I previously claimed that all worldviews are not created equal. I argued that the Christianity of William Wilberforce was good for society, but that does not mean that all worldviews are good. In fact, many worldviews bring about great evil.
Modern American society has become enamored with stuff. It doesn’t particularly matter what this stuff is, but we want as much of it as possible. It isn’t enough to have a dresser full of clothes; we want a walk-in closet full of designer labels. We don’t just want our daily bread; we want a five course meal at a five-star restaurant.
Greed has regrettably become embedded in the heart of American culture. Many people say that they are just trying to keep up with the Joneses, but in reality, many people want to get ahead of the Joneses. We want to have the security and status that comes from having material possessions.
Embracing a worldview that encourages greed leads to actions that are consistent with that value. Greed can lead to a wide variety of problematic behaviors. Why does the IRS audit? They are supposed to make sure that people pay what they are supposed to pay. Without that type of enforcement, how many people do you think would hide a little bit of money away? How many people would be dishonest because their greed drove them to it?
These bad actions affect people just as much as the good actions of William Wilberforce helped keep people out of the slave trade. What happens if an employer tries to pay employees less than what was agreed to on the contract? Obviously, the employee would be upset, but even if the employer somehow got away with it, the employee would be negatively affected. The employee would be missing money that was truly his or her own because of the employer’s greed.
It should be clear that worldviews influence people; they are a central part of our identities. However, different worldviews have different consequences.
Why then is it important for Christians to act in the public square? If ideas have consequences that can be good or bad, then as members of society, we ought to care about what worldviews are influencing our culture.