“What is a Worldview?

” Given by Larry Temple on January 11th, 2009 At Fox Lake Community Church ******************************** Please turn with me in your bibles to Daniel Chapter 1

1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the articles of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god. 3 Then the king instructed Ash-pen- az, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles, 4 young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans. 5 And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king. 6 Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Han-an-iah, Mish-a-el, and Az-ar-iah. 7 To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the name Bel—te—shaz'zar; to Han-an-iah, Shad-rach; to Mish-a-el, Me-shach; and to Az-ar-iah, A-bed-Neg-o. 8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. 9 Now God had brought Daniel into the favor and goodwill of the chief of the eunuchs. 10 And the chief of the eunuchs said to Daniel, “I fear my lord the king, who has appointed your food and drink. For why should he see your faces looking worse than the young men who are your age? Then you

would endanger my head before the king.” 11 So Daniel said to the steward whom the chief of the eunuchs had set over Daniel, Han-an-iah, Mish-ael, and Az-ar-iah., 12 “Please test your servants for ten days, and let them give us vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then let our appearance be examined before you, and the appearance of the young men who eat the portion of the king’s delicacies; and as you see fit, so deal with your servants.” 14 So he consented with them in this matter, and tested them ten days. 15 And at the end of ten days their features appeared better and fatter in flesh than all the young men who ate the portion of the king’s delicacies. 16 Thus the steward took away their portion of delicacies and the wine that they were to drink, and gave them vegetables. 17 As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. 18 Now at the end of the days, when the king had said that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. 19 Then the king interviewed them, and among them all none was found like Daniel, Han-an-iah, Mish-ael, and Az-ar-iah.; therefore they served before the king. 20 And in all matters of wisdom and understanding about which the king examined them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and astrologers who were in all his realm. 21 Thus Daniel continued until the first year of King Cyrus.

Around 605 B.C. The Babylonians defeated the Egyptians at the battle of Carchemish. The ancient city of Carchemish is on the Euphrates river near the border of modern Turkey and Syria. This battle established Babylonian supremacy and military dominance throughout ancient Mesopotamia, Syria and Palestine. As a result, Jehoiakim King of Judah became the unwilling subject of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.

But after three years of paying tribute to the Babylonians and against the advice of the Hebrew prophet Jeremiah, Jehoiakim King of Judah changed his mind and rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar. This rebellion brought the wrath of Nebuchadnezzar who descended upon Jerusalem and took Jehoiakim, bound him in chains and carried him back to Babylon where he was executed. The Bible and the Jewish historian Josephus tell us that along with Jehoiakim, Nebuchadnezzar took into exile 3000 of the “principled persons in dignity” many who were made up of the leadership of Judah and Jerusalem and of the royal family. In our text from Daniel, we find the best and the brightest of these “principled persons in dignity” in Babylon; the young Hebrew teenagers Daniel, Han-an-iah, Mish-a-el, and Az-ar-iah.. These young men were to undergo training in the king's court so that they might become the new leadership in Israel. They were to be trained in the king's court, to think, believe, behave, and govern as good Babylonians. In order to govern the various conquered providences of a kingdom, ancient Kings needed loyal political leadership. Ideally the leadership would be from the “best of the best” or “the cream of the crop” of the conquered people. Usually these were made up of young people of royal lineage, this was so that regionally, the people would be governed by one of their own, thus making the providence easier to govern. In order to insure loyalty this political leadership though, had to be thoroughly trained religiously, culturally, and ideologically, in the world view of the governing nation. This training was to be a total enculturation to insure that; first the leadership, and then eventually the conquered people them-self would... think-like, believe, and identify them self with their conquerors, even if they were not ethnically of the same heritage. In this case they would become Babylonians - not ethnically... but culturally and ideologically, thus more and more identifying themselves with the conquerors in hopes that this new identity would give birth to loyalty, allegiance and solidarity with the Conquered Nation. This kind of training was common practice in the ancient world and the Babylonians were some of the first to employ this type of what I call world view training. We see an example of this clearly starting verses 3 through 5 of our text:

