"...that we may live a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness" - 1 Timothy 2:2
"Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people" - Prov. 14:34
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Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Humanism and the Bible
Few people were aware of, or concerned about, the Humanist philosophy until recently. As it has become more influential, it has become better known. Yet still few people really understand it or realize the depth of its influence on society.
The purposes of this study are to acquaint people with the major doctrines of Humanism, to demonstrate the influence it is having in our society, and to compare its teachings to those of the Bible.
People are confused about Humanism partly because the word has different meanings and partly because Humanists themselves hold different beliefs. Sometimes "humanism" refers to a humanitarian concern for others. But at other times it refers to a philosophy that exalts man while denying or belittling God.
In this discussion, we will examine Humanism as defined by the American Humanist Association in its official publications: "Humanist Manifestos," "Secular Humanist Declaration," The Humanist magazine, and other publications.
We will then examine the impact of these beliefs in many influential areas of society, including: government, education, entertainment, and the media.
(Note: This is only an introduction to a much more thorough article. To read the complete article, go to: http://www.gospelway.com/religiousgroups/humanism.php)
Consider the influence of Humanism in the following areas:
I. Faith in Man, Not in God
A. Humanist Beliefs
... we find that traditional views of the existence of God either are meaningless, have not yet been demonstrated to be true, or are tyrannically exploitative. Secular Humanists may be agnostics, atheists, rationalists, or skeptics, but they find insufficient evidence for the claim that some divine purpose exists for the universe. They reject the idea that God has intervened miraculously in history or revealed himself to a chosen few, or that he can save or redeem sinners. They believe that men and women are free and are responsible for their own destinies and that they cannot look toward some transcendent Being for salvation. We reject the divinity of Jesus, the divine mission of Moses ... We do not accept as true the literal interpretation of the Old and New Testaments ... - "Declaration," pp. 18.
"Secular Humanism places trust in human intelligence rather than in divine guidance" - "Declaration," p. 24.
As non-theists, we begin with humans not God, nature not deity ... we can discover no divine purpose or providence for the human species ... No deity will save us; we must save ourselves - "Manifestos," p. 16.
In the Humanist Magazine, Jan/Feb, 1983, p. 26, Humanist author John Dunphy says:
... a viable alternative to [Christianity] must be sought. That alternative is Humanism. ... The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new - the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of Humanism...
So, Humanists clearly admit that they do not believe in the God of the Bible or in the Bible as God's word. They openly view themselves as opponents of "Christianity."
B. Influence in Society
"Separation of church and state" has become a tool to accomplish what our founding fathers never intended: complete elimination of religion from public life. This has occurred through legislation and especially through court rulings.
Former Chief Justice Rehnquist once said that federal courts "bristle with hostility to all things religious in public life" (PS Report, 10/2006). This hostility is manifested in many ways.
In response to the efforts of atheists and the humanistic American Civil Liberties Union, courts have progressively removed the Bible, God, and prayer from public buildings and public institutions.
Efforts are under way to remove "under God" from the pledge of allegiance.
Because the Boy Scouts require their leaders to believe in God and not be homosexuals, powerful forces seek to remove all support of the Scouts from public institutions.
Government officials are severely criticized in the media if they mention prayer, God, or the Bible. And sometimes they are even criticized for privately expressing trust in God.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia once delivered a speech in which he defended the role of "Christians" in public life. For this he was fiercely criticized. One critic said, "We expect our Supreme Court justices to be the most secular of our public servants" (via Dr. James Dobson). Why? Early Supreme Court justices openly declared their faith in God. Why should people who do not believe in God be better judges than people who do believe in God?
It has reached the point that religious people are ridiculed if they even express a viewpoint about laws or government activities. Who can deny that Humanist values have great influence in our government?
It is a known fact that the Bible, prayer, and essentially all references to God have been banned in school classes and activities. And although schools allow students to form clubs to discuss all kinds of subjects from homosexuality to Islam, yet students have to fight for the right to voluntarily meet on school property to discuss the Bible before or after school hours.
What philosophy dominates in the schools? The preface to the Humanist book Humanist Ethics says:
... a large majority of the educators of America and of the western world are Humanist in their outlook. The faculties of American colleges and universities are predominantly Humanist, and a majority of the teachers who go out from their studies in the colleges to responsibilities in primary and secondary schools are basically Humanist, no matter that many maintain a nominal attachment to church or synagogue for good personal or social or practical reasons.
