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The Urgency of Cultivating Convictions

The divide between worldviews grows daily in America. This creates distinctions as noticeable  as the difference between a professional football player and a professional bowler. The two dominant worldviews competing for people’s minds and hearts are Christianity and secularism. Secularism embraces every new ideology invented. Secular progressivism in particular runs contrary to nearly every major principle of Christianity. Secularism denies God. It embraces the self as god. The autonomous self rules the day and hierarchical authority is rejected.

Christianity, on the other hand, begins with God as the Supreme Authority. His law and commands govern us. As Christians we look to God’s Word for direction and understanding in who we are and how to live. The Christian examines every new idea and fad against the Scriptures. Does God permit it? Does this align with God’s revealed will for humanity?

These worldviews find themselves on opposite ends of the spectrum on nearly every contemporary issue. The contrast is so stark that it’s becoming possible to see from certain actions and beliefs exactly which side of the line someone is on.

To give you an idea, I saw young married couples several times recently , in their early twenties, with children. One was in person. The other was in a photo. I didn’t know either of the couples. The sight of them jarred me because of how rare they are. Not many people in their early twenties are married with children these days. My first thought: I bet they’re Christians.  Those married with children who are that young have been raised in Christian homes or have become Christians themselves. How do I know? Because for secular progressives, there are very few reasons for them to be married with children at that age.

The secular progressive ideology doesn’t believe in tying yourself down that early. The creed promotes “living a little” before settling down (if you ever settle down). The average age of marriage continues to creep closer to 30 years old. Compare that to 1960 when the average was 21 years old. The average age now for women to have children is 30 years old. This is why seeing young men and women married with children shocks the system. There are not many of them anymore. The most likely explanation when you do see them is their worldview. They are either Christians or grew up with Christian values on commitment, marriage, family, and producing children. Nothing else accounts for it anymore.

However, another polarizing issue sheds light on the worldview people carry. This remains a Christianity versus secular progressivism divide. It is what one believes about gender and sexuality. Nowadays, if you meet someone who is Gen Z or Gen Alpha and who does not embrace LGBTQ+ ideology on gender and sexuality, they are likely a Christian or someone who grew up in a Christian home.

Why do I assume that? Because this generation has zero reason to reject the ideology sweeping the world. Those who do not adopt the progressive ideology experience ridicule, isolation, and lost opportunities. The vitriol that comes from not embracing the progressive gender and sexuality dogma is not worth it unless they possess other convictions at their foundation. The most natural conclusion for their refusal to adopt the easiest path available to them? Christian conviction.

How does each side develop their convictions? Very few people ever develop convictions on their own. Convictions are shaped. They are formed. It happens in community and through others. Not many people believe what they believe from going off in isolation and coming back with their convictions. Convictions are cultivated. They are taught and they are caught.

The family and local church play the largest roles in cultivating Christian convictions. They must be taught consistently at all ages from the Scriptures. How do you think someone forms beliefs and values about the importance of marriage, having a family, and taking responsibility? They must be taught. How does someone form his or her convictions about God’s design for gender and sexuality? They must be taught. Where are they caught? In the culture of the home and church. We not only teach all ages these principles, but they see them lived out and celebrated.

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6 ESV)

This is how we form a Christian worldview in the next generation of men and women. We need to act with purpose and precision, or they’ll soon believe there’s no such thing as men or women.

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Erik is the Lead Pastor of The Journey Church in Lebanon. He also founded Knowing Jesus Ministries, a non-profit organization which exists to proclaim timeless truth for everyday life. He is married to Katrina, and has three children: Kaleb (who went to be with the Lord), Kaleigh Grace, and Kyra Piper.


  • Cultural Christianity,  Gender roles,  Politics,  Post-Christianity,  Relativism,  The Church