Verse 3: Then the king instructed Ash-pen-az, the master of his eunuchs, to bring some of the children of Israel and some of the king’s descendants and some of the nobles. Young men in whom there was no blemish, but good-looking, gifted in all wisdom, possessing knowledge and quick to understand, who had ability to serve in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the language and literature of the Chaldeans. As we have suggested these are the “best of the best” - “the cream of the crop”, these were to be educated in the Chaldean/Babylonian government school system per say. This was a deliberate, systematic, attempt to transform these Hebrews into Babylonians. Verse 5 And the king appointed for them a daily provision of the king’s delicacies and of the wine which he drank, and three years of training for them, so that at the end of that time they might serve before the king. Their hope was that after 3 years of training these young Hebrews would govern as Babylonians for the king . The next thing in our text that I want to turn your attention to, is the changing of the Hebrew names to Babylonian names, verses 6 and 7 of our text says: Now from among those of the sons of Judah were Daniel, Han-an-iah, Mish-a-el, and Az-ar-iah. To them the chief of the eunuchs gave names: he gave Daniel the name Bel—te—shaz'zar; to Han-an-iah, Shad-rach; to Mish-a-el, Me-shach; and to Az-ar-iah, A-bed-Neg-o. The Babylonians started by changing the Hebrew names to Babylonian ones. In the ancient world the name person was generally descriptive of that person, his position, or reputation, or some circumstance, or hope concerning him. “The name” often came to stand for the person himself.

This name changing was done so these young Hebrews would forget who they used to be as Hebrews and think of themselves in terms of who they are to be as Babylonians - this was part of the enculturation process and was to be part of their new identity as Babylonians.

The name Daniel, in Hebrew means “God has judged,” the name Daniel was changed to Bel—te—shaz'zar, which in Babylonian means “The prince who Bel favors,” Bel was the Babylonian god associated with water, vegetation, judgment, and magic. His name was changed from one that reflected his Hebrew God to the Babylonian gods. It is similar with the others; Han-an-iah, in Hebrew means, “graciously given of the Lord,” Han-an-iah was changed to Shad-rach, which according to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia is probably the Sumerian-Babylonian form of the word "servant of Sin” Mish-a-el or Michael in Hebrew means, “Who is equal to God,” Mish-a-el was changed to Me-shach, which means "Who Is What Aku Is?" this probably a clever twist of the Hebrew words“Who is equal to God” to "Who Is What Aku Is?" in Babylonian, Aku was the name of the Babylonian god of the moon. And Az-ar-iah, in Hebrew means :Jehovah has helped,” Az-ar-iah was changed to Abed-nego, which translated means “Servant of Nebo” Nebo was the Babylonian god of science and literature. As we can see the Babylonians understood that their Hebrew names were associated with their Hebrew God and thus associated with their old Hebrew culture and way of life. This had to be changed, this is why their Hebrew names were changed to Babylonian ones, they changed their names to make them forget about their “old god” and way of life, and identify themselves with their new gods, Babylonian ones... ones that embodied the Babylonian culture and way of life. Next, turn your attention to verse 8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s delicacies, nor with the wine which he drank; therefore he requested of the chief of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself. In ancient times it was the custom to place part the food and drink usually wine, upon an alter, as propitiation (propitiation means to appease anger) or as an initiatory offering to the gods to curry their favor, this was done in order to consecrate the food and drink to the deity. This was the practice in ancient cultures and still done among people today like the Hindus.

Food has always played a important and meaningful role in the worship of deities. The practice was so widespread that even in the New Testament after the legal distinction of “clean and unclean meats” was abolished in Acts 10,. The Jerusalem church in Acts 15, along with the apostles recommended to the new gentile believers at Antioch to: “abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. They would do well to avoid such things.” Daniel (and probably his 3 Hebrew brethren) refused to eat from the king’s table, because the food had been consecrated to the Babylonian gods first, before it was given to them. To have partaken of such food would have been to sanction idolatry. Participation would have made them participants in the Babylonian worship of their gods. This would have caused them to defile, pollute, and profane themselves, thus - degrading and bringing dishonor the one true God, Jehovah. The Bible Commentators Jamison, Fausset, and Brown say: Like Moses, Daniel " chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasure of sin for a season" He who is to interpret divine revelations must not feed on the dainties, nor drink from the intoxicating cup, of this world. This firm stand made Daniel as dear a name to his countrymen, as Noah and Job, who also stood alone in their piety among a perverse generation. All of this leads to the question; how did these young Hebrews stand alone for God in the face of such opposition and temptation in culture that was hostile to their faith, their way of life, and ultimately to their God? It is obvious that these young people were thoroughly trained by godly parents and by godly people around them. Their parents took seriously the command in Deuteronomy chapter 6 known as the great Shema “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children... Those who took child rearing seriously in Israel inculcated their children with a biblical world view.

