American Vision gets its fair share of feedback from readers like you. A concern that is often raised by letter and email writers goes something like this: “Why is your ministry so negative? Shouldn’t we be trying to unite Christians and work together instead of bickering over theological differences that don’t really matter? Let’s just preach the gospel and worry about the other stuff in heaven…” Although each one words it a bit differently, this is the essence of it. In other words, “Can’t we all just get along?”
The short answer is no, we can’t. Not yet anyway. The main problem with a question like this is that underneath the question is a statement. A statement that basically says that the Bible is only about saving people from hell. Christianity then, becomes nothing more than a one-way ticket through the narrow gate (Matt. 7:13-14). Few there be that find it, but it won’t be for a lack of witnessing and leaving tracts with the tip for the waiter. While we appreciate the zeal attached to such a view, it is completely short-sighted and bears no resemblance to the gospel of the New Testament.
We claim to be a “biblical worldview ministry.” That’s pretty generic nowadays. Almost any Christian ministry could, and often does, claim the same thing. But we take this moniker seriously; it’s more than a marketing device or a positioning cliché. It accurately sums up our mission at American Vision. We are viewed by some as an “eschatology” ministry, others believe we’re all about America’s Christian history, still others want to attach the scarlet letter of “T” to our headquarters (the dreaded “theocracy”), and yet another group thinks we’re a Christian “think-tank” concerned with current events and political parties. Interestingly, they’re all wrong. We’re none of these things. Usually what happens is that someone comes into contact with us because of things we’ve produced, written or said on one of these topics. This then becomes what the individual associates with being the “main thrust” of American Vision
It is this very sort of compartmentalized thinking that we are trying to destroy, one reader, viewer, and listener at a time. The Christian worldview encompasses everything. There is no aspect of life that a follower of Christ can hope to leave untouched. The Reformers were clear that the Bible was clear about the noetic effects of sin. The Fall affected not only man’s heart in his relationship with his Creator, it also affected his mind. The Bible is filled with commands to immerse our minds with God’s Word. We are to “renew” our minds (Rom. 12:1-2) and “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (2 Cor 10:5). If the gospel was only meant to be “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ,” many pages of papyrus were wasted needlessly. What does it mean to “believe?” Should we expect some sort of lifestyle change to follow a “profession of belief?” Can I still be a Christian and live like Baal? Why or why not?
These are “worldview” issues. This is why American Vision has information on so many topics and perspectives. A Christian is one who should be informed about all issues of life. Attempting to boil the Bible down to a two-sentence statement is a grave mistake. We deal with eschatology, history, biblical law and current events because the Bible deals with these things. We can’t be pinned down as a niche ministry in any one area because all areas eventually overlap. Once you commit to “In the beginning…”, prior beliefs will be found to be in direct conflict with the words of Scripture. A truly biblical worldview will “let God be found true, and every man a liar” (Rom. 3:4). Anything less is intellectual dishonesty at best, heresy at worst.
For this reason, we must address issues that we believe are in conflict with the Bible. In order to fulfill our calling as a “biblical worldview ministry,” we must call attention to and expose teachings the Bible can’t support. The epistles of Paul are filled with doctrinal correction. Jesus saved His harshest and most condemning words for the religious leaders. The biblical precedent is unmistakable: teaching error, even just a little is a dangerous thing. However, many people interpret an attack on someone’s ideas, beliefs or teachings as an attack on the person himself. For instance, we will argue until sunset with Tim LaHaye in the area of eschatology, but we will be the first to applaud his work in the area of American history. In fact, LaHaye even quotes Gary DeMar favorably in Mind Siege, the worldview book that he co-authored with David Noebel.
But, we are also mindful of the practicality of certain debates. We don’t waste time trying to fight petty theological hair-splitting battles that only half of one percent understand anyway. Our call is to the pews and the people that occupy them. We realize that reformations begin with the people, not seminary professors. Our goal of “restoring America’s Christian foundation” will not happen without stepping on a few toes in the process. Hopefully though, hurt toes lead to open Bibles…and open Bibles to renewed minds…and renewed minds to biblical worldviews…and biblical worldviews to cultural reformation…and eventually, restoration.
Article posted May 14, 2009