A war is raging, but it's not fought with guns. It's an invisible battle between true and false worldviews taking place inside people's heads, says Jeff Myers, president of Summit Ministries in Manitou Springs, where 1,211 young people attended this summer's 12-day training sessions featuring 56 hours on religious liberty, sexuality and intelligent design.
Myers' book, "The Secret Battle of Ideas about God - Overcoming the Outbreak of Five Fatal Worldviews," was published in May by Springs-based David C Cook.
Summit commissioned the Barna Group to see if practicing Christians embrace these five worldviews: secularism, Marxism, postmodernism, new spirituality and Islam.
Barna concluded that "only 17 percent of Christians who consider their faith important and attend church regularly actually have a biblical worldview," generating this Christianity Today headline: "Many Practicing Christians Agree with Marxism (and Other Competing Worldviews)."
You can take the "Worldview Checkup" on Cook's website (www.secretbattlebook.com/checkup.html).
You will be judged as embracing new spirituality if you agree with this statement: "If you do good, you will receive good, and if you do bad, you will receive bad."
What if you think the financial crisis of 2007-08, or recent scandals involving Wells Fargo or Volkswagen, reveal a need for regulation? Barna's Summit research says you have a Marxist worldview if you disagree with this statement: "If the government leaves businesses alone, they will mostly do what's right."
Myers says many people infected with fatal worldview "viruses" don't realize the problems they face.
"According to secularists, a mother's saying 'I love you' to a child is not an indication that the mother is trying to feed the child's soul; she's just using words to keep the child close and to enhance its chances of survival," Myers writes. "When (secularist) lovers say 'I love you,' they aren't making a commitment to be together no matter what. They're just describing their hormonal reactions."
Long history in region
Summit has been teaching worldviews to young people here since 1964, when John Birch Society founder Robert Welch was a teacher. Next March, the $8 million ministry will host STAND, its first worldview event for adults.
Alumni include former U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and former Idaho state Rep. Curtis Bowers, a Republican whose DVD, "Agenda: Grinding America Down," argues that Marxists are subverting America from within. Supporters include James Dobson, the Focus on the Family founder who now runs Family Talk.
Summit survived the implosion of American Christian College, which was founded in Tulsa by anti-communist crusader the Rev. Billy James Hargis. Hargis resigned after confessing to associate David Noebel that he had sex with male and female students. Noebel led Summit for 49 years and now leads the Christian Anti-Communist Crusade.
Hargis' fall led Noebel to research the "horrors of seduction by expert male homosexuals." Noebel later worked with the authors of Colorado's Amendment 2 limiting gay rights, which the U.S. Supreme Court overturned, and he argued for quarantining people with HIV.
Summit students still hear lectures about homosexuality, but Noebel's references to "lowlife perverts" have been replaced by affirmations that homosexuals are created by God and deserve love and respect.