Here is where I want to get to the heart of my message today... I want to answer 3 questions: 1 - What exactly is a world view? 2 - How do we get our world view? And 3 - what are the individual building blocks that make up our world view? It is my hope to equip you how to engage and understand the culture that you live in, whether it is engaging with the the ideology, the philosophy, or the world view of our culture. For the sake of application for us Christians today living in North America, instead of contrasting the Babylonian world view with a biblical world view I'm going to primarily contrast today's prevailing humanist world view with the biblical world view. The word “world-view” comes from the translation of the German word: Welt—an—schau—ung

James W. Sire, in his book Discipleship of the Mind, defines a worldview as: ... a set of presuppositions, which we hold ... about the makeup of our world. think about that word for a second: – pre-supp-o-se – pre-supp-o-se simply means something we believe beforehand... The dictionary defines a worldview as: 1. The overall perspective from which one sees and interprets the world. 2. A collection of beliefs about life and the universe held by an individual or a group A world-view is any ideology, philosophy, theology, movement, or religion that provides an overarching approach to understanding God, the world, and man's relation to God and to the world.

It has been said that: a worldview is a basic set of assumptions which help you make sense of reality, similar to a “mind” lens through which you see things... all the time, you are not really aware of the lens, only of the things you see, your worldview becomes the glasses, the spectacles, the filters, by which you see life and the whole universe... all of human life is understood through that lens. Everyone has a worldview, the only question is, is it a good one or a bad one... Voddie Baucham, author of "Family Driven Faith," Used this example: On September 11, 2001 people throughout the Western world looked on in horror as news of the terrorist attacks spread. However who can forget the pictures of Palestinian Muslims dancing in the streets and passing out sweets to the children as though it were a holiday? This is a prime example of the impact of a worldview, my lens saw a tragedy while others saw a triumph. Why do people have such different world views? It is because our worldview is made up of various -- what I would call “pre-programmed” presuppositions or assumptions. These presuppositions or assumptions are basically ideas or “ways of thinking”... often we do not recognize that we have them. These “assumptions“, are often, as Francis Schaeffer put it; “caught” rather than taught, and they affect the way we think and the way we live and act. These “ways of thinking” are given to us by our religious values, our family, our education, our community, our friends, our culture, and various other ways. I think it would be even more helpful to shift our focus from what a worldview is “generally speaking” to some of the individual “building blocks” that make up a worldview, in order to grasp what exactly what a worldview is...

The “building blocks” of our worldview are generally made up of individual “ideas” or inescapable “categories” of thought . We will cover a few of these, just to give you an idea... The first one I want to focus on, is the “inescapable category” of “Theology” What I mean by theology is simply that men always have some sort of theology or god The concept of “God” is an “inescapable category” because men will always have some sort of a “god”. If men deny “God” or decide to replace him with something else, it does not mean that they are replacing God with the concept of no-god or with atheism, it simply means they exchange “inescapable idea” of God with some other form of “god “or “concept of god”. Romans 1:20-25 says this clearly: For since the creation of the world His (God’s) invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. The text says they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man it also says they “exchanged” the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator Who today in the 21st century is that “other god” or “concept of god” that we have exchanged for the one true God? The god we worship today, is the god of humanism... Man himself has become god. Humanism denies God, especially a God who gives moral laws and absolutes by which every man is bound. Instead, moral absolutes and moral laws are determined by man himself. Man makes up the rules whichever way he likes.

