The vision of Christianity is salvation and civilization.

Salvation is for the individual soul to find rest in God and life in him for eternity.

Civilization is for societies to find peace among their people and with other societies here on earth.

To be civil with one another is to grant to others the same values and rights that God grants to everyone. First, all people are of high value as persons because they are created in the image of God. Second, all people are the focus of God’s redemptive love and potentially redeemable. Third, all people are granted moral choice by God. We can love God, hate God, or deny that he exists. God gives us the choice and he does not violate the boundaries of our personhood by forcing himself on us. God is not a rapist. God is love and that requires us the freedom to choose whether to love him or to reject him. So faith, in Christianity, by definition, is a free choice.

Since faith is a free choice and since some will freely choose to not accept God and since they still retain value as God’s created image-bearers and since they are still potentially redeemable until they die, the Christian vision of civilization is true pluralism. I am not talking about the false perverse pluralism of modern academia where we talk about your truth and his truth and my truth, as if there are many truths that are contradictory of each other. That is nonsense. No one really lives that way. I am talking about true pluralism where we honestly disagree on what the truth is, yet we treat each other with basic human dignity and respect, the way God treats us.

Then there are those who reject basic principles of civilization. They deny human value, human redemption and human freedom. In the least, they are totalitarian. In the worst, they are blood-thirsty murderers. The latter is the case with the barbaric uncivilized ISIS State.

Christianity has been at the forefront of working for civilization at its highest levels that are represented in the values of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The moral certainty of Christianity to shape civilization for good led America to take leadership roles in World War I and World War II while the growing atheist culture of Europe left it less spiritually armed to fight against its physical enemies.

Now America is led by a president that has out-Europeaned the Europeans in his liberal philosophies. And he is a product of America losing a critical mass of people with a Christian worldview who vote. So, we find ourselves in a strange place.

The barbarians are at the gates of western civilization and France, which was liberated from Nazi Germany in World War II by Americans who were morally certain, has to step up as the leader in the fight for its survival.

America is dithering because its president is morally uncertain about the fight because it involves war. He is only certain about his liberal ideas that morally certain Christianity is the enemy, that supporting Islam is a great way to stick it in the eye of Christianity and promote his brand of multi-truth pluralism and that the long arc of history bends towards justice.

Young Christians are even dealing with the moral uncertainty of fighting for civilization because they have been raised on multi-truth pluralism in our culture and on the religion that Jesus is a happy pill in their churches. They have easy-belief salvation and three steps to a better self image but no biblically grounded Christian vision of civilization.

A true pluralistic coalition of people from various philosophies, cultures and religions can and must join together and defeat ISIS. Christians should be at the front of that fight because we have a godly heritage of fighting barbarism because it denies every divine purpose for humanity. Christians should lead through their vision of civilization which blesses everyone.