Simply defined, a worldview is the lens through which we interpret life. Basic questions all worldviews need to answer include; Where did we come from? What is wrong with the world? And how can we fix it? It is logically impossible for conflicting worldviews to be true at the same time and so it is important to think through the merits as well as the problems that each one presents.
One of the best ways to evaluate the validity of a worldview is to subject it to real life application. How does it perform in the real world? Is it consistent with our daily experience? And when consistently applied, is it predictive for how human beings will live? If true, a worldview will tell us what to expect when it comes to human behavior.
Take transgenderism for an example. This topic frequents our headlines today as it relates to competitive sports, education, participation in the military, medical interventions, and so on. Is there a worldview that best predicts and is consistent with the human behavior of identifying as a gender opposed to observable biology?
Though there are many differing worldviews, let’s compare Naturalistic Darwinism, which is the dominant worldview of our day, with Christianity to find out if one is more explanatory for transgenderism.
Transgenderism is not consistent with Naturalistic Darwinism
We cannot rise above our biology
According to the philosophy of Naturalism the material is all that exists. There is nothing beyond us as biological beings. As products of evolutionary progress, all of our behaviors both past and present have developed to protect and propagate the species. The biologically and objectively measurable is the whole of human beings and even our consciousness is an adaptation for survival and not real independent of the chemicals that create it. If that is all true it is inconsistent to expect that we would deny our xx or xy chromosomes and adopt behavior that is detrimental to reproduction. If we are material only, we should follow our prescribed genetic code as the mechanistic beings we are.
There is no tension in a naturalistic world
Within a material universe, things ought not be a certain way. Naturalistic philosophy means there should be no tension within us that life is unfolding contrary to what it should be. The evolutionary narrative marches on without regard to good and evil or right and wrong for those concepts are ultimately imaginary with no authoritative foundation. How can things be going well or poorly in the absence of a meaningful plan or moral absolutes. The cosmos is all there is, and it is not subject to judgment. Of course, those who are transgender feel a great tension as they do not feel at home even in their own bodies. This is not what we would expect if Naturalism were true. We should look like animals who feel no longing for something more.
Identity is meaningless and ultimately imaginary
Within Darwinism the evolution of male and female serve a reproductive and mechanistic purpose, not a transcendent identity that defines who we are as human beings. Conscious identity is a fable in the dark and desperate world of evolutionary biology – a useful fiction that one day may disappear as our kind continues to advance. Rather than a central and defining part of who we are, Naturalism must see identity of any kind as imaginary.
Why does transgenderism fit within a Christian worldview?
It shows that the nature of human beings goes beyond biology
Contrary to a Darwinian worldview, Christianity affirms that there is an immaterial component inherent within human beings. Christians call that objectively unmeasurable feature the spirit or the soul and it is that part of us that searches outside the bounds of simple biology for a sense of purpose, meaning, and yes, even identity in our world. We are not mechanistic meat computers enslaved to our genetics but have the capacity and freewill to act in a way that is opposed to determinism. In other words, our measurable genetics do not define us. We are capable of behavior that is at odds with our biology.
It shows that we live in a world in tension
We are a restless people. Despite the many good things we may find in our lives we cannot escape the intuitive knowledge that something is wrong. There is a constant tension of pushing and pulling that we live with. At the same time, we feel at one with, and at odds with the world. When getting lost in the beauty of a sunrise, holding the plump hand of a newborn, or accomplishing a good work, we feel at home in this place. But at the same time conflict, disaster, death, and confusion can make us strangers in this land and even strangers within our own bodies. Life is beautiful but broken, that is something virtually all worldviews would affirm, but only Christianity proposes a consistent answer to the reason why and more importantly provides the solution for how to fix it.
It shows there is a war against the image of God
Christians believe there is an enemy who hates God and all of His good creation. That enemy is intent on destroying the image of God wherever it may be found. The Bible tells us that God’s image is revealed in men and women, male and female human beings, and specifically in the marriage relationship where two equal but diverse parts come together as one. If Christianity is true and there was such an enemy, would we not expect vicious attacks on the institution of marriage and even on what it means to be a man or a woman? The redefining of marriage and gender are consistent with a Christian worldview. In fact, if these things were not under attack it would actually undermine Christian belief because the Bible teaches that sin is real, rebellion against God is real, and that we should expect the rejection of God’s authority in all facets of life.
God given identity
We all have a strong sense of identity. The image of God, though tarnished by sin, resides in each one of us creating a longing to be known. Not known as a science experiment, but as an identified personal being with desires for something more from this life. Our natural person, blinded by sin, will seek to fill that longing in every way possible constantly neglecting to look to the God who loves us. Transgenderism is an example of that wayward search. But our true identity can only be found in Him for He placed it within us. He made us for fellowship, and since we have broken that relationship we are lost, drifting to and fro, groping for the light, yearning for the healing that only His hands can provide. It is only in Jesus Christ that our true identity can be renewed and realized as children of God, men and women made for His glory, who are given the privilege to become heirs of His Kingdom, as those who are blessed beyond measure and loved without limit.
Philosophical naturalism fails in many ways. But perhaps most strikingly, even more so than its failure to explain the universe and the life therein, is its incompatibility with our everyday experience. Naturalism may sound intelligent when discussed in a lecture hall or convention floor. But because of its absent moral standard, mechanistic view of behavior, denial of real personhood, and denial of meaning, those who promote it must ignore its implications for everyday life. It is not a livable worldview and so it fails the test! So why cling to a failing worldview? Because it removes the authority of God from our lives. It sets up human beings as the arbitrators of right and wrong. And it removes all responsibility we owe to our Creator. Naturalism is attractive because we do not want there to be a God. Ironically, like transgenderism, the promotion of naturalism is also consistent with Christianity because it is yet another way that human beings have rejected the authority of God, and that is exactly what the Bible says we will do.