Modern humanism today is not much different than the beliefs of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, where the leaders and rulers became as gods. Today with humanism, moral absolutes and moral laws are determined by: A – Individuals, or whatever “each” individual decides is right, this is anarchism, where the individual himself becomes god... B - they are determined by a group of Elites, or of an elite class (like in socialism, Marxism and communism); with this, an elite few determine the moral absolutes and moral laws in society, so that the elite become god or C - the Majority, where the opinions of “the majority” determines the moral absolutes and moral laws of a society, this is what we call pure democracy; as the old Latin axiom about democracy says; vox po - pu - li, vox De - i, or "The Voice of the People is the Voice of God” (this by the way is inscribed on many Federal Courthouses in our country) Even though the god of the culture is not always recognized as “a god”, often without realizing it, the god of the culture has the attributes of a god. With humanism, everything gets reversed, man is the sovereign god, man is the creator. If there is a god, that god is simply the creation of men, he is simply seen is seen as the creature and creation of man himself. Sovereign man simply creates a God that best suits him, his culture, or his purposes. So we see the concept of God is an “inescapable category” of thought. Another “inescapable category” is “Human Anthropology” or simply put “what is the nature of man”? Everyone has a view of what's man's nature is like. Whether we realize it or not, human anthropology is part of a person's worldview, and it will often determine how we go about fixing our problems, let me explain.

In the Biblical view of man's nature, man is seen a fallen creature, man has turned his back on his creator and decided to be his own god or his own boss per say. In man's turning from God, man's heart and mind have been darkened and morally corrupted by original sin. In the Biblical view man's problem can only be overcome by turning back, by grace, to his creator. This is done in order to reform man to bring about change for man from within. This internal spiritual reformation changes man's heart which is where his problem lies. The humanist view believes in the exact opposite, it believes in “the natural” or “innate goodness of man”. With the humanist view, sin is denied in man and in mankind. Man's problem's can be overcome, by correcting man's external problems and by educational reform. The humanist view denies internal sin problem – in favor of change of circumstances and of the mind. For the humanist, any evil that exists, is because of man's environment, his external circumstances, or his ignorance. These two views of man's nature, which are often “assumed” or “presupposed” ideologically work themselves out in different ways, here are just a few: At the time of the revolution in colonial America the predominant view of “man's nature” was the biblical one, our system of government with its doctrine of limited power, its checks and balances, and its division of powers presupposed man's fallen nature, his nature was believed to be morally corrupt and therefore it needed checks and balances. Our system of government was created to ensure that men would be free from despotic control. In the second view, which believes in “the natural goodness of man”, wherever evil exists, it a simply a result of man's environment, his external circumstances, or his ignorance. Today, social scientists and human engineers seek to solve the evils of our society. Man in their eyes needs governmental controlled cradle to grave provision, security, and education from elite planners who knows what is best for society in order to overcome today's problems. Essentially, “Fix man's environment and you fix man.”

So when it comes to human government, is man’s problem an environmental one or a moral one? If man’s problem is moral, than he needs accountability and checks and balances, because man by nature is a sinner. But if man's problem is environmental... than he needs an ever increasing number of social planners, human engineers, psychiatrists, psychologists, educators, and a whole host of other specialists to help him overcome today's evils. (this kind of thinking by the way, inevitably leads to totalitarianism, because in order to fix man's environment - you need to “control” every area of man's environment... again, total control in order to totally fix man's environment) So you see the differing views inevitably lead to two totally different conclusions on how we resolve our problems... To put it differently, the worldview “perspective” in a culture presents an ideological framework for moral and political reasoning, reasoning that is informed and reinforced by the prevailing view of “man's nature”. In another example, take for instance the two completely different philosophies of child rearing and education, which develop from the different “presupposed” views of human nature. In the biblical view, children need discipline and training because they are sinners, they do not need to learn how to be selfish, they do not need to learn how to be self-centered, this is what they already are by nature, and this is why they need to be taught self control. Children need loving discipline and discipleship to overcome their self centered and egocentric sinful natures. The Humanist view that believes in the “natural goodness of man” a “child-centered” philosophy of child rearing and education develops. Children are not seen as sinners, instead they need to be taught positive self-love, they must learn to develop their own social instincts, often the child's environment needs to be changed in order to move the educational process along (today we call this outcome based education) This “child-centered” (or really “self-centered”) philosophy of child rearing and education inevitably develops an egocentric, instinct-driven child, in which everything revolves around his or her own little world.

