A Christian Manifesto

If ever we begin to doubt the importance of our children receiving an education based on a Christian worldview, or if we bemoan the great effort that must be made to provide that education tuition-free – we might want to review the words of Dr. Francis Schaeffer, taken from his Christian Manifesto:

The basic problem of the Christians in this country in the last eighty years or so, in regard to society and in regard to government, is that they have seen things in bits and pieces instead of totals.

They have very gradually become disturbed over permissiveness, pornography, the public schools, the breakdown of the family, and finally abortion. But they have not seen this as a totality – each thing being a part, a symptom, of a much larger problem. They have failed to see that all of this has come about due to a shift in worldview – that is, through a fundamental change in the overall way people think and view the world and life as a whole.

This shift has been AWAY FROM a worldview that was at least vaguely Christian in people’s memory (even if they were not individually Christian) TOWARD something completely different – toward a world view based upon the idea that the final reality is impersonal matter or energy shaped into its present form by impersonal chance. They have not seen that this world view has taken the place of the one that had previously dominated Northern European culture, including the United States, which was at least Christian in memory, even if the individuals were not individually Christian.

These two world views stand as totals in complete antithesis to each other in content and also in their natural results – including sociological and governmental results, and specifically including law. It is not that these two world views are different only in how they understand the nature of reality and existence. They also inevitably produce totally different results. The operative word here is INEVITABLY. It is not just that they happen to bring forth different results, but it is absolutely INEVITABLE that they will bring forth different results.

Why have the Christians been so slow to understand this? There are various reasons but the central one is a defective view of Christianity. This has its roots in the Pietist movement under the leadership of P.J. Spener in the 17th century. Pietism began as a healthy protest against formalism and a too abstract Christianity. But it had a deficient, “platonic” spirituality. It was platonic in the sense that Pietism made a sharp division between the “spiritual” and the “material” world – giving little, or no, importance to the “material” world. The totality of human existence was not afforded a proper place. In particular it neglected the intellectual dimension of Christianity.

True spirituality covers all of reality. There are things the Bible tells us as absolutes which are sinful – which do not conform to the character of God. But aside from these the Lordship of Christ covers ALL of life and ALL of life equally. It is not only that true spirituality covers all of life, but it covers all parts of the spectrum of life equally. In this sense there is nothing concerning reality that is not spiritual.

Keep in mind that this message was written in 1981. The past 29 years have confirmed the wisdom and accuracy of his warning. But has the church heard the message? Most Christians never read his words, and those who did most likely settled back into their comfortable lives and soon forgot them. So as time marched on our culture, our government, our entertainment, and our schools grew much worse. And the youth of the church began drifting away.

We must understand and take to heart the inevitability of which he spoke. And once informed, we must take action.

And now, God has inspired Pastor Jeff Keaton to begin building a system of education that will stop this spiritual and cultural free fall and bring hope for a renewal of this “intellectual dimension of Christianity” that will lead to a strengthening of “all parts of the spectrum of life.”

RENEWANATION is just the right vehicle to counter the humanist worldview that is destroying our culture and drawing our young people away from their relationship with Christ. This generation of children must not be lost.

This is why I support RENEWANATION.

By Jim Ludington – Arise America Ministries – Founder and Executive Director