The five core Christian world view principles are under attack
My three books, available off my lastpost.net site, make the case for church growth through wider engagement with society. Five core Christian world view (CWV) principles form the basis for that engagement, using a 12 Reform platform that would make Churches counter-cultural and transformative leaders in their community. Actually, I list four principles in my first book, Issachar’s Call, adding one more in my later books. They are: We are made in God’s Image, free will, individual responsibility, love your neighbour and love God by obeying his commands. Every other command, precept, value and the gospel fold into the big five.
Over the last half century there has been an all-out assault on the western Judeo-Christian culture by what I call the two ‘giants’; fascist liberalism and feudal corporatism (the adjectives are used for good reasons). The five core principles have been the object of that attack. Undermine them and you take the culture apart. Do that and you achieve the aims of the cultural deconstructionists who hate Christianity and the culture it made possible. Most of them were and are disillusioned Marxists intent on revenging themselves on a culture that thwarted their Marxist ideology throughout the twentieth century. If they succeed (and they are well on track) 2000 years of Judeo- Christian influence will be reduced to rubble as the core principles fall. The giants have made great strides with all fives principles now undercut and tottering.
The terrible damage that would be wrought on millions in the post-western, neo-pagan era that would quickly follow is incalculable. Think what could happen if the five principles are gone. It is common for Christians to assume the big meta-precepts in the Bible are of no real concern, but if that were the case they would not be there! And, that’s not all; what about loving our neighbour (Mk 12:31), defending the faith (Jude 3), bringing down pretentious arguments (2 Cor 10:5) and loving God by hating what he hates (Prov 8:13)? Treat the 5 core CWV principles with just a passing nod and these go as well and Christianity is gutted of its power to be salt and light and save souls.
I contend taking on the two giants using the 12 reform platform will multiply the Church’s ability to fulfil both the Great Commission and the Great Command - killing two birds with one stone. The Next Generation Church Model (the 3rd book) would re-establishing the Church’s cultural relevance while promoting the gospel. Without this approach the Church will continue to languish and the civilisation it birthed will die.
What evidence is there that the five core CWV principles are close to being lost? Let’s go through each one and tote up the damage:
We are made in God’s image: Stated explicitly in Gen 1:27 God has imbued each of us with a suite of attributes and skills as distilled elements of his own being. A Christian society ensures the conditions are right to allow everyone the opportunities and freedoms to meld them together in personally unique ways to maximise individual potential and achievement. Just about everything liberalism and corporatism has done post 1960 has cut into an individual’s ability to achieve their made in God’s image potential. The list is long, ranging from content-poor education, abandoned moral values and fractured family life to usurious loans, materialist marketing and paternalistic government. They all conspire to constrain, distract and pressure us to follow tracks that limit thinking, decision-making and options. Under such conditions being made in God’s image is neutered and individuals find it difficult to be much more than state vassals and corporate workers.
Free will: Throughout Scripture we are presented with examples of choice-taking leading to good and bad outcomes. Both covenants embody free will – stay on the narrow path, or take the highway - you choose. The ability to make choices of one’s own volition is part of being made in God’s image. Both freedom of action and volition are God’s image attributes invested by our Lord in us. In our ‘progressive’ times free will is being rapidly eroded by limited access to justice, government over-regulation, controls on property rights, hate speech legislation, strict business hierarchies and political correctness. Free speech, freedom of association and freedom of travel are all coming under attack from the left. Without a system of binding referendum and the people’s oversight of their elected representatives (Reforms 1 and 2) we do not have the free will power to direct our governments via a democratic process. The corporate world has used usury, monopoly market controls and an engineered financial system to concentrate wealth in the hands of a few while overseeing fiscal policy to ensure governments amass huge public debts while the public reciprocate with vast private debt. Free will cannot survive for much longer under this pressure. Worst of all Christianity has been expunged from social discourse leaving most with little opportunity to weigh up the evidence and make a free will decision about the case for faith.
Individual responsibility: It is axiomatic in Christianity that each of us will answer to God for our own actions. We are individually accountable. We are also to love our neighbour, love God by hating evil and love him by obeying his commands; there lies the biblical basis for individual accountability. The two giants are hell bent on unravelling this principle. Criminals are just victims of their environment. Individuals are encouraged to think of themselves as part of a particular class (identity politics), based on gender, race, religion or sexual orientation. Governments focus on equality of outcomes, not equality of individual opportunity. They redistribute surplus (tax) to enact policies that erodes any sense of individual self-reliance. Corporate marketing extols brand identity. Education de-emphasises excellence. All of this undermines our sense of personal and civic responsibility. It has been fascinating watching the response to Jordan Peterson’s call to people to make themselves personally accountable to maximise their own order and achievement. We have been starved of this sort of message for decades. It is just a shame it did not come from the Church.
Love your neighbour: Liberals insist the Government should act in loci parentis and provide for everyone. This has depreciated the love your neighbour principle – governments don’t have neighbours in any human-level sense. We are supposed to care for the well-being (success) of others as much as we care about our relationship with God. As communities have been supplanted by the state the need, willingness and awareness of individuals to take an active interest in caring about others has withered. Altruism has given way to institutionalised welfare – getting something for nothing. God says a person is not worthy of help if they will not help themselves. Socialist governments forcibly take taxes from some to give to others with little reference to this standard. On top of that taxation often takes from people that portion of their earnings that they could use, but for the state’s intervention, to voluntarily help others. Communities have the life blood of altruism, grace and mercy sucked from them. Then, turning stupidity into disaster liberal governments (despite party political differences) have used taxes perversely to harm our neighbour. We have ended up with what I all the social deficit: the abortion holocaust, no fault divorce and the collapse of families, moral relativism leading to crime, child abuse and drug abuse, poverty though welfare dependence and deficit spending fuelled by public debt for which further taxation is needed. Love your neighbour has been corrupted by narcissism, identity politics, illegitimate rights and an entitlement culture.
Love God by obeying his commands: This is the CWV’s sharp edge. The principle is a command about commands and an injunction to holiness within a moral and social order this principle ordains. Our whole justice system was built around that order, but our liberal political, media and academic classes have made it their life’s work to abandon God’s natural law; replacing it with a man-made civil code with no basis in God’s transcendent authority. This was possible because the western world has been largely duped into believing there is no God. Even if they did allow some room for the possibility of God liberalism argues the presence of evil in the world means God deserves no fealty because he must be either malevolent or impotent.
So, as it stands in 2018 all five principles are slipping into the quicksand of western liberal hubris. Since the Church is the rightful custodian of the five core principles it needs to be in the vanguard of the battle for their restoration. In fact it is the only institution capable of offering any real resistance. The Next Generation Church is the strategic tool for that purpose with all five principles promoted through the 12 Reforms. The beauty of the NGC Model is this: Churches using it actively stand for the Christian world view (God’s economy), provide leadership for the restoration of western civilisation and open up far greater opportunities for evangelism in the process. Hard to beat…..