Your deepest held beliefs, while they affect every aspect of life (including marriage), aren’t always biblical. This can make it incredibly hard to discuss sensitive topics or work through deep disagreements in marriage. As we’ve discussed often, your beliefs always inform your behaviors. In this week’s episode we talked about what a worldview is while contrasting biblical Christianity against 5 non-Christian worldviews. You may be surprised how often non-Christian worldviews influence your family dynamic. We had a ton of fun with this one, and we hope it blesses you!
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Selena: It is important to remember that a worldview is comprehensive. It affects every area of life, from money to morality, from politics to art. True Christianity is more than a set of ideas to use at church. Christianity is taught in the Bible is itself a worldview. The Bible never distinguishes between a “religious” quote-unquote, and a quote-unquote, “secular life.” The Christian life is the only life there is. Jesus proclaimed himself the way, the truth, and the life, and in doing so became our worldview.
Ryan: I love how he wrote that. The Bible never distinguishes between a religious and secular life. But our world does. And that’s, I think the root of what we’re trying to cover here is where are we being kind of sold a bill of goods when it comes to marriage, when it comes to family, when it comes to the Christian life or just life as a human being?
Our goal with this episode is to…I think, given the times that we’re in, there’s been a lot of unrest. Why? Why is there such division? Very complex questions. But we really want to get down to the root of authority and worldview based on an authority. And we’re going to do that by defining clearly what worldview is, what Christian worldview is, and contrasting that with some secular worldviews. And hopefully that will give us tools then and clear tools for dealing with heart issues as a married couple. Is all that accurate?
Ryan: Okay. And going through it productively, but also rooted in Christ and on God’s word. All right. All right. So it’s going to be a good episode. Selena has done an incredible run down, [both chuckles] and we will see you on the other side.
Selena: Welcome to the Fierce Marriage podcast where we believe that marriage takes a fierce tenacity that never gives up and refuses to give in.
Ryan: Here, we’ll share openly and honestly about all things marriage—
Ryan: And everything in between.
Selena: Laugh, ponder, and join in our candid, gospel-centered conversations. This is Fierce Marriage.
[00:02:08] <podcast begins>
Selena: A caveat at the beginning. There’s going to be a lot of jump-off points for you and your spouse to go deeper. The more that Ryan and I… this whole episode again comes from our own conversations in daily life, prevalent themes that we see coming out of the woodwork when we’re talking about struggles that we might be having within our marriage, our ideas, our philosophies. We are two human beings. Although we were two as one, we still struggle with beliefs, and how they play out in our marriage and in our familial life.
So there will be a lot of probably unanswered questions, there’ll be points for you and opportunities for you and your spouse to jump off of and to start learning and digging deep on your own together. Because we need to answer this question of what is a worldview? Do you have one? Yes, we all have a worldview, whether we admit it or not. What is it? Do you and your spouse share the same worldview? Do you have a Christian worldview? And you may say yes, but wait. Before you say yes, I would caution you because there are beliefs I think that we subscribe to, we have as Christians that are not actually Christian. And those are the things that we want to start uprooting and highlighting because there are some very, very gray areas.
But before we do that, thank you to our patreons, and supporters because we could not do this without you. We have hit a major goal of…you said 300 patreons?
Ryan: Yeah. Yeah, we hit 300 patreons.
Selena: It’s amazing! Praise God!
Ryan: Yes. And I think it’s timely, because as we’re talking through this idea of worldviews, namely Christian worldview, and we’ll talk about ways that it is…I mean, come on, if you’re alive and breathing, and your heads not buried in the ground, you’ll know that Christian values are no longer really valued in our culture.
Selena: Not accepted, not wanted. [chuckles]
Ryan: So things like, you know…
Selena: Talking about…
Ryan: …marriage and family from a Christian biblical worldview is not super popular. So if you’re passionate about this, and you’re passionate about seeing God’s vision, God’s view, God’s design for marriage, God’s design for family, God’s design for children, having kids, God’s design for how all that interfaces with reality as we know it, then you can partner with us. Because that’s our mission. Our mission is to continue heralding the gospel in the space of marriage and family. Until God says, no more, we’re going to keep doing that.
One of the recurring themes in my personal, quiet time is being at any cost, Christ. And what I mean by that is, I want more of Jesus at any cost, but I also will follow and obey Him at any cost. Obviously, that “me” translates into our family. So by partnering with us, you are basically taking that stand and saying at any cost Christ, we’re going to stay true and faithful to God’s word, to following Jesus, to submitting ourselves to His authority, to the authority of Scripture, regardless of what it costs us.
So if you want to do that, go to patreon.com/fiercemarriage. We ask you to pray about it. If God leads you to the new act on His leadership to supporting us, patreon.com/fiercemarriage. God’s been so faithful to this point, and we’re thankful to all our patreons. Thank you for joining us.
Selena: Yes. So we are going to jump around in this rundown I got here, Ryan. So try to keep up.
Ryan: Oh, baby. I’ll buckle in.
Selena: Buckle in. Buckle up. We are talking about a Christian worldview. You can also use the word biblical because I believe they are one and the same. [both chuckles]
Ryan: Oh, you believe. I see.
Selena: Oh, yes.
Ryan: You’re such a bigot. You have absolute truth apparently.
Selena: Absolute truth is the problem with [both chuckling] all the other worldviews. Anyways, we are talking about that—biblical Christian worldview. Because there are competing worldviews which we are going to talk about as well. I think that understanding the competing worldviews helps us understand our worldview and the place that it holds.
Ryan: Only that what we’re called to understand why we believe what we believe.
Ryan: Guys, that you’re listening to this because you’re a Christian, probably, and you’re probably married or headed that way, or you care about Christian marriage. So we’re kind of preaching to the choir in the sense, but I just want to call it the elephant in the room. We didn’t just pluck this worldview and you as listeners didn’t just pluck this worldview out of thin air and say, “This is the one that I’m going to stick my eternity on.” Right?
Ryan: Okay. We believe in a God that calls His people, His own unto Him. And His call is irrefutable in that we are compelled to place our faith in Jesus Christ, in that He will enable us then to persevere in that faith, and it will be eternal faith. It will be an eternal reality that we live in because of God’s grace.
