The American Vision: A Biblical Worldview Ministry

Pluralism's Trojan Horse

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The Bible has been taken seriously by numerous generations of Christians both in the Old World and the New World. These facts are undisputed, although current publications are attempting to obscure the biblical foundation of our nation’s history.[1]

Even those who reject the Christian worldview are honest enough to admit that it was Christianity, and the particulars of biblical law, that brought development to the West. We forget John Winthrop’s harsh words concerning the ills of democracy as “a manifest breach of the 5th commandment for a Democracy is, among most Civil nations, accounted the meanest and worst of all forms of Government.”[2]

John Cotton voiced similar sentiments, describing democracy as an unfit “government either for church or commonwealth. If the people be governors, who shall be governed?” [3] Why such denouncements? There certainly was no aversion to the democratic process, although certain restrictions were placed on the right to vote, like the requirement of land ownership. The democratic process must be checked by some fixed law code.

The Fundamentals which God gave, to the [Commonwealth] of Israel, were a sufficient Rule to them, to guide all their affairs: We having the same, with all the Additions, explanations and deductions, which have followed.[4]

This older worldview is now only a distant memory in the minds of most Christians. At the seminary level, the concept of a biblical worldview is taught more as a history lesson than a positive agenda for reform.

There is talk about the development and implementation of a biblical worldview, but few people actually believe that the Christian community will ever be able successful in implementing such a vision for society.

What is replacing the firm foundation of a biblical worldview? Appeals are being made to natural law, general revelation, and common grace as seemingly full, independent, and reliable standards of ethical inquiry. The Bible appears to have become only one ethical standard among many, part of a “smorgasbord ethic.” Problems with such a view are monumental.

“Pluralism” is the new catch phrase of those within and without the Christian community. Of course, the term means different things to different people. This is its danger, similar to the dangers that Winthrop and Cotton saw in democracy.

Pluralism refers to a diversity of religions, worldviews, and ideologies existing at one time in the same society. We are socially heterogeneous. One religion or philosophy doesn't command and control our culture. Instead, many viewpoints exist. We have Buddhists and Baptists, Christian Reformed and Christian Scientist—all on the same block, or at least in the same city. This can have a leveling effect on religious faith.[5]

With the leveling of religion, we are seeing the leveling of morality. All lifestyles are permitted in the name of diversity and pluralism. In nearly every case, Christians are the losers.

Pluralism is the bait for Christians to embrace a distinctiveless Christianity in the name of “peace.” We are to “trust” secular and religious advocates of pluralism since we all share common concerns. Christians are encouraged to set aside only a few of the distinct doctrines of the Christian faith. Once these are discarded, Christians are free to speak on any subject as long as biblical absolutes are left out of the equation. Supposedly we have entered the era of the “new and improved pluralism where Christians will be respected and taken into account as social policy is formulated in terms of a “New World Order” where religion never becomes an issue. Europe is the modern-day model. “Former French president Valery Giscard d’Estaing . . . summed up the dominant view: ‘Europeans live in a purely secular political system, where religion does not play an important role.’”[6]

The call for Christians to adopt pluralism is just another way of diluting the truth. Pluralism becomes a club to pound out the theological bumps that makes Christianity unique among all the religions of the world. And what is the fruit of the new and improved pluralist worldview?

As soon as the words “Our pluralistic society will not permit . . .” are uttered, Nativity scenes are dismantled, Christmas vacation becomes Winter Holiday, and a moment of silence in public schools is no longer merely a vain illusion but a prohibited sin against pluralism. But say “Our pluralistic society requires. . .” and homosexual activists receive affirmative action support for job demands, parents need not be notified of a minor daughter's intention to abort their grandchild, and Rotary Clubs and saunas are [made]. . . unisex. Whether or not one endorses pluralism seems to be a litmus test for whether one is persona grata in the modern world.[7]

The pluralists, in their desire to be heard, have abandoned the very thing that will make a fundamental difference in the world: Jesus Christ and the uniqueness of God's written revelation.


[1] Mark A. Noll, et al., The Search for Christian America (Westchester, IL: Crossway, 1983).
[2] John Winthrop, Winthrop Papers, 5 vols. (Boston, MA: Massachusetts Historical Society, [1498–1649] 1929–1947), 4:382–383. Quoted in Edwin Powers, Crime and Punishment in Early Massachusetts: 1620–1692 (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1966), 55.
[3] Quoted in Powers, Crime and Punishment in Early Massachusetts , 55.
[4] Winthrop, “Discourse on Arbitrary Government,” Winthrop Papers, 5:473. Quoted in Powers, Crime and Punishment in Early Massachusetts , 253.
[5] Douglas Groothuis, “The Smorgasbord Mentality,” Eternity (May 1985), 32.
[6] James P. Gannon, “Is God dead in Europe?,” USA Today (January 9, 2006), 11A.
[7] Harold O. J. Brown, “Pluralism in Miniature,” Chronicles (May 1988), 13.

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