In the book Prevailing Worldviews of Western Society Since 1500, Dr. Glenn R. Martin wrote, “It is apparent, moreover, from a historical perspective that, at any given point in time, a relatively small number of people are the prime movers in the affairs. That is, there are only a relatively small number of people who consciously know what they believe and why in contrast to what they do not believe and why. (Most who appear to be leaders today have not thought through what they believe and why but are, rather, trying to put into practice what they have been taught by those few who have done so.)” In theory, those who lead the masses should have a well developed worldview. After all, those who actually run the show from behind the scenes are completely firm in their beliefs. Therefore, public leaders should have similar foundational beliefs and principles.
So why does it seem like leaders in the public eye do not have as much of a solid foundation of beliefs? Some would say that most leaders are motivated by money, making them fluid and willing to go along with whatever ideology will pay them. Others will say that some leaders only seek the illusion of power with no inclination to develop a moral code. Incoming President Donald Trump appears to be one of those leaders who doesn’t have much of a strict worldview, but he may also surprise. Trump seems to have the worldview of a businessman, which tends to be all about materialism, the human will, and infinite growth. While this mindset is appealing to many, it’s not always practical or realistic. Knowing where you stand in life and what your worldview is will be key to surviving the next 8 years under the Trump Administration.
What is a worldview
Whether you believe in a higher power or not, you have contemplated the origins of life and the universe at some point. From there you determined your beliefs on God, or the lack thereof, and what it means for your life. Without knowing it, you have begun the process of developing your worldview. A worldview is made up of four components and their corresponding questions for contemplation:
1. Ontology (Being) – What is the origin of life and the universe? How did we come to be?
2. Epistemology (Knowing) – How do we know this? Science? Spirituality? Biblical revelation? Extraterrestrial contact?
3. Axiology (Value) – What, if anything, is the ultimate value? God? Man? Gnosis?
4. Teleology (Destiny, direction, and purpose) – Why are we here? Where are we going? What is the purpose of life?
While coaches and churches sell you on finding your purpose by answering these questions for you, it is important that you take a step back and seek answers for yourself. Developing your worldview develops your self-confidence, self-awareness, and gives you direction on what your true purpose is in this world.
Using the worldview for survival
Preppers and conspiracy theorists have the worldview that everything came from God, we know this through revelation, we are supposed to be valued in relation to God but the powers that be oppress the masses because of greed, and the end times are upon us, so we all must prepare for the final battle of armageddon. There are surely some conservative Christians who have the same worldview with some variation, but the future includes the rapture or faith that God will provide no matter what. The materialist atheist worldview maintains that all came from nothing, we know this through science and education, we are valued through evolutionary advancement, and the future will consist of the strongest and fittest for survival.
The Trump administration will challenge the worldview of all of us. Christian conservatives have to engage in deep introspection to confirm whether or not the coming actions of the administration truly align with their faith and moral beliefs. Already, we have seen senate Republicans be hesitant on their willingness to repeal Obamacare. Democrats will have to decide on how much they are willing to compromise in order to get things done in congress or if they will attempt to create a gridlock similar to what the Republicans created over the last 8 years. To go high or to go low? That is the question. The ultimate decision boils down to the act of living up to one’s worldview. Will Christians really seek to come together and be Christlike? Will Republicans keep programs that support the constitutional right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Will Democrats go high and be inclusive in the congressional work, seeking to only oppose injustices to the citizenry at large?
As for citizens, President-elect Donald Trump is a polarizing character that spawns heated debates in families and social networks alike. His win has brought out the worst in people, but has his win challenged your worldview? Will his administration cause you to lose faith in what you believe in? Will the resurgence of the worst parts of America’s past lead you to go against your morals, character, and vision for the future generations of mankind? Develop and examine your own worldview in depth, live up to it, and never back down.