I’ve had several “Christians” accuse me of having a “post-modern worldview” and insist that I need to develop a “biblical worldview.” But I don’t even know what post-modernism is! For that matter, what’s a world view? Why do some Christians make such a big deal about it?
I’ll take “what’s a world view?” first. A world view is simply the lens through which you view the world. It’s the sum of all your unconscious beliefs about the nature of the world, truth, reality, God, and so forth. The nature of a worldview is such that it is impossible to hide your worldview, at least from someone paying attention. Our worldview is betrayed by the words we use and the choices we make. Christ himself observed this when he said out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks, and by their fruit, you shall know them.
Our worldview forms, osmosis-style, from the influence of our parents, our teachers, peers, and, equally importantly, the media we consume.Â The worldview of the media we consume will seep into us and be incorporated into our own world view unless we are paying attention and actively engaged in picking apart what is true and what is not, which most of us don’t find entertaining.
For media-makers, and writers especially, this means, if you have a biblical worldview, you have to actively work to not write from that view. It’s actually the mark of a master if they can convincingly write a character with a worldview that sharply contrasts with their own without betraying the author’s view. Of course, that it’s a challenge to do that doesn’t necessarily make it desirable.
Worldview can be a problem even in Christian media. Statistically, very few Christians, around four percent last I checked, actually have a biblical worldview. But whatever worldview a writer has (including screen and TV script writers) will show up in the finished product, unless they are consciously aware of their worldview and intentionally hide it. Good writers do this when portraying characters with different worldviews from their own, but most cast those folks in the role of the bad guy. In most cases, the hero shares the basic worldview of the writer (if nothing else.)
Now, post-modernism. That is just a fancy intellectual word for the most prevalent worldly ideas of the day. More common terms that you might be familiar with include: tolerance, diversity, multi-culturalism, and of course, “don’t judge.”
Yes, the last one is in the Bible, but your worldview, Googler, transforms the meaning of the words into an affront to the very nature of Christ’s being as God. Thus, Christ could not possibly have meant what you think He meant. Otherwise would be to deny Himself! And 1 Timothy 2:13 says, “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.” Googler, I realize you may still not understand just yet why, for Mathew 7:1-5 to be the affirmation of post-modernism that you believe it is, then Christ would be denying Himself, but first we need to back up and explain more what post-modernism is.
The basic idea behind post-modernism is that there is no absolute truth. Rather, it holds, whatever metanarrative (the gospel and Evolution are both metanarratives) that works for you is your truth and whatever metanarrative that works for me is my truth, though your metanarrative may not be true for me, it is no less valid than mine.
Thus Evolution is truth for the atheist, the Cross for Christian post-modernists, the teachings of Islam for the Muslim, Karma for the Hindu, Gaia for the wiccan, Global Warming for the Environmentalist, and so on; all ideas, all cultures, and all values are equal. Post-modernism is the world’s marketplace of ideas, where you can pick whatever works for you, and mix and match to your heart’s content.
What’s the problem with post-modernism for Christians?Â Why does your friend have to be so mean spirited, critical, and judgmental as to dare suggest you can’t be both a Christian and a post-modernist?
Tell me, if you knew a liquid form of cyanide was being marketed as a delicious and extremely popular brand of cola, would it be mean-spirited, critical, and judgmental to forward this information on to everyone in your address book? Of course not, as the email you got telling you this said, if you hate your friends, don’t forward this email!
Now, I was being somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but seriously, post-modernism is deadly poison to the Christian, spiritually. Why? Simple, the bible’s term for all metanarratives besides it’s own is “idol.” Further, the bible promises salvation to all who believe in Jesus. Why is this a problem? Because it is impossible to believe in Jesus and simultaneously disbelief His claims about Himself.
The easy scripture to cite is John 14:6, “I am the way the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by me,” but there’s also Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
And let’s not forget, as Christian post-modernists often like to, John 1:1,14, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God . . . The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
Also, in John 18:37, Jesus said, “For this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
Then we have Luke 16:13, “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Mammon.” Note, in this passage, Money is personified as an idol.
