Editor’s note: Don Wildmon was talking about worldviews long before the phrase became common. This column is condensed from his address before a Chicago gathering of U.S. church leaders on March 23, 1987. In it, he defined truths that have become even clearer today.
We are in the midst of a spiritual war, not only in our country but also in Western civilization. This spiritual struggle is between two opposite and competing views of the world and humankind. One view is what can best be described as the Christian view of man.
This view says that God is God and man is man. God loved man so much that He gave His only Son to suffer and die for man’s sins. We are created in the image of God, and our worth is based on the fact that we are God’s children and not on anything we have done to deserve God’s love.
The other view of the world and humankind has several names – secularism, materialism, humanism – but, in essence, it says that the God of the Christian perspective doesn’t exist, and if He does exist, He doesn’t matter. Simply put, this other view says that man is his own god, and no other god, if there is one, makes any difference.
It is my premise that the problems of our culture have come about largely because the church has refused to accept its responsibility to lead in areas where it has a right to lead and is expected to give leadership. Consequently, our society now finds itself at a crossroads. Sitting squarely in the middle of the crossroads is the institutional church. In our current moral crisis, the church – and only the church – has the resources to maintain the Christian view of humankind as the foundation for our society.
What must the church do? First, it must effectively educate its constituency as to what secularism and materialism are and the values this worldview espouses. If we are to maintain a society where the dignity and individual worth of each person are held in high esteem, then we simply must educate our people as to the differences between the Christian view of man and the other view.
Next, the church must make a commitment, collectively and individually, to address the problem, pay the price, and fight the fight with the intent to win. We must call our people to follow Christ and emulate His love of truth and righteousness and His intolerance of evil in their daily lives. We must encourage our people to become active in the political process – to run for office, to work for candidates, to vote.
Then, we must encourage the members of our individual church bodies to take specific actions such as writing and calling companies that support pornography and/or sex, violence, and profanity on television. We should encourage our members to join in organized boycotts of companies that refuse to respond to moral persuasion.
Finally, our efforts should begin immediately by calling the church to education and action. To delay will only bring more suffering, hurt, and brokenness. I call you to commit yourself and your influence to this struggle. If we are successful, those who come after you will rise up and call you blessed.
(Digital Editor's note: This was published in the April 2023 print version of The Stand.)