With that said, we also believe in the historical accuracy and the sustainability of the truths that we claim to be true. In that even for somebody who doesn’t want to believe in the truth of the Bible, if they’re looking at it with an objective eye, they can look at scripture and say, “There’s something unique here, and it’s something profound.” And if they are willing, they could go, “There’s something supernatural here. And that these are the words of God, and they can be the authority in our lives.” So we joking about being kind of bigoted about like, this is the truth, but reality is if we believe it, then we kind of have to say that. Is that okay?
Selena: Yes, yes. I was just reading the scripture you put here in 1 Peter 3:13-16. “Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame.”
This is what we are talking about in terms of the worldviews clashing. Do you have one? Do you and your spouse share the same one? If you do, how does that radiate out from your family unit? Right?
Ryan: Right. Yeah.
Selena: And if you don’t hold the same view, how can you work towards having this Christian worldview? Because it is important. It is kind of Christian life.
So defining what a world view is, is how you see the world. I think we talked about that. Do you and your spouse have the same worldview? Kind of rhetorical. If you think about conversations around politics, education, pandemics, the government, the roles of all those things, can you and your spouse even talk about any of those things? Are they things that you can ignore, or you choose to ignore, or should you ignore because you’re afraid of the confrontation that might happen? Or do you just bury yourself in distraction? Because there’s just different ways I think we deal with it, and we should not.
There are ways as Christians that we are supposed to be dealing with it. And that is through having a Christian worldview, seeing the world through Christ. Worldview really is about authority. Whose authority are we coming under? Because the Bible is authoritative. We talk about, constantly on Fierce Marriage, how do our behaviors inform our actions right?
Ryan: How do our beliefs.
Selena: Beliefs. I’m sorry. Beliefs inform our behaviors? We talked about love last week. How does our understanding and belief of love, how it is biblically defined, bear weight on how we treat each other, how we love each other? How does that break down into how we make meals for each other? You could definitely have a listen on that one. That was a good fight that we had.
Ryan: To nuance that a little bit, we talked about love in terms of desire and affection, and how love is it choice and affection is oftentimes the outcome of that choice. And desire is something that is informed by the Holy Spirit. [unintelligible] you missed it. I do want to brush over these real fast because we’re going to define the Christian worldview. But we’re also going to talk through maybe these other five worldviews that I think we tend to, in our culture, take bits and pieces of these. And some of these are really prevalent now. The other one that’s named that we’re going to reference is the Islamic worldview. It’s not super popular where we are. It’s popular in other parts of the world. That’s a different can of worms.
Selena: But I think if it’s a big part of another part of the world, it’s going to affect us…
Ryan: It does for sure.
Selena: …eventually or at some time.
Ryan: It does for sure, but it may be not in ways that are not explicitly Islamic.
Ryan: In ways that are more rooted in other worldviews.
Selena: And I don’t know if we said this before. But you and I have conversations daily about the world. [both chuckles] I just want to make this clear though and hopefully, it is that, again, we did not just pluck this out of thin air. This is an outpouring of the things that we’ve been struggling through going to the Word, reading through it, digesting it all. But every worldview, Christian or non, deals with three main questions.
Ryan: Okay. But I want to mention these, we’re going to go through these. I’m not going to do it now. But Islamic worldview, the secular humanism, the Marxist worldview, and the cosmic humanist worldview, and postmodernism.
Selena: And probably you’ve heard some of those terms being thrown around or seen them online. Maybe you don’t necessarily know what they mean, but hopefully, we’ll be able to unpack that a little bit for you. Because even reading through some of those descriptions, I was like, “Oh, I think I might have believed a little bit of that. Now, I know that that’s not true, or why that’s not true. Or why I shouldn’t be in agreement with those movements.”
Ryan: Or they could be hints that have been true, but they’re applied in a way that’s untrue.
Selena: Yes. So every worldview, Christian or non, deals with these three main questions of where did we come from and why are we here? So that’s the first one. Second one: what is wrong with the world? Third one: How can we fix it?
So if we’re coming from a Christian worldview, we’re saying where did we come from? God created us in His image. Why are we here? To glorify Him? What’s wrong with the world? We sinned and broke our relationship with disobedience to God. This is all in Genesis.
Ryan: How do we make it right?
Selena: And how we don’t actually.
Ryan: Have do we make it right?
Selena: God Himself has redeemed the world through the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ in Genesis, and Luke. The whole Bible. And will one day restore creation to its former perfect state. Isaiah 65. So a Christian worldview leads us to believe in moral absolutes, though, that’s just a buzzword. That’s the thing that basically debunks all the other worldviews. Miracles, human dignity, and the possibility of redemption.
There’s a lot of things to be had for your marriage if you are unified around the Christian worldview. Because I feel like you, Ryan have encouraged me in areas where I feel unclear about how to view the world and how to live in it in a way that is reflecting Christ the most. So it’s also having a unified worldview around…a Christian worldview has helped anchor our hope, I think, in God, as the world continues to feel tumultuous. It’s been that fuel for that fierce tenacity of like never giving up on each other and never giving into anything outside of God’s Word. So just to kind of paint that picture.
Ryan: I think it’s helpful to refine our scope, or at least rearticulate it for this. So we’re talking about marriage, we’re talking about family, we’re talking about how we deal with externalities that would impose themselves around our dinner table. Right?
Ryan: We were out we were on vacation last week. We recorded two episodes. And so the episode dropped while we’re actually on vacation with your mom. Some really big conversations came up with her. The conversations that you and I have had, but they were worldview conversations. They’re more about how you see reality then about the weather.
Selena: Right. My mom’s a believer and Christian and our kids just started asking questions, and you unapologetically started answering the question. [chuckles]
Ryan: And they were sensitive. We won’t get into what the questions were but they were sensitive for reasons in our family that we haven’t yet discussed.
Selena: They are dinner table conversation. They literally were happening around the dinner table.
Ryan: You know kids ask really awkward questions at awkward times. [Selena chuckles] They definitely did that.
Selena: I came over and I was like, “I don’t have the gumption for this right now. Can you please go take over?” Because he’s just unapologetically. Let’s go dive into this scripture and the inerrancy of Scripture and what it means for this and I’m like, “Yes, go babe. You’re never hotter than you are right now.”