Finally, Jesus demands in Luke 14:27,28,33 (cutting out the parable for brevity,) “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sistersâ€”yes, even his own lifeâ€”he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. . . . any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.”
Googler, having heard the truth of the Word, can you now look me in the eye and say straight-faced that the same Jesus who declares He is the only way to God, that he is Truth, and that He never changes (via the author of Hebrews), and demands He be more important to you than your family, more important to you than your own life, more important to you than your pocketbook, more important to you than all your possessions, that this Jesus “understands” when you go whoring from Him in the marketplace of ideas, picking and choosing what parts of the Bible you will believe and what ideas you will borrow from His competitors, creating a comfortable religion customized to suit you?
My friend, any Jesus who tells you that is not the Jesus that died on the Cross for our sins, but the spirit of anti-Christ. If you’re worshiping a false Christ made in your own image, warning you the phony Jesus can’t save you is not mean, it’s loving you as the real Christ loves you!
Certainly, God is patient, and in the business of changing old into new, but “be not conformed to this world, but ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2)Â was not a mere suggestion. Neither was the point Jesus was making in Matthew 9:17, “Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.” The wine is Christ’s lifeblood,Â the old wineskins our carnal worldview, or post-modernism for most of us, and new wineskins the biblical worldview.
“But Parables can be interpreted in so many ways,” you may be thinking, Googler. Yes, but we can know for certain this interpretation is correct because it lines up with the Word. In Ephesians 4:17-24, the Apostle Paul writes:
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.
You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Again, worldview is just a modern term for what the Apostle Paul described as “old self” and “new self.” 2 Timothy 2:15 tells us, “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Googler, you can never rightly divide the Word (i.e. properly understand it) so long as you’re reading the Word through the lens of your sin nature, which intellectuals have decided to call “post-modernism.”
Now, gentle readers, post-modernists do have one absolute truth, that there is no absolute truth, and can be quite hateful to those who love the Truth and dare to speak it. Thus, in the eyes of your typical Ima Googler, I’ve just painted a target on my back, but that’s nothing new. It’s the nature of sin, and we were promised from the beginning, if we’re faithful to Christ, we will be persecuted. Thus, attacks come, not because we’re hateful as commonly believed by Christians today, but because we’re being faithful disciples and a faithful Bride.
We were commanded, not to apologize for the truth and learn to be nicer when we’re hated on and condemned by even fellow Christians as harsh and judgmental, but to rejoice, for great is our reward in Heaven. In fact, you need to be careful, for Christian post-modernists (whom the prophets would, frankly, call whores and the apostles heretics) disguise “convert to Christian post-modernism” as urges to be nice and even dare to invoke the names of love and kindness, and will tell you being faithful to our Divine Groom is harsh, critical, mean-spirted, judgmental, and hateful. The irony of ironies in this criticism? Jesus made it a requirement that we hate even our closest relatives to be His.
Now you know what He was talking about! Post-modernism isn’t so modern, after all–not if Jesus used it’s definitions some 2000 years ago to make a point!
One of the most fatal, and most subtle, encroachments of post-modernism into the Church is that so many Christians are using a post-modern definition of love. This is how we miss the fact that, though Christians are known by their love, true Christian love can be viewed as hate by the world. Brothers and Sisters, we must learn to love as God loves. A glance through the prophets while keeping John 1 in mind will radically transform any worldly views you have of Christ’s love, if you will listen.
If you don’t know where to start, my suggestion is Ezekiel 16, in the no-holds-barred version rather than the wussy versions that soften the terminology God used so it could be cited in sweet prairie romances without making the target audience blush. (not that they would cite it, anyway.) Also check out the Truth Project. You should be able to take this class for free at a local church.
In Christ’s Truth, and His Love,
P.S. Since we discussed the impact of media on worldview earlier, if you’re looking for Christian Fiction that’s gritty, real, with exciting adventures, and grounded in a biblical worldview, check out Laser & Sword Magazine. As the assistant editor, I naturally have total confidence in this publication!
*Ima Googler is a tongue-in-cheek, self-depreciating nod to the readers who find my site by turning to Google for advice–love you guys! If you still have any questions after reading one of these, please feel free to write a letter for the advice column.