The Ultimate Clash of World Views by DAN JUSTER AUGUST 16, 2020
In one of my recent posts, I distinguished and sought to define the differences between the liberal-left of center Democrat, the leftist Democrat, and the radical far-leftist. The radical left is based on an integrated world view to a much greater extent than the left of center and the left. Some of the positions of the last two are incompatible with a biblical world view, especially on abortion. But the radical left views are almost totally the opposite of Biblical teaching.
When the left of center and left give in to the radical left, they then become an anti-“God of the Bible” force. While some may see the whole Democrat Party as propounding such an anti-God world view, I think such claims go too far and do not take into consideration how much these Democrats are pragmatists, seek their own power and preservation without a clear world view. I don’t think they are coming from a philosophical position, but the leaders of the far left are. There is one point of agreement with the radical left and the Bible. This is that we are to care for the poor and the marginalized and find ways to lift them up and improve their lives. The question is how and, for us, the Gospel is the key without which we do not expect success.
The world view of the radical left is built on totally shaky ground. First, it is built on their subjectively chosen values that have no rooting and are not found historically in other non-western cultures. The best writers admit to this subjectively. It is just their choice. Analytic philosophers show this to be the case when they examine the thinkers of the far left. The philosophy is built from a combination of philosophies. There is a critical school that began in Germany in the 1920s. The most influential in these leftist movements is Herbert Marcuse and his later writings in the 1960s. These writings are full of pontification but not really grounded. I will write more about him in another essay. The views of neo-Marxism and Freud are credited, though academic criticism of these writers has largely discredited them. But in an internet age and on the university campus which is rife with subjectivism, any view can gain traction. In addition, postmodernism has been integrated. It teaches that there is no meta-narrative like the Biblical world view or natural theology or philosophy on which to base one’s life, but one chooses one’s values with the hope that enough will agree to implement the change desired. Their approach to history and literature is deconstruction where the claim is made that history is the narrative of the winning powerful and that literature by such is as well. Yet, since there is no objective history writing, it is all people making power assertions against one another. Therefore, there has to be a tearing down of the western canon. You will see the roots of Antifa in this and the destructive tendencies in the universities. The great Francis Schaffer lectured on Marcuse and anticipated this some 50 years ago.
Here is a list of some contrasts in world views, the Biblical and the radical leftist. This is the foundation of the present clash in America. The Black Lives Matters official organization is neo-Marxist, though the movement of ordinary blacks would have no idea of all this.
Human beings are created in the image of God. All are to be treated as having incalculable worth, with dignity, with respect, and with goodwill. Every nation is from one original pair and God loves all nations. We are called to live by the meta-narrative of the story of the Bible and its hope for the redemption of all nations.Human beings are a product of natural material and energy forces, a product of chance or if there is a higher order, we cannot know anything of it so it is irrelevant. Human beings are important because it is our species and we claim to believe that human beings are of worth and important. We should see all humans as equal. (This concept comes from the biblical world view and our view is that it will not last without biblical roots). However, the idea that past corporate sins of white people require them to pay special restitution is now ordering society so that some groups are given special favor to produce greater equality. There is no meta-narrative from which we are to live our lives. Atheism drives this view. There is really no reason for seeking the betterment of human beings and no argument against those who choose a selfish life.
God is the creator of human beings, the world, and the whole universe and has revealed his will for how we are to live. This includes the basic principles for organizing society, including marriage, the family, and definitions of justice and love. Ethics and morals are objectively grounded in the will of God revealed in the Bible. There is a heaven and hell and a final judgment of people for good and evil. This motivates people to get right with God and live righteously. Morality and social relationships are social constructions and based on no objective order. They the product of choices made by the people in society. Every human being is free and is to construct their own meaning for their lives. There is no meaning form above or outside of us.