Ryan: I’m glad you could say that. The point which I’m trying to make is the scope of this is to say okay, we are a married couple and we’ve recognized that Christ is the authority in our lives. The scripture is the authority in our lives. How do we live that out when it’s not clear? How do we live that out when everything I’m seeing in the news is telling me to care about a, b, and c, when Scripture says that a, b and c maybe aren’t in that order? Or maybe I shouldn’t care about the things in that way, or I should care about those things in a biblically informed way. And here are the details of what that looks right.
Selena, this came up, this idea for this episode came up when we were having one of those conversations, and you said, “We should talk about that.” How to hash through hard, complex worldview questions as a couple. So that’s why we’re talking about today.
Selena: How does this affect me as a believer? Not as a wife, or not as a white male or not as a…
Ryan: You’re a white male now. [chuckles]
Selena: No, you I’m saying. Because you are asking the question. Because you’re saying, how does…I’m not asking these questions. How does this affect us as believers on our day to day, because I think there was some sort of…oh, there was an article that was talking about surveillance and all of that.
Ryan: Yeah, that’s right. [laughs]
Selena: So you were saying not how does this affect me as…
Selena: …as an American, as this financial status or as a white male or as whatever. But how does this affect me as a human, image-bearer of God?
Ryan: Okay. I’m going to restate what you said just in different ways so that I can get a fuller picture. [Selena laughs] We were reading an article together. It was on the Atlantic, in their website, and it says, “The panopticon is already here.” I think it’s…let me see. Panopticon. I’m going to look it up in real-time, ladies and gentlemen.
Selena: It was panoptist.
Ryan: Panopticon. Okay. The article was the Panopticon Is Already Here. The panopticon is…I’m going to read from Wikipedia just for clarity. It’s a type of institutional building and a system of control designed by the English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham, basically, as a way of being able to watch all the inmates in a prison all at once, one person watching them.
The idea was that if everybody thought they were all being watched, even though physically impossible, okay, it was impossible for them to all be observed simultaneously, but none of them knew that. So they all thought they were being observed. So they would all behave in a certain way. So it’s a philosophical kind of approach to a problem, namely, the prison issue back when this was written.
So the article is all about how China is developing this technology to basically surveil their people. And it creates all this fear when you’re reading about it…
Selena: What’s that movie that has that saying “You are going to commit a crime with the…”
Ryan: The minority report.
Selena: Minority report. [laughs] So it’s like, “Well, I wasn’t going to but you’re all these like signal said, and told our artificial intelligence that you were.” So…
Ryan: Because they’re working on a technology in China that can read different biometrics and things and have all the information about your history of how you’ve travel, all this kind of stuff.
Selena: I’m sure you can ima…
Ryan: And then they can make conclusions about what you’re going to do and they can make basically profile you in a very high-resolution way, and then persecute incarcerate, do whatever they want. They’re already doing it to a segment of the Islamic population in China because they’re not friendly to the state. So Selena’s reading this thing and “I can’t sleep now.”
Selena: I’m like, “Close all the Amazon accounts, take off all the facial identity, close all the things that anybody could access about us, right?” I’m just like trying not to respond in fear, trying to rest in my Christian worldview that God is sovereign. None of this is out of His control.
Ryan: No, no, no. [chuckles] You’re jumping the fence again.
Selena: So we started talking about these things.
Ryan: Because in the same breath, you said, “We need to erase all the pictures of us on the internet.” [Selena laughing] And you’re like, “They’re already out there. They’re staying somewhere. That’s no good.” And you’re like free your hands and like, “What do I do?” And then I said…
Selena: And I sent me processing through my Christian worldview.
Ryan: And we’re driving. So I said to you, “I get this article can raise concerns for various reasons. It’s not to be discarded. But I struggle with how this is supposed to affect me, given the fact that I’m a Christian called to be a disciple, to be a discipler, and to make disciples of all nations in the name of Jesus.” Well, how does that affect me? How does it affect my day to day? How does it affect how we raise our kids? How does it affect how we’re married? How does it affect how I do my work? Well, right now, it doesn’t. It could. And so you want to be…the government can’t say you can’t homeschool your kids and can’t think…
Selena: I think that’s where the fear was coming from of what could potentially be because I saw so many things that I hadn’t seen before, which have probably been there for 20 years. Right? But I’m seeing that and so I’m wrestling with these emotions and feelings of, “Okay, maybe we need to leave the country, you know, or something like that.” [both laughing]. Not really. But saying, “Yeah, I’m sure homeschool is going to be more regulated, especially with this quote-unquote, “the pandemic” and doing School and all that. But anyway. So you started asking the question of how does this bear weight on our day to day? Which is…
Ryan: That’s when the topic came up. Like we should…
Selena: We need to talk about this because…
Ryan: We should talk through what it’s like to hash these hard questions.
Selena: Yeah, as a couple, we don’t do this very well. I can’t think of a better word. But we just don’t do it very well because we’re too emotionally invested or we’re too fearful. Which, again, we’re dealing with those emotions. But we’re going to talk about a few of the other competing worldviews that have actually influenced Christians. That even I think some of us have put a little finger and said, “Yeah, I believe that. I agree with that.” And we may not understand what it’s rooted in and the insidiousness of it, and how we may need to be questioning some of the things that we are following or liking or agreeing with.
Ryan: Good. Okay. Well…
Selena: Are you going with your article or my article? [Ryan chuckles] I guess we’re going to go with yours.
Ryan: Oh, that’s just kind of spitball here. Ladies and gentlemen, these are huge topics. So we’re going to pass through them and kind of in real-time. You can also read books, listeners. You can also learn more…
Selena: Know your Bible, people.
Ryan: The important thing is, and I think that’s a great caveat is that I don’t think you can know all the things there is to know about how to refute every wrong faith, every wrong worldview, every wrong doctrine, every wrong whatever. What we can do as Christians is we can know our Bible, and we can know the God of the Bible, and we can be filled with the Holy Spirit, and we can be filled with hope, and we can be filled with confidence in what the Bible says. And we can use that to bolster whatever arguments we’re trying to make. But the bottom line is that we have to just put our full faith and trust in the Bible.
