Those who established the republic were mostly Christians, or at least believed in biblical worldview concepts. So, when they established our democratic republic, they specifically founded it upon biblical principles.
But society has seen a massive change. Naturalists have now come to dominate America’s societal institutions. These are people who believe that the natural universe, operating by natural laws, is all that exists. Thus, they don’t believe in a transcendent God. That being the case, they must create their moral beliefs based on their own personal preferences. And in society, those who have power get to make the rules, and the citizens are forced to obey.
But just how are these two worldviews different as they are expressed in our republic?
1. Binding Vs. Non-Binding Foundation
- Biblical View – Binding Foundation
The law of God exists above human law and defines morality. This law is not merely arbitrary rules, but is a revelation of God’s own character, and we are admonished to imitate Him.
This concept has been taken as an organizing principle for America’s legal system. Our founders created a Constitution which serves as a binding foundation upon which all other laws must be measured.
- Naturalistic View – Non-Binding Foundation
In Naturalism there is no one to reveal any absolute and unchangeable moral laws, since it does not acknowledge the existence God. This results in the Constitution is not being viewed an unchanging document, but as a “living and breathing” guide that can be reinterpreted, at any point, by those in power.
2. Civil Disobedience Vs. Strict Obedience to the Law
- Biblical View – Civil Disobedience (Focus on the Individual)
The concept of acceptable civil disobedience requires a belief that a law exists above human law. While the Bible certainly teaches that human beings ought to obey human laws, if there is a conflict, God’s laws take precedent.
- Naturalistic View – Strict Obedience to the Rulers (Focus on the Collective)
Naturalism doesn’t recognize the existence of a higher law. Thus, civil disobedience must be illegitimate and cannot be not tolerated.
3. High Vs. Low Value of Individual Human Life
- Biblical View – High Value of Human Life
A biblical worldview recognizes human beings as persons specially created in the image of God. This view prohibits the taking of innocent human life.
- Naturalistic View – Low Value of Human Life
Naturalists view human beings as merely natural animals with no more intrinsic value than any other life form. With that, such things as abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, etc., can only be judged based on the particular circumstances surrounding it. The needs of the collective always take precedence over the life of any particular individual.
4. Equality of Opportunity Vs. Equality of Outcomes
- Biblical View – Equality of Opportunity (Focus on the Individual)
A biblical worldview views every individual as unique. Thus equality focuses on providing people the same opportunity to advance in their own uniqueness, as opposed to making sure everyone acquires the same things.
- Naturalistic View – Equality of Outcome (Focus on the Collective)
Naturalism is primarily focused on promoting the survival and advancement of the collective, rather than valuing the individual. This puts the focus on equality of outcome (equity) where everyone has access to the same material things.
5. Individual Vs. Collective Liberty
- Biblical View – Individual Liberty (Focus on the Individual & Freedom of Conscience)
A biblical worldview prioritizes the individual over the collective. Applying this in society, laws and societal rules should be particularly crafted to promote the advancement of the individual.
- Naturalistic View – Collective Liberty (Priority of and Focus on the Collective)
Human beings, in Naturalism, are viewed merely as one natural animal among many. Individuals are valuable only as they contribute to the survival of the collective. Thus, prioritizing particular individuals or classes over individual rights can be deemed acceptable if it better serves the needs of the collective.
6. Impartial Vs. Partial Judges
- Biblical View – Impartial Judges
Fairness is an expression of God’s very nature based on biblical worldveiw beliefs. God is revealed as one who is impartial in his judgment of mankind, and has shared that this should also characterize human judgment of other humans.
- Naturalistic View – Partial Judges (The Greater Good)
Naturalism has no absolute moral foundation, and it prioritizes the collective over the individual. As such, if the good of the collective is better served, individual rights may be set aside.
7. Due Process Vs. Arbitrary Process
- Biblical View – Due Process
Due process in judicial proceeding is important because it provides the individual with the opportunity tell his or her side of the story. This principle is based on the fairness God exhibits toward humanity in His judgments.
- Naturalistic View – Arbitrary Process (The Greater Good)
In Naturalism it can be argued that there are times when due process is not in the best interest of the collective.
8. Equal Vs. Arbitrary Justice Under the Law
- Biblical View – Equal Justice Under the Law
Equal justice under the law expresses the notion that justice should be administered using the same standard for everyone. God is revealed as a judge who is “no respecter of persons,” and human beings should also judge using this standard.
- Naturalistic View – Arbitrary Justice (The Greater Good)
Naturalism has no objective moral standard. As such, dispensing justice in an arbitrary fashion may, in some cases, be deemed appropriate.
9. Formal Vs. Arbitrary Accusations
- Biblical View – Formal Accusations
Formal accusations are important in judicial proceedings because it provides a way for persons being accused of a crime to understand and respond as a matter of fairness. In the Bible, God has modeled this by carefully defining sin. In the legal system, the law becomes the standard, and formal accusations can be made when it is broken.
- Naturalistic View – Arbitrary Accusations (The Greater Good)
Based on a naturalistic worldview, if providing a formal accusations is deemed to not be in the best interest of the collective, it may be waived.
10. Legal Vs. Arbitrary Rules in Trials
- Biblical View – Legal Rules in Trials
A legal trial’s purpose is to provide a means for those accused of a crime to be fairly judged. God models this by impartially judging humanity, and His standard is seen to be right in judging those accused of a crime.
- Naturalistic View – Arbitrary Rules in Trials (The Greater Good)
There is no absolute standard for morality in Naturalism. So, if not having a legal trial is deemed by those in power to better serve the collective, a different standard can be used.
Conclusion – The Foundation of Values Matters
The source of values matters. In American society, fairness is considered an important moral principle. And the definition of fairness that undergirds society comes from the Bible. If the Bible is set aside, it will not be long before the notion of fairness itself is eliminated.
Reality exists in an objectively real way – and that includes the existence of God. He actually exists and has revealed Himself and His ways to mankind. To the degree we reject Him, we will come to ruin. To the degree we follow Him, we will thrive.
Freddy Davis is the president of MarketFaith Ministries. He is the author of numerous books entitled The Truth Mirage, Rules for Christians Radicals, Liberalism vs. Conservatism, and his latest book Shattering the Truth Mirage and has a background as an international missionary, pastor, radio host, worldview trainer, and entrepreneur. Freddy is a graduate of Florida State University with a BS in Communication and holds MDiv and DMin degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a popular speaker, particularly on the topic of worldview and its practical implications for the Christian life. He lives in Tallahassee, FL, with his wife Deborah.
You may also contact Freddy at Leadership Speakers Bureau to schedule him for speaking or leadership engagements.
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