For much of the twentieth century, the western world lived under the umbrella of the Christian worldview. People, even though they may not have been Christian, generally built their presuppositions about the world on the Christian worldview. For example, marriage would have been rightfully understood to be one man and woman united in a lifelong covenant under God (see Matthew 19:3–9). However, the western world now rejects the idea that there is one eternal, true, and living creator God who has revealed himself to his creation and defined what morality, marriage, and sexuality is. While many things have no doubt helped erode the Christian worldview in the west, there can be no doubt that the Darwinian revolution that began in the 1800s paved the way for the sexual revolution that took place in the 1960s.1 Today, we are seeing the fruit of the sexual revolution reaped in western culture as many of the radicals of the 1960s have long occupied influential places in government, universities, and media and have used these platforms to spread their worldview. In our modern western culture, the twisted and corrupt changes that are taking place display themselves in the following behaviors (among others):
Where did all these beliefs come from? The current sexual agenda that is being promoted in our culture by these graduates of the sixties culture is part and parcel of a neo-pagan view of the world that has shaped the current millennial generation.2 What is happening now in western culture is not just the influence of secularism but also the return of ancient paganism (i.e., those who worship creation). Although many may view paganism as an outdated religion that was practiced by people many thousands of years ago, it is alive and well today. In his book The Other Worldview, theologian Peter Jones points this out:
The sexual agenda is just a visible symbol of a powerful, century-long deconstruction of the Christian worldview and its replacement with a pagan [monistic] cosmology, of which sexuality is a sacrament.3
What is happening now in western culture is not just the influence of secularism but also the return of ancient paganism (i.e., those who worship creation).
The neo-pagan worldview is essentially monistic (attributing oneness or singleness to existence) and is founded upon an eastern worldview. The monistic worldview “. . . sees the world as self-creating (or perpetually existing) and self-explanatory. Everything is made up of the same stuff, whether matter, spirit, or a mixture. . . . Although there is apparent differentiation and even hierarchy, all distinctions are, in principle, eliminated, and everything has the same worth.”4 It is important to understand that the practice of homosexuality and transgenderism have not appeared in a vacuum, but the celebration of them is the perfect expression of a neo-pagan (monistic) worldview.5 It has even been noted, for example, that the worldview behind transgenderism embraces the ancient philosophy of Gnosticism, in which the real self is something other than a material body.6
Nothing New Under the Sun
The different sexual identities that are being promoted and celebrated by many in our culture today are shreds of evidence that the west has now adopted a neo-pagan worldview: the worship of creation. In Romans 1, Paul specifically focuses on the idolatry of the pagan world resulting from their suppression of God’s revelation in creation (Romans 1:18–20). The outcome of this suppression of the truth was foreseen:
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 (Romans 1:24–25, NKJV).
The Bible makes it clear that there are only two worldviews: worship of the creature (in a thousand different forms) or worship of the Creator.7 The reason that there are only two worldviews is because there are only two kinds of mind in this world: the debased mind (Romans 1:28; cf. 8:7) and the discerning mind (Romans 12:2).8 The debased mind, trapped in sin, believes the lie and worships and serves the creature rather than the Creator. Whereas, the discerning mind has been transformed, having been freed from sin, and is now free to worship and serve the Creator. In order to remove the Christian worldview, the neo-pagan worldview must erode the distinction between the Creator and the creature. Once people reject God as Creator and instead turn to worship of the creation, this leads to sexual revolution:
For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done (Romans 1:26–28).
All for One?
It is no surprise that, since the beginning of the sexual revolution in the 1960s, we have witnessed a progressive public sexual tsunami. All the above beliefs are now part and parcel of the western worldview and examples of how morality has become so twisted and corrupted. Cultural approval of issues such as homosexuality and transgenderism is a progressive development of a whole analysis of monistic thinking (the denial of distinctions between God and the world). The goal of neo-paganism is to relativize everything that seems different, to join the opposites and get rid of the distinctions God has made in his creation because of their belief that all is “one” (i.e., non-binary = not two). For example, heterosexuality celebrates otherness (Greek, héteros = other) whereas homosexuality (Greek, homo = same) celebrates the sameness of everything, which is the definition of the neo-pagan worldview. In the biblical worldview, however, distinctions are the product of the Creator’s work in creation:
And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness (Genesis 1:4).
And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.”. . . And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas (Genesis 1:6, 9–10).
And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. . .And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night —and the stars. And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good (Genesis 1:14–18).
And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds. . . Then God said, “Let us make man in our image. . . ” (Genesis 1:25–26).
In Genesis 1, God separates things in creation by putting them in their proper places, and he also creates different kinds of creatures, and then declares his creation to be “very good” (Genesis 1:31). It is important to realize that distinctions are the essence of Christianity and the creation:
- Creator and creature
- Christ and Satan
- Monotheism and polytheism
- Love of God and love of neighbour
- Life and death
- Truth and falsehood
- Holiness and sin
- Heaven and hell
Perhaps the most important distinction in Genesis 1 is God’s creation of mankind:
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them (Genesis 1:27).
In Genesis 1 and 2, there are several things about the distinction between male and female that are important for us to understand as they are being eroded away today by the neo-pagan worldview. First, the distinction between male and female is a biological reality and not something that is socially or self-constructed. What made Adam and Eve “male and female” is that they were told to be “fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Genesis 1:28). The fact that the man and woman can procreate tells us what God means by “male and female” as this is what their reproductive systems have been designed to do. In Genesis 2:18, God told Adam: “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” When God sought a “helper” fit for Adam, he chose neither an animal nor an exact duplicate of the man, but instead he created a woman—uniquely formed for intimacy, companionship, co-workmanship, and pro-creation (Genesis 2:22). God joined together the first man Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45) and the first woman, who was taken from his side, called Eve (Genesis 3:20). The fact that Adam and Eve are made for each other is indicated in the wordplay of man (iysh) and woman (ishshah) (see Genesis 2:23). This specific association is a reflection of the fact that when a man and a woman leave their father and mother, they become “one flesh” (Genesis 2:24; cf. Matthew 19:5). Only a female “helper” could help Adam fulfil the command to be “fruitful and multiply”, make Adam recognize the “one flesh” aspect of the marriage covenant and is a social manifestation of a biological reality as she is able to do what Adam cannot do–in that she can bear children. The distinction between maleness and femaleness is not self-constructed, but rather is constructed by God and is to be celebrated as being very good.
The one solution to this problem of the neo-pagan worldview is the biblical worldview, as it rightly sees distinctions in the world: the main one being that God is our Creator and mankind is his creation. In the biblical worldview, mankind’s main problem is that our sin separates us from a holy God, and therefore we are dependent on him and cannot save ourselves (see Ephesians 2:8–9). The answer to this problem is the act of God, whereby he reconciles his creatures back to himself through the death and resurrection of his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (see Colossians 1:20). It is our hope and prayer that through our conferences and materials, we can help others find this solution.