That’s kind of the big [sighs] sigh of relief caveat in all this. And trusting, okay, standing on shoulders of men and women who’ve gone before us, who have validated the text itself, the biblical scholars, the literary critics that have validated the text itself, the doctrine…
Selena: God is sovereign, people. He is. [chuckles]
Ryan: …and the theologians who have articulated these ideas and helped us so we can stand on their shoulders in good faith, without being lazy but in trusting that they are brothers and sisters of the church universal, right?
Ryan: So that, I think, is a good segue into a way of kind of seeing worldviews in that. The biblical worldview is you have a truth claim and typically there’s some sort of sacred text. Okay? And it’s true for even people that would balk at the word sacred. So for Christians, our truth claim is that the Bible is true and the Bible is our sacred text, and it’s authoritative, and it’s the revealed special revelation of God, and it is the answer to all these big questions. That’s what we just got done articulating.
The five other worldviews, as we mentioned earlier, we’ll go through them briefly now. Islam is another worldview that is very prevalent, not so much in Western society, although it’s more and more prevalent. It’s growing. The Islamic worldview. It says, there’s an estimated 1.3 billion followers of Islam at the time this article was written. It’s not just religion, it’s complete way of life. So it’s all-encompassing, all-embracing for those who would embrace it as such. There are nominal Muslims as well. But their sacred text is the Quran and their deity is Allah.
Selena: It’s on very a senior social, political, and legal system that breeds a worldview peculiar to itself.
Ryan: We’re not going to spend a lot time there because it’s not as relevant for our audience, I don’t think. Because as you mentioned, the Islamic worldview is becoming more prevalent in the West, although I wouldn’t say the ideologies and philosophies of the Islamic worldview are really saturating our culture. More so secular humanism. Just to have a clear definition of secular humanism, it’s a philosophy that really embraces human reason and secular ethics. And what secular means is that it’s not without supernatural means.
Selena: Without God. Without religion.
Ryan: Without God. Without religion. Without supernatural intervention. A secular humanist is somebody who says, “I believe in God, I don’t have to believe in God. None of that, but I don’t need God to have a moral good, fulfilling life.” Okay?
Ryan: And their sacred text, I would argue is probably a canon of works. But I would say Darwin’s Origin of Species is probably one of the more sacred texts because to them, it proves that this worldview holds water, because it proves how things came to be or that it posits a theory that is compelling enough for them to say, “Ah, I can believe that.” You talked about sacred texts. The ultimate authority of a secular humanist is the self.
Ryan: It’s my own intellect, it’s my own ability to reason, my own rationale that tells me if something’s true or untrue. So for anyone who wants to oppose my worldview, they need to prove to me that what they’re positing is more true than what I already know to be true.
Selena: Well, isn’t it they have to show you not just in a spiritual sense, they have to show you naturally scientifically without…is that this one?
Ryan: Yeah, yeah.
Selena: They want proof.
Ryan: Scientific method is king. So you have to be able to prove materially that’s something exists. The problem is… [both chuckles]
Selena: It’s not the problem here but…
Ryan: Some of these questions are not scientific.
Ryan: So they’re outside the purview of science. Like prove love exists. Prove that scientifically. You can’t. You can’t even really prove that you exist. You have all kinds of philosophers. What’s his name? Descartes. I think therefore I am. He was the ultimate kind of skeptic is what he was. So skepticism is like nothing actually exists. Because it’s like everything’s just a perception, and perception is just formed in my own mind. And I can’t truly prove anything exist. Just you can doubt everything. So secular humanism it’s self without rational thinking. It really doesn’t have anything to offer.
Selena: Right. It says that although many secular humanists are atheists, they generally have a high view of reason.
Ryan: Yeah. So that’s secular humanism. And how that’s kind of worked itself into our marriage is you have a lot of husbands, I’m just going to pick on husbands a little bit, who really do buy into this idea that my mind, my rational, my ability to argue is the end-all for me to be convinced of anything.
What that does is it kind of sears our minds, it sears our conscience, it sears our…we’re not vulnerable with one another in a way that I’m allowing my wife then to speak into my heart in a way that’s going to change my mind because she’ll have to prove it to me. And what happens is you get a husband who’s really good at arguing, or who’s really good at rational thinking, who’s really good at logic…
Selena: And the wife who’s emotional. [chuckles]
Ryan: But who is also logical rational being, but she’s not…it could go either way. It could be husbands versus wives.
Selena: Yeah, one spouse is, typically.
Ryan: What happens is it ends up kind of breaking down conversation because the authority is ultimately not recognized. To mean that, “Well, you say this is true, but I don’t believe you’re true. Or you just so mean that I don’t want to believe you and I don’t want to talk about it.”
Selena: Yeah. “And if you’re going to argue all the time, I’m just not going to bring it up. We’re just going to figure out how to operate without it.” So the whole peacekeeping versus peacemaking piece. All right.
Ryan: To help you remember, secular humanism is basically secular means that’s not based on religion at all. And then humanism is basically that humans are the end all be all of authority.
Selena: Right. And this subscribes to the secular-religious divide, which Christianity would say is non-existent.
Ryan: Not to beat a dead horse, but one way this really plays out in modern marriage is if someone’s having a hard time in their marriage, and they go to friends and friends will say, “Well, you deserve to be happy. So based on that assumption alone…
Selena: Marriage adversaries.
Ryan: Your marriage is unhappy, therefore, you can break it off and be justified in doing that. Why? Because you’re the authority and you deserve to be happy. We’re not saying stay in an abusive marriage. And we’re not saying…
Selena: Yeah, that’s not the context.
Ryan: That’s not what we’re trying to say. But we’re saying that’s how it kind of materializes. Or it could be coming from yourself saying, “You’re not making me happy. So I no longer love you.” Right?
Selena: Mm hmm.
Ryan: In the family context, having kids… [Selena laughs]
Selena: As many things to choose from. Just kidding.
Ryan: We ask ourselves: when is right for us to have kids? When can we afford it? And when is it? Instead of asking God what He thinks, or seeing children through a biblical lens, we see children through a worldly lens, which is basically they’re a commodity. They’re in addition to my lifestyle. They’re not little souls to be stewarded toward God. Instead, I’m just adding to my resume of life, which is now I’ve had kids. And what’s the best, easiest, most expedient time to do that? These are all rooted in secular humanism. We’re asking the world what they think instead of what God what He thinks. The authority is me not what the Scripture says.
