Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Marketing the Global Worldview

"Worldview" is about to have a whole new meaning. If you previously thought it was safe to embrace any evangelical individual or group that professed to hold a "Christian" or "biblical" worldview -- it is time to re-examine your stance. "Worldview" is being re-defined to mean a global purpose-driven view of the world.

A recent "Ministry Toolbox" article (Issue #248) entitled "Why worldview matters," was authored by Chuck Colson, who has formed a global partnership with Rick Warren to merchandise their brand name of "worldview" to the rest of the planet. Colson openly acknowledges that their "worldview" is closely connected to the agenda inherent in Rick Warren's global P.E.A.C.E. Plan:

"Worldview is not some lofty academic subject. It is intensely practical. Everyone has a worldview, that is, an understanding of how the world works and how we fit into it. And what you believe about the world and life determines how you live. Ideas, as was so famously said, have consequences.

P.E.A.C.E. Plan is a clear reflection of his own worldview – all humans are created in the image of God. We are, therefore, to help people get their lives straight and work for what the Jews call “shalom,” God’s justice and peace in which humans can flourish. Rick is calling all of us to live out a biblical view of the world."

The next section of Colson's article is where things get tricky. It requires a good deal of discernment about how IDEAS are marketed. Think about TV ads selling cars. You might have noticed that there is a certain "ambience" or "lifestyle" that goes along with different types of cars. Truck drivers are "tough." Mini-van drivers are "moms who need lots of space and safety for kids." Certain cars appeal to sexy women. Others to rich men.

Following that type of marketing scheme, the same thing happens when political or religious leaders try to sell IDEAS or AGENDAS to the public. First, they create the NEED. Sometimes this is a manufactured crisis, other times it is a "felt need," an emotional need. Sometimes the felt need is quite real, e.g. hunger. This "need" is the hook, the emotive appeal that lures you in by attracting your senses. The solution is a "Big Mac" to feed your hunger. Or that chewy-crusted, oozy-cheesy pizza. The selling of IDEAS or AGENDAS, likewise, is geared to appeal to the altruistic ideals of people. You are supposed to "feel good" about yourself when you bite the bait. The marketing of "worldview" is designed to create a certain ambiance, a certain "image" about who you are and what the world should be like.

It is therefore noteworthy that Colson launches into an extended description about how this "worldview" really helps people and saves lives. Who could resist helping people and saving lives? He mentions his own grandson, an autistic 15-year-old named Max, whose "special needs" cost $65,000 a year. Everyone reading this account feels sympathetic. That emotive response is supposed to happen. Launching from a description of Max, Colson enters the worldview culture wars -- a description which is also supposed to create a visceral response:

". . .Max will probably never be self-sufficient. In purely utilitarian terms he is a drag on society – what the Nazis called (straight out of social Darwinism) a 'useless eater.' The money used to educate Max could instead be spent to inoculate 10,000 kids in poverty areas against dreaded disease.

"You and I recoil in horror at such utilitarian calculations. But this idea is being advocated by Princeton professor Peter Singer, who is described by New Yorker magazine as the most influential philosopher in America. Singer argues for infanticide, euthanasia, and diversion of support from those who are of no use to society. This is exactly what the Nazis did when they performed medical experiments on prisoners and euthanized those they considered 'defective.' The same thing, in fact, that Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, argued for in her eugenics scheme – eliminating inferior races and people.

"Singer’s utilitarian philosophy is to do the greatest good for the greatest number, which is a reasonable ethical formulation in a purely secular society. Think about it. If we merely came from a primordial soup, life evolving from single cell organisms by natural selection – which is what our school children are taught – why not get rid of people who are defective? Since life has no intrinsic meaning, why not maximize happiness for the productive people? But if we have been created by God, in his image, every life including Max’s (maybe especially Max’s) is precious and to be protected.

"This is a life and death example and is precisely the point on which the biblical worldview most dramatically clashes with the prevailing secular worldview today. This is the central issue in the great culture war being waged for the heart and soul of our civilization: Is there a basis for human dignity? Is life sacred?"

The "right to life" issue cited above is a perfect tool to enlist foot soldiers for political and ideological agendas. The questions posed by Colson is an example of ideological marketing. Who could argue that life is not sacred? Or that there is no basis for human dignity inherent in the Scriptures? (Keep in mind, however, that Rick Warren's ideas about human dignity are connected to Peter Drucker's offensive concept of "human capital," which is accompanied by "assessments.")

Once you agree with Colson that there is a NEED or a CRISIS, the next question should be, "What is the Colson-Warren SOLUTION?" Colson states the solution -- but notice: two ideas are carefully packaged together under one wrap. Buy One, Get One Free:

"All of life is under the lordship of Christ, and therefore, we have been given two commissions: the Great Commission, to make disciples, baptize them, and teach them all Jesus has taught us; and the Cultural Commission, to be fruitful, multiply, take dominion, and restore a fallen creation." [emphasis added]

Note the two little words "take dominion." Note the phrase "restore a fallen creation." It is here that the theology inherent in the New Apostolic Reformation comes to light. If you purchased the "Buy One, Get One Free" described package in the paragraph above, recognize that the "worldview" you just purchased is DOMINIONISM. You might have thought you were simply supporting a right-to-life position. But you got something extra -- dominionism.

Just to be sure about the dominionist aspect to the Colson-Warren worldview, note the answer to question four in Colson's text below.

"The biblical worldview, as we will see in our studies, raises four questions:

*Where did we come from?
*Why is the world in a mess?
*Is there any way out?
*What is my purpose?

"To number one, the Christian answers, 'God created us;' to number two, 'the fall;' to number three, 'redemption by Christ;'” and to the fourth question, 'restoration of society.'" [emphasis added]

This question and answer is illuminating. The "restoration of society" is a dominionist ideal. Colson has a long history of interconnections with the Reconstructionist dominionists. Rick Warren has a long history of interconnections with the New Apostolic Reformation dominionists. There is a 25-year history of fraternization between leaders of these two groups. Note that the partnership between Colson and Warren is becoming a public, global marriage of dominionist worldviews.

From this point forward "worldview" is going to be marketed as "Buy One, Get One Free." If you think you can associate freely with the concept of "worldview" without getting tainted by the dominionism, think again. It is a complete package. The two go together. It is being marketed as such.

The Truth:

For further background information, see previous Herescope posts on the topic of Worldview.

"Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away." (Proverbs 4:14-15)