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Years ago, I read a book by J.P. Moreland called, “Love Your God with All Your Mind.” It was written by an evangelical to fellow evangelicals, arguing that we were not doing a very good job of thinking biblically. I have to conclude that he was right, and I join in his call for fellow evangelicals to do the part of the Great Commandment that we may have been neglecting: loving God not just with our hearts and souls but also with our minds. 

According to a 2017 study from Barna, only 17% of Christians who attend church regularly and believe their faith is important to them have a biblical worldview. Some 61% agree with ideas rooted in New Spirituality; 54% resonate with postmodern views; 36% accept ideas associated with Marxism, and 29% believe ideas based on secularism. A 2022 study from Arizona Christian University reveals that only 37% of pastors possess a biblical worldview. 

I’m taking a break in this piece from my usual op-eds about law because we need to discuss something much deeper. As the great Montesquieu observed centuries ago: public policy is based on the people’s values, and the people’s values are based on their religion. Thus, religion ultimately drives what society looks like. 

In modern times, the contest in America has not been between Christianity and other religions, such as paganism, Islam, Hinduism, or the like. Instead, it has been a contest between Christianity and what some have called “secular religions.” It may seem strange to call a system of belief without God a “religion.” However, secular religions are attempting to answer the questions that Christianity has always answered. Here are some of those questions: Where did we come from? How do we know? What is the ultimate? Why is the world not as it should be? And ultimately, how can we be saved?

Marxism, which overran nearly half the globe in the 20th Century, was such a secular religion that sought to answer these questions. Although it rejected the existence of God, it identified man’s fundamental problem: private property. It viewed the world through a class struggle and proposed the solution for how to save us: abolishing private property through the use of force. It has failed all over the globe and left an estimated 100 million dead.

This should have come as no surprise to any biblically literate Christian. The Bible tells us that the ultimate problem is sin, that sin comes from the human heart instead of our circumstances, and that the solution is the new birth through Jesus Christ, who alone has the power to forgive sins and transform the human heart.

Yet as the Barna poll shows, an alarming number of Christians do not get this. Even an alarming number of pastors don’t get this! Why?

I think that most American Christians in 2022 have been infected with some level of a sacred/spiritual dichotomy in their thinking. When we think about the Bible, we think about issues like how to get to heaven, how to worship on Sundays, and how to take care of our families. That’s good, no doubt. But why do we stop there? 

Too often, especially when it comes to politics, Christians abandon the Word of God and adopt some form of worldly philosophy as their basis for making decisions. For instance, in the aftermath of the tragic killing of George Floyd, Christians became open to Critical Race Theory as a guide for how to deal with these issues.

But CRT provides a patently unbiblical way of looking at issues of justice. Instead of teaching that individuals are culpable for the choices that they make, CRT teaches that one is guilty if he is born white. Many other forms of woke ideology suffer from the same kind of flaw. But most of the Church is oblivious to this. 

So here’s my appeal to the Church: Love your God with all your mind. Test the philosophies around you according to what the Word of God teaches. If you don’t know what it says, that’s okay: just start reading.

The Bible is safe enough that a toddler can play in the water without fear of drowning yet so deep that theologians can dive down as far as they can and still never reach the bottom. Dive as deep as you can. If you find that God says something about a matter, examine what you already believe in light of what God said. If you find that the Word contradicts your thinking, then change your thinking, not the Word. 

If the Church as a whole starts thinking biblically and adjusting its behavior accordingly, then the world will be a much better place indeed.

Matt Clark is the President of the Alabama Center for Law and Liberty, a conservative nonprofit law firm that fights for limited government, free markets, and strong families in the courts. His column appears every Friday in 1819 News. The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to Commentary@1819News.com.

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