Selena: So good. So good.
Ryan: What’s the next one? Again, you guys, you can read more and more on this.
Selena: I think it’s really good pressed to be defining these terms because they are being thrown out. I feel like we cannot ignore them. As Christians, we need to be familiar and understand them because we need to be able to again, like we said at the beginning of this episode, draw those lines, separate, right? This is truth. This is what God’s Word says. This is the authority. This is how it bears weight in these situations when we feel like responding from a secular humanist worldview. We may not call it that in our mind, but let’s call it what it is, and let’s have the truth, the light, God, Jesus, lead us in those situations.
Ryan: Another really clear one, before we move into the Marxist.
Selena: You’re so full of examples. That’s why I love you because I tend to dwell in the philosophical. And you’re like, “Okay, but what is an example of that?” I don’t know. Just all the examples. [laughs]
Ryan: People that are proponents of pornography, they exist. People that think pornography is somehow helpful to humanity will say that “Oh, one is being forced,” which we know that’s a lie. And they say, “It doesn’t hurt people, because it’s just between a guy and his computer or a girl and her computer, and it’s at will entertainment with a sexual twist.” That’s basically what they’ll say.
Well, that morality is completely rooted in something other than God’s Word, which tells us clearly not to lust. Not only science refuting the benefits of pornography. There is no benefit to pornography. It’s completely detrimental from the inside of a person’s soul, all the way to the outskirts of society. It is poison. It is toxic. But somebody who wants to justify it will ascribe to a secular humanist worldview in this regard, saying, “Doesn’t help anyone. I’m a pragmatist in that it’s okay for pragmatic reasons.” That’s just a clear example. A lot of husbands that are maybe steered toward that, or a lot of wives that are steered toward that will justify it using those arguments of that nature.
Selena: That are rooted in that worldview.
Ryan: Right, they are rooted in that worldview.
Selena: We talked a bit about the Islamic world view, the secular humanist worldview, which tends to be one of the biggest, I feel like, gray areas and smoke trying to come over into the Christian worldview and really saturate it. But the Marxist worldview. You and I have been talking about this for quite a while, actually.
Ryan: Years, I’d say.
Selena: You have been talking about it.
Ryan: So we’re seeing a prevalence…
Selena: Don’t let that word scare you either. Because I hear and I’m like, “Oh.”
Ryan: The reason why we’re defining these things is because we can get caught on our heels because we’re not academics. I’m saying we as Christians, people listening to this. So we want to give you some ways to like bookmark what these things are. Marxism is…I’m just going to read actually a definition from an author. His name is David Noebel. Noebel, I’ll say. I think he articulates it well. He says, “According to Karl Marx, the key problem with capitalism….” So Marxism is a worldview that is rooted in an opposition to capitalism. “The key problem with capitalism is that it breeds exploitation. Therefore, capitalism must be replaced with a more humane economic system, one that abolishes free markets, parentheses, private property and the free and peaceful exchange of goods and services and replaces it with a government-controlled economy.
Ryan: Yeah, socialism. Marxism is a form of socialism and it is the root of communism. So the sacred text in this worldview is the Marxist, the Communist Manifesto, which is written by Karl Marx. The authority is the government. In other words, the government will come in and solve my problems. So what’s wrong with society? Exploitation, and pain, and hunger, and overwork…
Selena: Education and lack of education or whatever.
Ryan: Education and health care, and all that kind of stuff. Who’s the savior? A big brother, to use an Orwellian term. The government is the savior. That’s why if you argue about this, politically, here’s my biggest bone with this. We don’t take sides politically on this podcast. We tend to be the silent majority on all things political.
Selena: Maybe people are talking about, spouses are talking to spouses about this stuff. So we’re going to [inaudible] the conversation.
Ryan: The question is always like, who is the Savior in this is…? The government’s not our Savior. And if you think this election is going to fix anything, I’m sorry to be the one to break the news. But it’s not going to fix the…
Selena: It’s not going to fix issues in terms of what we want fixed.
Ryan: Whatever side of the coin you find yourself on, the point is, is that the government is not our Savior. Biblically speaking, they’re not responsible for providing for us and not responsible for caring for us. The church is the mandated institution for some of these societal…
Selena: You said this, and maybe this is a good spot to intervene. The three structures, I guess, you said, that God has ordained. There’s the state, the church and…
Ryan: Institutions, yeah.
Ryan: The family, church, and state family.
Selena: The family church and state. Yeah.
Ryan: Yeah. And what we see…again, deconstructing the said structure, so I’ll use deconstruction. Each one of us is being deconstructed.
Selena: Through various means. Primarily the government.
Ryan: So what’s happening is America, okay, since that’s where we’re at, we’ll talk about that and most of Western society is basically capitalist, basically, democratic or a republic. And you got you have a whole swath of the population is saying that capitalism is evil and democracy essentially is evil and we need reform. Wide scale reform. Anyway, we’ll leave it there.
The Marxist worldview is the basic problem that I see with it. I think as we contrast it against the Christian worldview is that it’s a humanist worldview. That humans are the source of our salvation and that salvation comes in the form of a government. The government that basically owns everything.
Ryan: Because Marxism would abolish all private world.
Selena: And you could look at history for what happens when guys Marxist…
Ryan: Look at Russia, Venezuela, China. I mean, man. We love our country. We love America. It’s not perfect, but I feel like it’s really good. It’s been a pretty good run.
Selena: I think we see people calling for Marxist values at the lower end of society, wouldn’t you say that’s true? I would say that that the poor…if you don’t have a lot of money, you’re going to go somewhere, you’re going to want help more than maybe somebody who doesn’t have as many resources.
Ryan: That essentially is what Marxism is all about is turning the oppressed to be brushed. Turning the oppressed into the oppressor. And flipping that pyramid over. Because you have a whole class, the bourgeoisie, you have the whole class of oppressed who want to overthrow the ruling class, and then they promise utopia. If we just overthrow and nobody owns everything, and then the government owns everything, well, all it does is just turn the pyramid upside down. And now you have a different ruling class and a different…
Selena: So how does this look in marriage? Let me ask you this. What does this look like in marriage conversations? Because I think if we’re pursuing certain things, right…
Ryan: I don’t know. I just know that if you’re having arguments, and some of these things are coming up, maybe this will help you realign that argument with the biblical worldview. I’m not saying that capitalism is somehow this like God-ordained human form of government. We’re not saying that. But we are saying that we need to remind ourselves that our Savior is not in a form of government or in a form of economic exchange.
