I'll be sitting in for Chuck Colson each Friday here on BreakPoint. Like Eric Metaxas, who's hosting for Chuck the rest of the week, I'm honored to carry on the consistent message that Christianity is more than a private, personal faith – it's a complete world and life view that impacts everything that we do.
And I've learned that when you can discern worldviews, you begin to see them at work everywhere. Take Bill Maher's piece in the New York Times last month for example. During the well-deserved public outcry over Rush Limbaugh's offensive comments about a Georgetown University student, some rightly wondered where the outcry was to the even more offensive language Maher directed at Bristol and Trig Palin, as well as many others.
So what did Maher have to say for himself? Basically, "Get over it." Not only did he not apologize, he suggested we stop public apologies altogether since no one is really sincere about them, he says. In fact, he even justified his comment by saying that Bristol Palin wasn't a "civilian," because she's the daughter of a public figure. Really? Does that make her any less human? That's ridiculous.
But look deeper, and it's obvious what worldview Maher is operating from. As I mentioned on my daily one-minute commentary "The Point" last week, Maher's comments reflect his cynical, nihilistic worldview.
In what world do comments that sexually degrade women not deserve denouncing? In what world are all apologies insincere posturing? And in what world does the legality of free speech trump the morality of what's actually said? Only a world in which humans lack inherent dignity, where words don't have meaning, and where moral truth is non-existent and redemption not only impossible but unnecessary. And that's the world Maher believes we lives in.
Of course, that is not the world described in Scripture or the world we experience as moral creatures every day: We live as if life, morality, and our words have real meaning.
Back in January, Chuck Colson and I interviewed Jack Abramoff for our weekend program, "BreakPoint This Week." Abramoff was once the most powerful lobbyist in all of Washington D.C., before serving prison time for mail fraud, conspiracy to bribe public officials, and tax evasion. Abramoff faced his mistakes in a far different way than Maher.
It was fascinating to hear Abramoff, an Orthodox Jew, face his sin on our interview, and acknowledge the corruption in his own heart. He and Chuck – who of course has a very similar story – talked not only of the reality of moral guilt but of the reality of redemption and of having peace with God and others. The difference between Abramoff and Maher was huge, but that's the difference God makes to a worldview. With God, you get morality and meaning, without God you get neither.
Of course, Colson and Abramoff didn't agree on everything. They disagreed on whether redemption was secure, but you know that's the difference Christ makes to a worldview. With Christ, our forgiveness is secure because God's standards of righteousness are met by Him. Without Christ… well, you can listen to the interview to hear about that.
This is why worldview makes such a difference. The world Bill Maher imagines is not the one we live in, and I would say it's not even the one we want. We want a world where redemption is really possible.
I hope you will listen to our fascinating interview with Jack Abramoff this weekend. You can find a listing of the radio stations that carry "BreakPoint this Week" on our website breakpoint.org, or you can listen to the program right there online.
For Chuck Colson and BreakPoint, this is John Stonestreet.