The Importance of Worldviews

The worldview of Christians should be based on the Bible—and on their understanding of, and relationship with, the Lord Jesus Christ. However, we live in a world with many other beliefs, values, and ways of thinking. These beliefs and values are continually presented to us through secular education, newspapers, magazines, movies, books, television, and video games.

Some worldviews are: Christianity, Islam, secular humanism, Marxism-Leninism (communism), the New Age movement, and postmodernism. (The New Age Movement is also called “the new spirituality,” the Age of Aquarius, and cosmic humanism.) Each of these worldviews has a different approach to theology, philosophy, ethics, biology, psychology, sociology, law, politics, economics, and history.

These various worldviews can have a significant impact on our practical daily lives. For example, in the United States, humanism is a tax-exempt religion. It has been actively promoted by the media, by Hollywood, and in the public school system.

Secular humanist John Dumphy wrote an article titled “A Religion for a New Age” which was published in The Humanist magazine. He said that public school teachers should be “ministers” who use their classrooms “to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the educational level—preschool, daycare, or large state university.” Dunphy said that the teachers should replace Christianity with the “new faith of humanism.” In 1994, Dunphy wrote an article for the Secular Humanist Bulletin in which he repeated and reinforced his previous statements.

John Dewey is the “Father of Modern Education.” He is also one of the signers of The Humanist Manifesto.  The original Humanist Manifesto (1933) said, “the time has passed for theism [belief in God].” A second version of the Humanist Manifesto (1980) said, “As non-theists, we begin with humans not God, nature not deity.” It also said, “No deity will save us; we must save ourselves.”

Dewey openly admitted that secular humanism is a religion. In his book A Common Faith he said, “Here are all the elements for a religious faith…”

Worldviews have practical consequences. John Dewey, the Father of Modern Education, was an atheist who wanted to replace belief in God with the religion of secular humanism. Therefore, it is not surprising that many children who were raised in Christian homes no longer practice their family’s faith when they become adults.

Competing worldviews can influence the beliefs and practices of Christians. For example, the New Age (“the new spirituality”) teaches moral relativism. This is directly opposed to the moral absolutes of Christianity. In spite of that, New Age beliefs and practices are getting into modern churches. You can read about it in A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen.

Even postmodernism is getting into some churches. The emergent church is led by a group of influential men “who are incorporating elements of Postmodernism within their theology.” They deny the inerrancy of Scripture, and they are skeptical about some foundational Christian doctrines. You can read about the emerging church and its influence in Faith Undone by Roger Oakland.

After some Christian authors showed that the New Age movement is contrary to Biblical Christianity, then New Age leaders stopped using that term to describe themselves. Now they use terms such as “the new spirituality.” The vocabulary changed, but the beliefs and practices remained the same. I would not be surprised if something similar happens with the emergent church movement.

There is another worldview that is influencing individual Christians and some churches. It is Neopaganism. This includes Wicca, modern Druids, and groups such as the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans.

Wicca is the largest Neopagan movement. It involves nature worship, goddess worship, and witchcraft. I know some Christian parents whose children became involved in Wicca through the influence of students at their schools. Wicca is a rapidly growing religion that can be studied and practiced on the Internet. There are “virtual covens” where young people can practice the Wiccan religion online without the knowledge of their parents.

Wiccan beliefs and practices are getting into mainline denominations. For example, two Methodist clergywomen participated in a “croning ritual” (a witchcraft initiation ritual). They both wrote articles praising their experience in Wellsprings, a journal for Methodist clergywomen. When contacted by Insight on the News, both women confirmed their participation in the croning ritual, and said that their bishop (a woman) had also participated. When the bishop was contacted, she said that she “witnessed many croning rituals.”

Some churches use a ten-session workshop called Cakes for the Queen of Heaven. It encourages goddess worship and endorses witchcraft. The movie Goddess Remembered is used in some church study groups.

In November 1993, a Re‑imagining Conference was held in Minneapolis. Most of the 2,000 participants were women. It was an ecumenical church conference attended by Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, Lutherans, and members of almost a dozen other denominations. They invoked Sophia, the Goddess of Wisdom, calling her their Creator. Prayers and liturgies were addressed to this goddess. Communion consisted of milk and honey instead of bread and wine. They openly rejected the doctrines of the Incarnation and the Atonement.

It is interesting that two things are happening at the same time. Some Christians are losing their faith in the supernatural events described in the Bible. Meanwhile, other Christians are developing a faith in the supernatural teachings of Neopaganism and the New Age movement (the “new spirituality”). For example, I met a woman who claims to be Christian, but the soap opera Charmed seems to have more influence on her worldview than the Bible does.

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