Selena: There it is. You do know.
Ryan: So we’ll leave political science to the political scientists. For a married couple, this is why worldview matters is what I’m saying.
Selena: And it’s good to wrestle with it. Yes.
Ryan: Because you may not say, “You’re a Marxist.” You might say that to them. But the bottom line is, it doesn’t matter what you say unless you ascribe the same authority.
Selena: And are we as a couple saying, okay, who are we going to for help in this situation? Who are we looking to support us? Who are we looking to be our resource for our goods? Who’s our provider here? Who are we looking to? Where are we putting our faith, our means, our hope? If we’re looking to the government, then it would probably fall under the Marxist worldview and some areas. Again, there’s a very nuanced…We are humans.
Ryan: Please don’t be offended. That term Marxism is thrown around so haphazardly nowadays that it’s become offensive. It’s no longer means what it actually means. It means [inaudible] like you. [laughs]
Selena: What words do. [chuckles] I mean really that’s how we’re defining our terms. We have to define our terms.
Selena: Two more to get through real quick. The cosmic humanist or New Age worldview. I think most of us would probably be familiar with the New Age movement. As a Christian, I think it’s more obvious the differences in worldview.
Ryan: Well, no, because you have different…you said secular humanism is working its way into the church more.
Selena: I feel like it.
Ryan: I think cosmic humanism is more because you have kind of a semblance of spirituality without the actual spirituality. You have a savior, which again, is in yourself, is if you just reach a level of enlightenment and level of ascent, then you could have salvation.
Selena: Or we see this out even if you pray a certain way you’re Christian.
Selena: If you pray…
Ryan: That would be more of a like a legalism. But the idea of there is a light within me and there was a light within the universe. And if I’m only able to tap into that light, it’ll shine brighter, and I will be enlightened and I will reach the spiritual plane that I so longed for. And that is embodied in things like peace, harmony.
Selena: Zen. [chuckles]
Ryan: Zen, yes.
Selena: It says it’s the ultimate religion of self. Like whatever you decide is right for you is what’s right as long as you don’t get narrow-minded and exclusive about it. [both laughs] Sorry.
Ryan: Yeah, that’s it. I like how he said it again. This is David Noebel. David Noebel. His name is spelled weird.
Selena: It is. N-O-E-B-E-L.
Ryan: So what’s right for you is right for you. So we see that…
Selena: That’s what a researcher said.
Ryan: That we see that attitude around morality, especially. Meaning like people will say, “This is my truth. This is my reality.” Okay, if it works for you, whatever. It’s this idea that…I think there’s a story. I don’t know if I ever told you this, but I think I probably have. There’s a story of a bunch of blind guys, and there’s a big elephant in the middle of the room. And they’re all feeling the elephant trying to identify what it is. [Selena laughs]
One has his hand on the elephant’s ears and he’s feeling and he’s saying, Oh, this is leathery. So this must be a cow. This is a cow.” They’re all blind, they can’t see it. Then another one’s feeling around the back end and he feels the hind leg, and it’s this rough skin is. “Oh, this is rough, like the bark of a tree. So I must be feeling the trunk of a large, mighty tree.” Another one feels the fur on the tail and says, “Oh, I’m touching the fur. This must be the hair of a woman. So surely this is a woman in this room. Another one touches the ivory and is feeling the smooth coolness of the ivory and is saying, “Oh, this must be, I don’t know, something smooth and cool.”
So the point of it is, is that everybody who has a truth claim is saying that I’m feeling this, and this is what reality is like. This is a tree trunk. This is a leather thing. But the thing is with this type of worldview that says there’s no absolutes is really they’re making an absolute claim, because they’re saying, “I know it’s an elephant no one else does.” And the reality is this is an elephant. And all the blind people in the world just feeling parts of the elephant. I know because I’m enlightened that everything goes, it’s whatever you say it is. There’s many paths to enlightenment. It’s whatever you say it is. So just don’t call it anything… So you’ve the irony there.
Selena: Well, yeah. I wanted to question you too, though, because we talked about in our book about the light and being transparent and God being light within us. And you were just talking about how the light is…
Ryan: No, I did not say that.
Selena: I know. [chuckles]
Ryan: Oh, just now?
Ryan: In the book we didn’t say that.
Selena: No. I guess I just want to be clear and draw that line for our listeners of what does the light look like us and how is that different than enlightenment? Right?
Ryan: Yeah. Well, for the best answer, I want to go to John 1. This is John the baptist. I love this passage. I always think of it around Easter time. So we don’t have a light within us. But rather God is the light and He shines his light into our hearts and illuminate the darkness of it, and purifying and we walk in the light of season. We have purification and we have fellowship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. So He is the light. We are nearly observers and conveyors of the light.
John says this in John 1:5: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” He’s talking about Christ. “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him.” Here it is. “He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him.” Of course, that’s Jesus again.
So to answer your question, to make that distinction, cosmic humanism says, again, humanism is focused on me as a person, cosmic meaning it’s not secular, but it’s more spiritually inclined.
Selena: Sorry. It’s insane. Because whenever we’re talking about is…we’re putting this thing through the gospel, the filter lens, you and me as a husband and wife, hearing a message, experiencing somebody saying something, some sort of encounter. We are saying, are they making much of Christ? Or are they making much of themselves? He was not the light, but the true light, which gives light to everyone was coming into the world.
So that I feel like is one of those big factors, that if you have a question, if you and your spouse are dealing with some hard question of how to respond, do we wear a mask, do we not wear mask? Do we like you know, go to church or not go to church? or all these things. What are these things making much of? What is the message that we’re hearing? I’m sorry, use the mask thing. Don’t go. Just come back to me, people. Come back. [both laughs]
What are the beliefs that you’re wrestling with? Are they making much of Christ or are they not? Are they saying, “Look to yourself to be the light,” or they’re saying, “Look to Jesus to be the light.” He is the only light. Sorry, that verse just illuminated that (pun intended) way more, I think. Thank you, God, for your scripture and your Word. This is why we know His word. All right.
