“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:10-18 ESV).
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2 ESV).
In this election year there’s a lot of debate and dissension in our country. How do we find unity when we seem so far apart in our thinking?
What’s really at work here is deeper than politics and party platforms. There’s a battle simmering in our culture about the nature of reality, about what is really true and right. There’s a war of worldviews in America.
The dictionary defines worldview as:
world·view (wûrldvyoo) n. 1. The overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world. 2. A collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group.
The Bible says that this war is really not against “flesh and blood.” In other words, it’s not against other people. It’s really against the evil one and the darkness of this world that deceives and darkens our thinking. This demonic and worldly deception is continually warring against our minds. Even Christians, who should have “transformed” minds and “renewed” ways of thinking are often caught up in the clutches of these worldly schemes.
The Barna Group took a national survey to see how a Christian or biblical worldview would affect their thinking on certain public issues. For the purposes of the survey, a biblical worldview was defined as follows:
• Believing that absolute moral truth exists;
• The Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles it teaches;
• Satan is considered to be a real being or force, not merely symbolic;
• A person cannot earn his or her way into heaven by trying to be good or do good works;
• Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; and
• God is the all-knowing, all-powerful creator of the world who still rules the universe today.
In the research, anyone who held all of those beliefs was said to have a biblical worldview. Overall, the research revealed that among those who identified themselves as born again Christians, only one out of five persons had a truly biblical worldview.
Not surprisingly, the Barna research found that adults without a biblical worldview had vastly different views of immoral and unethical behavior than those with such a view. For instance, those without a biblical worldview were:
• Around 100 times more likely to support abortion.
• Around 80 times more likely to say exposure to pornography is morally acceptable.
• 31 times more likely to believe living together before marriage is morally acceptable.
• 15 times more likely to believe homosexuality is normal and acceptable.
• 18 times more likely to endorse drunkenness.
• 12 times more likely to accept profanity.
• 11 times more likely to say adultery is okay.
• 8 times more likely to gamble by purchasing lottery tickets.
George Barna commented on the results of this survey, saying, “The primary reason that people do not act like Jesus is because they do not think like Jesus. Behavior stems from what we think—our attitudes, beliefs, values and opinions.”
As Christians, we should try to be good citizens and to be actively involved in the civic affairs of our country, but the real battle is the one for our hearts and minds. This battle is won one heart at a time. This war is waged by putting on the “whole armor of God,” so that our worldview comes into alignment with God’s as revealed in Scripture. Then, being salt and light, we can prayerfully and powerfully call others to the peace found only in the gospel.