy of individualism places self at the center of life. “I am and there is no one else besides me” (Isaiah 47:10).
Statism is the worldview that gives the state all sovereignty and authority over its “collective equals.” Webster defines it as “the principle or policy of concentrating extensive economic, political, and related controls in the state at the cost of individual liberty.” The state then becomes the savior of those collective equals. Statism recruits egalitarianism as an accompanying worldview. Egalitarianism is the worldview that claims all people are equal. Allan Bloom in his book, The Closing of the American Mind, reasons that, “Although every man in a democracy thinks himself individually the equal of every other man, this makes it difficult to resist the collectivity of equal men.” This however, is another danger in our American democratic system. The result of two centuries of American democratic federalism has produced the statism of our present day. This is one of the most influential worldviews in the United States.
Victimizationalism is a passive worldview that was popularized by an unbiblical therapeutic generation accompanied by a litigious society. It is a worldview void of any biblical understanding. The basic assumption behind victimizationalism is the goodness and worth of self. It is built on the unbiblical notion that “I am and there is not one else besides me” (Isaiah 47:10). This unbiblical destructive worldview essentially says, “When something bad happens to me it is the fault of someone else. On a practical level the alleged victim says, “Since it is their fault, they must pay me some money.”
Feminism was born at the feet of egalitarianism, individualism, and statism. The fundamental ideology is that women have equal rights, the same rights that men have as a secular worldview. If taken to its logical end, it would mean that women desire to dominate men. Now, where did that come from? Maybe from the mouth of God! “To the woman he [God] said, ‘I will greatly increase your labor pains; with pain you will give birth to children. You will want to control your husband, but he will dominate you’” (Genesis 3:16). As punishment for breaking God’s covenant, Eve the woman would desire to control Adam the man. It has been part of the old man (sinful nature) since the beginning.
There are many more worldviews, but the real question is, which will your choose? There are plenty of ungodly worldviews like pragmatism, consumerism, sophism, deism, hedonism, narcissism, relativism, utilitarianism, and multi-culturalism; Just to mention a few of the most popular false gods. Three letters, “ism,” may lead a professing Christian down a destructive path. Look and listen for “isms” then do a little research and study the whole counsel of God, because there you will find the truth. Christian worldviews derive from truth, because God is truth. Ungodly and unbiblical worldviews are derived from falsehood (lies) articulated by Satan, the father of lies.
1. The Dominant Culture: Living in the Promised Land