The last one?
Ryan: That was cosmic humanism. Postmodern worldview. We’ve talked about this one probably the most.
Selena: Yes, postmodern.
Ryan: It’s so hard to nail down what it means.
Selena: Even when you Google it, the definitions…
Ryan: No, there’s no clear definite.
Selena: [chuckles] There’s no clear definition which is so frustrating.
Ryan: Which is so funny because pretty much what postmodernism is. But here’s my definition of it is that nothing means anything. [both laughs] That’s my definition of postmodernism. Nothing means anything and anything can mean anything.
Selena: Let’s just read what they said too because I think that it says it also that way.
Ryan: J. P. Moreland notes that postmodernism refers to a philosophical approach primarily in the area of epistemology, or what counts as knowledge or truth. That’s what a study of knowledge and truth is, is epistemology. “Broadly speaking,” Moreland says, “Postmodernism represents a form of cultural relativism about such things as truth, reality, reason, values, linguistic meaning, the self, and other notions.”
Selena: So again, we see self-being exalted.
Ryan: Yeah. Okay. The whole postmodern worldview is if I’m seeking to answer questions, the big worldview questions, where I come from, postmodernism completely deconstruct what is the meaning of the word where, and what do you mean come from? Where do you come from? They would basically start by deconstructing the terms themselves, but then also deconstructing the idea of self and the idea of consciousness.
Selena: Deconstruct and then redefine? Is that accurate?
Ryan: That’s part of it. We see a lot of redefinition right now. In fact, I won’t get into the words because they are too inflammatory. But words don’t mean what they mean.
Selena: What they used to mean. No, they don’t mean what they mean. You’re right. Again, why we’re defining terms.
Ryan: Again. Okay. So here’s one example that I feel like it’s pretty benign.
Selena: The marriage example?
Ryan: Yes. [Selena chuckles] People will say that the Christian rate of divorce is the same as the secular rate of divorce.
Ryan: My question is, how are they defining Christian? Because Christian, according to the Bible means something different than probably the poll person meant when they wrote Christian or the people meant when they checked the box for Christian.
Selena: Absolutely. Yes.
Ryan: So if you ask somebody, “Are you a Christian?” and they say, “Yes” you say, “What does that mean?”
Selena: I believe in God.
Ryan: “Oh, well, that means I believe in God.” “Do you believe in Jesus?” “Of course, Jesus was a great guy.” “Do you believe He’s your Savior?” “Yeah, of course.” “Do you believe He is God?” “I mean, He was a great guy. He was a great teacher. I don’t know if He was God. You know, people will say that. And he’s like, “Okay, well, He said that God’s Word is authoritative. He said that he was the Word. He also said that He is God.” “So how do you reconcile that?” “Well, he was…” So you see how it starts to crumble quickly, as soon as the definition is not clear?
Ryan: This is why I argue with that stat all the time. I do not think the Christian rate of divorce is the same as the world because Christians are not the same as the world. So what the problem is, is that you’ve misdefined Christian. And people who are calling themselves Christians probably aren’t according to God’s Word. That’s a tragic reality. But that’s true.
So anyway, back to postmodernism, it would redefine terms in a way that they lose their meaning or the meaning evolves to mean something more loaded than the original term. Okay?
Ryan: Okay. So five worldviews aside from Christianity. Islamic worldview, secular humanism, Marxism, cosmic humanism, and postmodernism. The point of going through all this, you guys is not just to sound smart. First off, we’re not that smart. We’re not career apologists. I love apologetics because I feel like it’s so fun to see how God’s truth bears weight on every aspect of reality. I love that. And it’s never let me down. Anytime I’ve pushed through a hard question, I’ve always found God there and I’ve always found confirmation of Scripture there, which is where God has revealed Himself.
Selena: Solid foundation.
Ryan: So we’re hopefully helping you see these different ways and maybe seeing ways that they permeated your marriage, permeated your conversation, permeated how you live your life. And here’s the big, fierce marriage application piece. How can you now have a conversation that is more biblically informed? How can you disciple one another in a more faithful way? Instead of just throwing out words or assuming beliefs, or applying them in a way that’s counter biblical, how can you do these things in a more productive way?
Selena: I don’t think that as Christians we can ignore these things any longer. If we are distracting ourselves away, I would question our commitment to the gospel. We have to know the Bible. We have to know what it says, why it is authoritative, why it is the total truth and not just a truth, and why Christian worldview is the only worldview we should have and we can have as believers.
Ryan: Titus 1:9, “He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”
Selena: So good.
Ryan: So if we don’t have any doctrine, if our doctrine is unsound, how are we going to refute those who oppose the truth that we’ve received. We can’t.
Selena: We can’t. And I think as a couple, as an encouragement here, I want to just say that the more that you and I have dove into…dove? Dive in. [both chuckles] The more we jump into all these terms and try to understand and unpack what is happening, how God’s Word, just making all of these connections, I would say, don’t be afraid to dive into these hard things. Don’t be afraid to look up definitions. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty, and to get into scripture and to talk to each other and say, “Well, the Bible says this, but I don’t understand. What do you think? Should we go to our pastor and ask them about this? Because I don’t understand these things.”
There is unity to be had. We talked about this, I believe earlier in this episode. But there’s unity to be built together to have a solid stance and foundation for those times when you feel like you might be questioned about your beliefs and the decisions that you’re making. When we decided to home educate, lots of questions, lots of questions about our beliefs and these decisions. When you are not feeling hopeful, we can anchor our hope once again.
Ryan: Sorry, I’m jumping in.
Selena: It’s okay.
Ryan: There really are a lot of applications. Think about if you’re deciding to have children, asking yourself the question of when or if. How have these worldviews influenced that conversation that you’re having? We had a very heated conversation about a year ago, before all the stuff that’s happened over the last five months around critical theory. If you don’t know that term, I’m sorry. I don’t have time to get into it. But essentially, critical theory is rooted in Marxism. It’s based on this idea that a person’s ultimate identity is in their group and every group is divided into oppressors and the oppressed and the oppressors, anything they do is meant to maintain their oppression and gain more power. It’s a toxic ideology.
