Saturday, January 30, 2010

Can we PLEASE stop talking about "THE" Christian Worldview?!?

By definition a worldview is personal.

world·view (wʉrld′vyo̵̅o̅′)

a comprehensive, esp. personal, philosophy or conception of the world and of human life

Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2009 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Why then are we still trying to pretend that A or THE "Christian Worldview" even exists? There are as many Christian Worldviews as their are Christians. Now granted, the American church isn't known for encouraging individual thought or thought at all for that matter, but really people can we stop taking a political and social agenda handed to us by the "Religious Right" and packaging it as if it is the universal way things ought to be?

Christian Worldview is a huge buzzword in the home school circles in which I move. It is touted as the reason for choosing particular text books or for choosing which subject to teach at all. It seems to me, coming from a science and engineering background, that in the hard sciences it means teaching inferior materials in order to avoid grappling with the theory of evolution. I'm so tired of it. I'm so tired of hearing this or that curriculum praised because of its "Christian Worldview" and reviewing it to find that it is completely inferior in terms of accepted scientific theory and fact.

I see the same thing migrating into our history curricula now. Often what results is a completely revisionist view of the actual writings of the primary documents to fit our modern "Christian Worldview". Ben Franklin was a brilliant individual but he was a deist not an evangelical Christian (which by the way is a modern term unknown in the days of our founders). Thomas Jefferson wrote his own version of the bible, excising from it all the miracles of Jesus, because they did not fit his rationalist frame of reference. This isn't secret information. Go to Monticello the book is on display. Read the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, its available at your local bookstores, and see in his own words what he thought and believed. These men were not trying to create a Christian Theocracy when they did the work of founding this nation. That we post-modern Christians seem from all appearances and actions to now think a Christian Theocracy is desirable would have horrified them. And make no mistake, when we assert that "America is a Christian Nation" that is exactly what is being proposed. We want our "Christian Worldview" to inform the laws of the land and the logical result of that process left unchecked is to become a Christian Theocracy rather than a representative republic.

Actually that political rant was NOT my point. My point is this don't let someone else tell you what your worldview is or should be. There is no monolithic organization that determines what constitutes a "Christian Worldview" nor should there be. It is the responsibility of every person, Christian or otherwise, to think critically and evaluate what we are being told we should believe. Christians who are admonished in scripture

"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." KJV

should be most diligent about fact checking and handling the truth. Sadly we are content to allow our so called leaders to tell us what to believe and those who question are often admonished for our "critical spirit" or our "lack of trust" or most ironically our "lack of understanding" all of course blamed on our lack of a "Christian Worldview".

How is a "worldview" different from an "agenda"? In the true sense of the word because a worldview is PERSONAL there should be a tremendous difference. A true worldview, something each of us has whether we're conscious of it or not, is a way of making sense of the world as we experience it. What I see and hear when I hear about "cultivating a Christian Worldview" is an agenda being pushed and frankly I'm tired of it. Enough already.

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