What is one of the most serious deceptions Satan has foisted upon our world today? Without a doubt, it is the notion that it is possible to have an objective or value neutral world-view–that a noncommittal middle ground exists–and that any extreme, such as immersing yourself too thoroughly in something, is allowing yourself to become indoctrinated, and thus bad. This belief originates with the Father of Lies, and is itself a lie.
“With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)
This strategy is brilliant, actually, because if people believe that there is a neutral ground and that it is good to remain upon it, they will avoid doing what is necessary to really follow Christ—what Christ has Himself commanded His followers to do—and will avoid grounding themselves thoroughly in the Word of God for fear of indoctrination. Jesus said, “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” (John 15:3-4) God’s Word sanctifies us—it cleans us, it makes us holy—and a thorough, faithful, regular study of the Word of God is as essential to following Christ as eating is to human beings.
There is no neutral middle ground where world views are concerned. Contrary to what you might come to believe if you listen to the media or read research conducted by the ungodly, everyone believes something about himself, the world, his place in it, the purpose of life, and the existence of God. It cannot be otherwise, because no one grows up in a vacuum of experience. Everyone had people who influenced their formative years, books they have read, movies they have watched, friends and associates they have spent time with. They have an opinion and a world-view, whether it rightfully acknowledges God as Lord, or places themselves or someone or something else in His place.
The ungodly furthermore categorize world-views as either “religious” or not, and this also is a wrong way of looking at the picture. The implication is that religious people are more primitive because they “need” an external source of authority (whether the Bible, some other writing, or a religious leader) to dictate their behavior, while those who are not religious are mature enough to determine for themselves how they will behave.
Yet accepting one lie, that neutrality of world-views is possible, predisposes a person to another one—in this case, that it is better or more advanced to determine your own standard of behavior. Determining your own standard of behavior is, actually, frequently recorded in Scripture, and it is not a good thing. The Bible refers to it as people doing what is right in their “own eyes,” and an entire Bible study could be written on this topic. For starters, let’s just look at several verses.
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he who heeds counsel is wise.” (Proverbs 12:15)
“You shall not at all do as we are doing here today—every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes.” (Deuteronomy 12:8)
“In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 17:6)
God does NOT want us to simply do whatever seems right to us, because our understanding of right and wrong is skewed by our innate sin-nature. We DO need the Bible to tell us what is right and wrong. In this the secularists are correct; we do not have the ability to do it on our own, and this is true not only of Christians, but also of the ungodly. The difference is that while Christians openly recognize their inability, the ungodly plod along unconvinced and achieve spiritual ruin.
God teaches us to walk worthy of the calling with which we were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering bearing with one another in love. This type of behavior is completely contrary to my natural sinful human mind. In the absence of the Word of God and His Spirit’s urging, I would not do this. I do not want to be lowly; to the contrary, I want to be honored, to be the top dog, to be someone special. There are many times when I do not feel like being gentle; I want to be harsh when someone deserves it or, quite honestly, when I feel like it. I certainly do not want to lovingly put up with others’ inabilities and shortcomings. The only reason I ever do any of these things is because I am Christ’s and I have immersed myself enough in God’s Word to know that this is what He expects of me.
There is no middle ground. Everyone believes something. We must be careful to believe what is true.
Let us not be as the Laodicean church in the book of Revelations of which You said, “…you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked…” (Rev. 3:17) Open our eyes that we might see the truth—that without You, we are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. Help us form a world-view governed by what You say is right and wrong. In Jesus’ name, Amen.