A few weeks back in a post called “A Little bit of History” I quoted 10 lessons of history as recorded by the late Professor J. Rufus Fears, and today I thought I’d share something else from Professor Fears. This time I thought you might find his historian’s definition of religion interesting, not to mention instructive. History according to the professor is:
A world view that supplies the individual with a comprehensive set of values to understand the universe and their place in it.
If you stop and consider this definition of religion, you will quickly come to realize that it contains a lot more possibilities than we usually consider for this word. Most particularly, you’ll notice that it doesn’t mention God; don’t be too quick to discard Professor Fears’ definition because of that. Instead keep in mind the Biblical concept of idolatry which can result in things being placed into God’s rightful place in the minds of men.
Fears insists that systems created by men are often the equivalent of religion in the affairs of humanity, citing communism as an example of a system that seeks to answer all of the questions of life within its own framework with the result that its adherents will pursue it with religious devotion and zeal.
Now there’s a pretty good chance that if you are reading this blog, you are probably not a communist. But communism isn’t the only political/economic system that has this feature.
I wonder… how many Christians today view the world with a world view that is not at all Biblical?
Do you remember the “occupy Wall Street” people of a couple of years ago who were going on mindlessly about the evil 1% that are supposedly cheating everybody out of their just due? Have you ever met someone who is just filled with the notion that their evil boss is always trying to cheat them? Have you ever heard people who view most everything through the lens of big terrible corporations that are practically making slaves out of the common man? Have you ever heard politicians talking about “working men” and “working families” as opposed to non-working “white-collar” management? How about politician’s who always refer to the “rich” who need to pay their “fair share?”
Can you recall reading any of these kinds of things in the Bible? Hardly!
All of this kind of talk comes from what is called the “Class Struggle Model” of economics that has its origins in the writings of Karl Marx and is carried through the Progressive political philosophy in the United States. The model is common to communism, western socialism and fascism, and it is pervasive in our political thought today. It is not a Biblical world view, it is not only entirely secular, but it can even be considered a false religion as the authors of the New Testament would understand the term.
I have no intention here of telling anybody what to think about political matters, but I would hope that Christians, before following the pack and just accepting the popular views that they hear on the news shows and in the union meetings would examine carefully where certain ideas come from so that they may make informed choices that are consistent with their faith. Maybe your boss is a jerk. In that case, you might want to find another job, but you might also want to hesitate before buying into a non-Biblical view that runs contrary to Christ’s teachings.
Just a thought…