In today’s 24/7 news cycle covering everything from hurricanes to what POTUS most recently tweeted to sports to Hollywood, there is such a constant barrage of news, information, and conflict, that it is easy to miss the bigger picture. You see “protesters” donning masks and attacking people in the name of shutting down “hate speech.” Over there is a bunch of neo-Nazi white supremacists. Then back here, there is an NFL player refusing to stand for the National Anthem. We often get so upset with the actions of others, we don’t stop and ask the question “WHY are they acting the way they are?”.
The answer comes down to a person’s worldview. As one speaker put it, “It [your worldview] becomes the glasses, the spectacles, the filter through which we are actually seeing life. And the whole universe and the world and human life is understood through that lens.” Everyone has a worldview whether they realize it or not. It affects how you view issues, how you process information, and how you reach conclusions. Your worldview is your own set of presuppositions about life, reality, and the way things ought to be.
When two people have completely contradictory worldviews, they can look at the same set of facts and come to two diametrically opposite conclusions for why something happened and what must be done to prevent it from happening again. Let’s look at what happened in Los Vegas recently as an example.
As Sergeant Joe Friday used to say on Dragnet, “Just the facts ma’am.” So the facts are that a man named Stephen Paddock planned an attack on a crowd of concert-goers which killed 58 people and injured over 500. The attack was carried out using multiple guns from the vantage point of a hotel room overlooking the concert. Those are the primary facts. Now when you ask the question “why?” and “how could it have been prevented?”, that is when people of different worldviews come to very different conclusions.
If your worldview is that people are basically good and that it is outside influences that cause them to do bad things, then you would conclude that something in his past combined with the easy access to weapons lead to this horrific incident taking place. You believe that it is the job of government to limit or eliminate anything that might “trigger” (pun intended) people to do bad things and also make it nearly impossible for them to obtain the means to harm others. Sounds great, right? Well, not if you have a different worldview.
Take another person who believes that people are basically bad and, without a belief in God or a moral code, will always cause harm and pain to others if they see the personal benefit to themselves outweighing the potential consequences. Someone like that might see this gunman as just another sinful human being who’s ideology drove him to mass murder before putting a bullet in his own head. According to this person’s worldview, the government taking guns away will do nothing to prevent evil, but it will greatly inhibit the ability of honest, law abiding people to defend themselves.
In the space that I have here, I am obviously oversimplifying both positions, not to mention that there are more than just the two examples I gave of how the attack could be viewed. There are more than two worldviews and there are always more than two ways to look at something. That is one of the things our culture has forgotten lately. We often are given binary choices and everyone expects us to subscribe to group-think A or group-think B. Don’t know about you, but I don’t like to be told how I am supposed to think about something.
There is something new happening every day. The war of the worldviews wages on, but few try to dig deeper than the Twitter talking points. Have we forgotten that there are important issues that cannot be summed up in 140 or even 280 characters? Real life just isn’t that simple. In this world there is good and evil. There is truth and there are lies. Right and wrong do exist because there is a God. He did create us. We did rebel against His will, and we have been paying the price for 6,000+ years.
We are in a culture war. We are in a war of worldviews. The only way we are going to win that war is if we know what we believe and why we believe it and what our opponents believe and why they believe it. And just to make sure there is no confusion, when I say “we” I am not talking about republicans and when I say “opponents” I am not talking about democrats. When I say “we” I am referring to those of us who believe that there is a God, that He is active in our lives and that one day we will stand before Him and give an account for what we did on this earth.
God is the only source for truth and justice and our Founding Fathers understood this. As the 2nd President of the United States, John Adams, said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” Every worldview that does not begin with the belief that truth and justice originate with God will always reach the wrong conclusions. We are not in an intellectual vacuum where truth is relative. So while it is important to understand the worldviews around us, it is more important to understand what is true and what is false. I hope you will join me in a quest for truth.