God created two sexes, male and female. Sexual relationships are to be limited to monogamous heterosexual marriages. Sexual relationships are for the enhancement of the bonding union of love between a husband and wife. It is also the plan of God that marriage produces offspring.Sexual arrangements are a social construction. All sexual arrangements chosen by consenting adults should be affirmed. This includes heterosexual marriage, homosexual marriage, relationships without marriage, polyamorous relationships, polygamy, transsexuality, bisexuality, etc. The idea of biological genetic determinism is generally not credited, but rather there are orientations that can be chosen for many reasons. To not affirm all such chosen relationships is foundationally unjust and constitutes hatred. It is valid to cancel people who disagree and shut down contrary speech as hate speech. Biblical norms are hate speech.
God’s order for raising children is ideally a father and mother in a good marriage. Though it is sometimes necessary to see a single parent family supported, and they should be, policy should be toward the traditional family as the building block of a stable society.
This means that adoption should favor those in traditional marriage.As all sexual arrangements among consenting adults should be embraced, so all types of arrangements for raising children should be equally embraced, including single-parent families, polyamorous arrangements for family, lesbian and homosexual parenting families, transsexual parents, and more. To favor the hetero-normal marriage as key to the family is foundationally unjust and should be opposed. Ending heteronormality should be a goal of the quest for justice. The traditional family of marriage and family is overly restrictive and oppressive. There should be greater freedom for pleasure.
The child in the womb is created in God’s image and but for saving the physical life of the mother is to be brought to term and given birth.The child in the womb is not to be defined as a human person. The social construction chosen by the radical left is to see the child in the womb as a physical form that is completely subject to the women’s choice as to whether or not to carry it to term and then give birth to what will be defined as a human person.
Justice is the pursuit of an order of righteousness where every person can pursue their God-given destiny. Love seeks justice so that all may find fulfillment. Adequate food, housing, education, and medical care is a foundation of justice so that individual destinies can be pursued. The question of organizing society is an empirical question about which arrangement, politically and economically, will best move us closer to this goal. Equality is only part of justice in regard to equal standing before the law and the courts.Justice is equality. As such, the capitalist system needs to be torn down so that equality in income, distribution of housing, medical services are given to all. Medical services should be provided by the state and equal for all. Education should be free and equally offered to all and qualifications for college should be loosened to allow more from minorities to be accepted. Quotas for ethnic groups are valid. Justice requires replacing capitalism with socialism.
A just society requires a strong police force that prevents crime and arrests criminals. The fallenness of man makes this necessary. Non-violent criminals should be placed in rehabilitation and restitution structures and not just sent to prison. Violent criminals should be sent to prison but opportunities for reform should also be provided. Religious services are key to that change. There is not an agreement on capital punishment for crimes. Policing and the courts must treat all races and ethnic groups with equal justice under the law (Deut. 1, 17) The biblical world view eschews violence for social change.There is generally an acceptance that some policing is necessary, but the idea of tearing down the present order produces an indulgence of criminals, a lack of sympathy for victims, and an anti-police orientation since the police are part of the present order that has to be torn down. This world view accepts violence for tearing the system down and replacing it.
On the issue of human society and what is possible, the Biblical world view is that there can be a great improvement when people embrace the Gospel and seek to live in God’s ways. However, due to sin, human societies will at best always show both glory and shame. Any attempt to produce a utopian order without God will lead to terrible pain, violence, and destruction.The present order of American and western free enterprise societies is foundationally evil and unjust. One sees this in the racism of western countries. Though there is no clear systematic clarity on how a really just society of true equality and fulfillment can be built, the best way forward is to destroy the present order with the hope that something can be built-out of the ashes.
There are many other issues that are questions of empirical research. Balancing environmental concerns with the need for economic development to lift the poor is a case in point and is seen in the African countries rejecting the Green New Deal. There are many issues that are a matter of research and evidence and the Biblical world view does not pre-orient us to a conclusion.
The peaceful protesters of the Black Lives Matter movement may be right or wrong about the level of police injustice. This is a matter for empirical research. They are mainly not ideologues that embrace the philosophical position of the radical left. The violent protesters are influenced by the world view we described. The universities in America have many professors who are influenced by the radical left world view, and they make many disciples among the young. This discipling is taking place in our high schools and now even in the materials and teaching in elementary school. Parents wake up!!
Historically, revivals can change the prevailing world view of a culture and return it back to the Biblical world view. That is our great hope and prayer.