What do the Little Sisters of the Poor, Sweetcakes by Melissa, and Hobby Lobby have in common? They are stories in the news and cases in the courts about Christians who have taken courageous stands to avoid violating their consciences. Whether you agree with them or not, you need to know they have not voiced some baseless preference. It’s about worldview.
Our country is not a theocracy, but our founders believed that democracy works and provides a common peace and freedom only for a moral people. Christians consider recent changes in culture and law a direct challenge to a God-given morality that values human life and respects the design of the family.
Critics consider such Christian objections old-fashioned and out-of-step with the times. In making the counter-argument, some politicians give assurances about “freedom to worship.” This term has appeared for years on the civics test required for an immigrant to become a naturalized U.S. citizen. But it can also be used to imply that the freedom of religion enshrined in the First Amendment is safe only when expressed inside the walls of a house of worship, thus allowing public space for other newfound freedoms.
The reason Christianity finds itself in conflict with culture and law is its worldview. Our understanding of what is real and true about our world requires a response that can’t be contained by a building or Sunday meeting. In “How Now Shall We Live?” Chuck Colson declared that Christianity is not just about personal salvation, that “it is a comprehensive life system that answers all of humanity’s age-old questions: Where did I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going? Does life have any meaning and purpose?”
Life-changing answers begin with the Biblical revelation that Jesus is “the image of the invisible God,” that “by Him all things were created,” and “in Him all things hold together.” The Father chose to “reconcile all things to himself” through the Son. (Col. 1). So either God is Creator, or man is. If God is, then how can believers contradict Him by redefining or revaluing what God created? If “all things” includes culture and the world He created, should we not seek ways to join in that divine reconciliation? Our example is Jesus, a friend to sinners. Our challenge is to love people and work to reconcile a fallen world with its Creator. Here we stand; we can do no other.
Christianity is a coherent worldview unlike any other. It is believed privately, but lived publically. The church house doesn’t contain it and the courthouse doesn’t frighten it. C. S. Lewis wrote, “I believe in Christianity as I believe the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” Such a worldview offers plausible answers to ultimate questions and, as we have seen in the news, it inspires courage to stand for what is true.