Again you see the differing views of human nature inevitably lead to two totally different conclusions... “The nature of man” is an “inescapable category” and your presupposed view of “human nature” will inform the decisions you make in resolving problems. Origins is an “inescapable category”, every culture has a doctrine of origins which answers the question “how did we get here”? The biblical view presupposes a “supernatural” view of origins. In this view a supernatural omnipotent God created mankind, male and female in his own very likeness and image. We need to understand that “ideologically” to say that mankind is created in the image of God is to recognize the “special-ness” of each and every person. God's reflection per se, is seen in each and every person even in the weakest and most frail of the race. The biblical and Christian view, when it is adopted ideologically in a culture, naturally leads people to have compassion and charity for others (charity is the old-fashioned word for love). If men are to love God, then men must love other men as evidence of loving God Himself. To kill and maim or to inflict pain on another person, is to strike at the very image of God in that person as if you are literally striking at God himself. Contrast that to today's prevailing view of origins which presupposes a purely “naturalistic” (or antisupernatural, if you like) approach to telling the story of how we got here. This view is “anti-supernatural” in the sense that it means to explain all of existence by purely “natural processes”, processes by which we can see, measure, and test. and only those by which we can see, measure, and test. You see, “naturalism” as a worldview, simply rejects any possible supernatural explanation, this is because we cannot test the “supernatural”, therefore the “supernatural” cannot be accepted as factual. As a result of “naturalism” becoming the prevailing view in our culture, atheism has been on the increase. More and more people are accepting atheism, because if you can simply explain how we got here by purely natural means, what need is there a God? God is simply as we've said a creation of man's imagination, of man's making. Naturalism has given birth to atheism, and atheism has given birth to “ethical relativism” which simply means there's no such thing as absolute right and wrong because there is no God who has decreed what

is right and wrong. Instead we determine for ourselves right and wrong. Atheist Friedrich Nietzsche famously said: “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.” This statement is often misunderstood, Nietzsche did not mean God is literally, physically dead. instead rather, because there is no God – there are no laws and moral standards. God can no longer be the source of any ethical or moral code – nor the source of any design, purpose, or meaning for life. Nietzsche recognized that with death of God anything goes. If there is no Christian faith which informs our values of right or wrong and good and evil, than all there is, is as Nietzsche put it, nothing but a “sheer will to power”. Nietzsche believed man needs a new system of values, a system of values to help human beings to progress to their full potential. What is needed was the ideal of the Übermensch or the Superman. Men needs to idealize the “powerful” and eliminate the weak, in order for man to progress to his full peak potential. This view is the exact “opposite” of the biblical view which recognizes the image of God even in the weakest and most frail of the race. The naturalistic worldview directly led to Nietzsche's superman ideology, and Nietzsche's ideology directly inspired Adolf Hitler to create this master race of Aryan Superman. Hitler would work systematically to eliminate “the weak and the inferior” and idealize “the strong“. Based on his assumptions Hitler did this, believing it was for a better humanity for the future. Origins is an “inescapable category” and as we see, our view of origins informs the way you treat your neighbor. One view values people and sees them all as special - the other view devalues them and see them as products of “natural processes”. Another “inescapable category” is the meaning of history.

Everyone has a view of history. Our view of history shapes our identity, our purpose, and meaning. For example think about the different ways that older Americans and younger Americans see their country. For older Americans the focus of history was generally on the good things about America. They learned about patriots like George Washington, Paul Revere, and Patrick Henry. Older Americans learned what freedom costs by the lessons learned at places like Valley Forge, Saratoga and Yorktown. Because so many history lessons pointed out the good things about America. Older Americans generally thought of America in a positive way. Today the situation is reversed, so much of “that telling” history has gone by the wayside if not completely forgotten. Today a different focus on history has arisen, a focus on history that points out all the injustices that America ever committed. This telling of history tells us that America is a bad place and we are a people who need to change because we are an unjust people. Because of the way history is told today, younger Americans generally think of America in a negative way. What is important to understand in this, is that the way history is told will inevitably shape the way we think. It is even shaped by how we label time periods in history: On theologian puts it this way speaking about the time period called “the dark ages” : The Christian view of history as it appeared very early, spoke of the world before Christ as a world filled with “darkness”. Christians were fully aware of the achievements of ancient cultures, but they were also intensely aware of their degeneracy, their debauchery, and their willful rebellion against God. As a result, Christian historiography (or the Christian way of seeing the history) seen everything before and outside of Christ as “the dark ages”. Francesco Petrarch an Italian scholar of the 14th century, who is known as “the father of humanism”, reversed all that, he removed the term dark ages from pre-Christian times to call the thousand years of Christianity (or Christendom) the dark ages.