Selena: That breaks down dialogue.
Ryan: But we didn’t have that term for it at the time. [Selena chuckles] We were arguing about topics that were all around critical theory. Because you had been a part of a small group and they were reading through this book that was rubbing you the wrong way, but you’re also seeing some semblance of truth in it. And you’re really wrestling with that. And then you showed me a video of somebody doing something and I was like, “This feels wrong to me. Something’s wrong here.” And you said, “Well, it’s wrong. But is it? Should we…” You’re thinking critically, you’re asking good these question.
Selena: We argued for about an hour straight.
Ryan: A hard argument. And it wasn’t like we were fighting. We were having an intellectual battle. [chuckles]
Selena: We were. I was like, “These are the truths.” And you’re like, “I know, but these are the truths also. This is not…” It was so good for our marriage and it was so good for our relationship to fight for those things and to fight together and to fight each other. We’ll be married 17 years in September, and we still are human beings with individual consciences that have to reconcile we are sinners, we are broken, but to reconcile ourselves, we have to allow God’s Word and His grace to repent to overwhelm us so that we can learn what it means to reconcile our beliefs or our sin to Him, right? We need to come to him and we need to reconcile with each other. We need to figure out how to find agreement around God’s Word and authority on these hard issues. That feels hard. His word…
Ryan: And we didn’t resolve it that day.
Ryan: It started the conversation. I was on the hunt and I was trying to find [Selena chuckles] out what is going on here? Because something feels off. It’s weird.” Like something…
Selena: Has elements of truth and biblical truth and they’re under the…it was even at a Christian conference, and there were things that the issue…things were happening.
Ryan: And they’re very complex issues so you can’t just gloss over.
Selena: Everything is a complex issue if we’re on this… [chuckles]
Ryan: It was around race and it was around gender and it was around…this was before any of the stuff that happened this year.
Selena: It feels like it was two years ago because I don’t think I was even pregnant. So anyways, there’s a lot of.
Ryan: But I love what you said about it brings unity because now we’ve been through it. Not only do we have a better understanding of it, but we were able to gospel each other, yes, verb gospel each other to remind each other of the big truth of God’s Word and the big truth of the salvation we have in Christ, and how that bears weight on even this argument that we’re having. We’re sharpening each other. And now that we’re kind of on the other side of it, I will say that we’re pretty much on the other side of it and we were in agreement on it, [Selena chuckles] now we have unity.
Ryan: And now we have a deeper joy and a deeper connection and a deeper ministry. And this is the big why we are called to go forth make disciples of all nations, baptizing in the name of The father and son of the Holy Spirit. That is the Christian call. That is the Great Commission. Now we can do that more effectively. We can make disciples of our children, we can make disciples of those in our community, we can make disciples of each other because we were able to wrestle with big topics, because we were equipped, to an extent, with some of the tools we needed to dissect these things.
Selena: God is faithful. He is faithful. Absolutely.
Ryan: Hopefully, this episode was elucidating for you, and I mean, enlightening in a way. And hopefully you heard something that said, “Yes, we need to go deeper in that,” or “we need to talk about that,” or “this has been permeating our thinking and our conversations.” So again, we hope this has been edifying.
Selena: There are a lot of good, solid, biblically-based resources out there to Google and sort of do a search engine on questions. The Gospel Project had a ton of stuff there, obviously, Got Questions. We even looked at some Barna studies that were kind of helpful. Then…I think there was one…
Ryan: I thin Total Truth would be a great recommendation too for…
Selena: I think I did say that. But if you haven’t picked up that book, I would encourage you to…
Ryan: Nancy Pearcey.
Selena: Nancy Pearcey. Total Truth. There’s another one that is Finding Truth. I have not read it, but I will. But Total Truth is the one that I am reading. Liberating Christianity from Its cultural captivity. And she is talking about how Christian worldview, having a biblical worldview, how it affects every area. I mean, she’s talking from staffers in DC, to people that work in abortion clinics, to how we’ve lost our children at the college age because they don’t know how to refute and stand up for their own faith, and how Christianity is good for people dealing with mental health issues. I mean, it’s just all across the board. All the questions that you would have, she has just brought scripture and solid truth too. So definitely check that book out. Give it a read. It’s thick, but it’s a good one. So anyways, we’re going overtime.
Ryan: Speaking of thick episodes. Thick things. Thick episodes.
Selena: This is a long one. I’m going to pray for us, and we’ll call it…we’ve opened a lot of cans of worms. Let’s…
Selena: Enjoy those worms. [chuckles]
Ryan: Enjoy that. Lord, I thank you for just your truth. That we don’t believe in a God that is timid, who’s afraid, who is easily disproved, but we believe in a God who is and was and will to come. You’re the alpha, the Omega, you’re the beginning and the end. You’re absolute truth and you have revealed yourself to us through your Word. Not only through the words on pages, but through your Son that you have given us yourself, you have sacrificed yourself so that we might know you. What a profound truth!
God, I thank you for that. I pray that that truth would reign in our hearts, you would be our hope. Even when our hope is unclear, that we would still anchor ourselves in you. We trust you. Holy Spirit, help us. We can’t do without your help. Holy Spirit, we need you to make our hearts soft and to make us believe. Lord, we need your help.
I pray for the couples listening to this, that you would bolster their faith, that they would feel strengthened in their unity, but strengthen more than anything, in their hope and faith in you. And God, I pray that they would be lights into their world, they would make disciples of each other, disciples of their children, if they have them, and disciples of their neighbors, their friends, their family. I pray that you just use them in their world, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Ryan: All right, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us. Again, I want to remind you this stuff’s important. We are committed to communicating God’s plan, idea architecture, everything about His vision for family and marriage. We’re committed to talking about that, but we need your help. So if you feel compelled to partner with us, you can do that through patreon.com/fiercemarriage. We would be honored to have your arms there. So with all that said, this episode is—
Selena: In the can.
Ryan: Thank you for joining us once again. We will see you in about seven days. And until next time—
Selena: Stay fierce.
Ryan: Thank you for listening to the Fierce Marriage podcast. For more resources for your marriage, please visit FierceMarriage.com, or you can find us with our handle @FierceMarriage on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Thank you so much for listening. We hope this has blessed you. Take care.