Renaissance humanism excepted this term happily, so also, did the humanists of the later period called the en-lighten-ment. (which should really be called the en-darkenment) Renaissance humanism was seen as the rebirth of the pre-Christian ideas of Humanism found in the classical world of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Humanism and science were equated with light, Christianity with darkness. In this view anti-Christianity in its every form is viewed as an aspect of light, where is biblical faith means “the dark ages”. You see even the definitions and labels of certain “periods time” are influenced by a world view. And those labels influence us and the way we think about those time periods. Those who write history books and make historical documentaries (like on the history Channel) are always given to some bias based on their world view. The historian's worldview always provides a framework for the way he writes his historiography. Whatever the historian thinks is important, what he leaves out good or bad, will always show up in the way he weaves his story. We must remember that the telling of history shapes us in many ways. Perspectives come to us in movies, literature, documentaries and even textbooks. The meaning of history. is an “inescapable categories” of thought and Christians must be aware of the particular perspective or worldview is shaping the way history is being told. There are many other “inescapable categories” as I call them like: Who is the savior? in whom or what do we put our faith? What is the cause of mans problems? and many, many others But because were coming to the end of our time, I just highlighted a few so that you would understand, that many “basic assumptions” make up our worldview. Today more than ever, Christians need to be aware of the underlying assumptions that are being communicated to us through our culture. We need to understand what the root assumptions are behind a piece of entertainment or literature. Christians must be vigilant because, everywhere the assumptions that make up our worldview are being

taught and reinforced every day in our culture, they becomes the very air we breath. These assumptions comes to us in every form in our culture, they come through newspapers, television and the internet, they come through entertainment, books and magazines, they come through family, friendships, and community, and in these days they especially comes to us through the public educational system. Just like in Daniel's day, I believe our public education system is deliberately trying to instill in our children, its own worldview. Assumptions are taught (or caught, lets say) – day in and day out in the classroom, they are caught during, and through, the reading, and the writing, and arithmetic. They are taught by the teachers, through the textbooks, and the programs. Which are often geared to deliberately inculcate a particular worldview in the minds of children. This is really no different than it was in Daniel's day, where Daniel and his three friends were to be educated in the Chaldean/Babylonian system. Voddie Baucham noted that children spend about 14,000 hours in public schools. "Whoever controls those 14,000 hours, controls our children's worldview," he said this citing Charles Francis Potter, a signer of the Humanist Manifesto. Potter wrote: “Education is thus a most powerful ally of Humanism, and every American public school is a school of Humanism. What can the theistic Sunday school meeting for an hour once a week do to stem the tide of a five day program of humanist teaching?" We must understand that there is an all our war for the hearts and minds of our young people, and unbeknown to most, it is being waged in the public classroom – on the worldview level. Listen to a few quotes by today‘s humanists: John Dunphy, in an article in Humanist Magazine titled “A Religion for the New Age,” said this: “I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classrooms by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the new proselytizers of a new faith, a religion of humanity.

These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preacher. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new―the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, with the new faith (humanism), resplendent in its promise.” Paul Haubner, specialist for the NEA said this: “The schools cannot allow parents to influence the kind of values-education their children receive in school; that is what is wrong with those who say there is a universal system of values. Our (humanistic) goals are incompatible with theirs. We must change their values.” And lastly Abraham Lincoln said “The educational philosophy of today becomes the political policy of tomorrow.” In order to be effective Christians and especially as Christian parents. We must be aware of the worldview around us, We must ask, Who is the God of the Culture? What view of human nature is being assumed? Which perspective is presupposed by the way history is being told? To whom, or to what is, faith directed? And many other questions about what is being assumed. As Christians in this world, we told to fight the good fight; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 says: For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ..

It has been said; that those who will not bow the knee to Jesus Christ have bowed their knee to some other Idol. As thinking Christians we must identify those ideological idols, teach our children to identify them, and then we can begin the work of toppling them in our culture. Amen