We will see later that nearly every major tenet of Humanism has been endorsed by official resolutions of the National Education Association (NEA).
Entertainment and the media
No one would attempt do deny that the modern media is secular. Religion is consistently ridiculed or ignored.
TV & movies
Newsweek reported a survey of 104 top TV writers and executives. 45% of them reported that they have no religious affiliation, compared to only 4% of Americans in general (via Citizen, 9/21/92).
Dead Kennedys recorded "Religious Vomit" saying, "All religions make me wanna throw up. All religions make me sick" (Christian Inquirer, 7&8/82).
XTC recorded "Dear God" in which a child starts a letter to God. Then the song blames God for war, family problems, famine, disease and death. The song concludes as the child says, "If there's one thing I don't believe in, it's you, God" (Media Update, 9&10/87, p. 9).
AFA Journal and TV Guide reported that 90% of Americans say they believe in God or a higher power, and 80% pray regularly. Americans contribute nearly fifteen times as much money to religious groups as they spend to attend major league baseball, football, and basketball combined. According to a Gallup Poll, attendance at religious services is more than fifty times greater than attendance at the three major professional sports leagues.
Surely religion is a major part of the lives of Americans. Yet a survey of evening TV news shows on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and PBS revealed that only about 1% of the news reports discussed religion. (via "The Gospel Observer," July 14, 1996)
Our public institutions have become largely non-religious, exactly like Humanism wants.
C. The Teaching of the Scriptures
We have shown is that Humanism is a real danger. Christians must make difficult personal decisions regarding how they will respond to the influence of Humanism. But the Bible is clear regarding what should Christians believe.
God does exist & the Bible is His word.
Genesis 1:1 - In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Psalms 14:1 - The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God."
Many proofs support these conclusions.
Romans 1:20 - The only logical explanation for the existence of the universe is that there is a God who made it. [Psalms 19:1; Acts 14:15,17; 17:24-31]
Isaiah 41:21-23; 42:8,9 - God repeatedly predicted the distant future in detail in order to prove His Deity (John 13:19; Jeremiah 28:9). Man cannot predict the future infallibly (James 4:14; Proverbs 27:1). Yet Bible writers did so time after time. It follows that they were guided by God, as they claimed. (See also Ezekiel 26:3-14; Deuteronomy 28:15-64; Matthew 2:1-6; 21:1-9; 26:14,15; 27:9,10,38; Acts 2:24-32; Isaiah 53.)
John 20:30,31 - The only reasonable explanation for the miracles recorded in the Bible, especially Jesus' resurrection, is that these events were caused by God to confirm that these men were His inspired messengers. These events could not be done by human ability, yet historical eyewitness testimony confirms them to have occurred. (John 5:36; 11:38-48; Hebrews 2:3,4; Acts 14:3; 1:3; 2:22; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8)
Man should trust in God, not in himself.
Genesis 1:26,27; chap. 3 - Man was created good but sinned and became corrupt.
Matthew 7:13,14; Romans 3:23 - Throughout history, all people have committed sin, and most have lived lives that were generally corrupt. Wars, hatred, crime, and immorality have characterized people of all time periods. These should not be blamed on God, but on people who choose to disobey God. (Romans 5:12; 1 John 1:8-10; Genesis 6:5; Jeremiah 17:9)
It follows that man cannot solve his problems himself. He must trust in God's wisdom to guide him.
Proverbs 14:12 - There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
Proverbs 3:5,6 -- Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.
Humanism says we should reject the idea of God and solve our problems ourselves. This idea is not new. Only the name is new. Trusting self has been the basic attitude of men throughout history; and it has always led to tragedy. Trusting in self is not the solution to man's problems but the cause of them! (Romans 1:20-32)
For much more detailed evidence of the existence of God and the Bible as God's word, please see our Bible Instruction web site at www.gospelway.com/instruct/.
[See also Philippians 4:6,7,13; 1 Peter 5:7: Psalm 103:13-18; 2 Chronicles 32:7,8; 1 Samuel 17:37,45ff; 2 Kings 6:14-17; Matthew 6:25-34; 7:7-11; Psalm 23; 27:1-3,14; 34:19; 46:1,2; Joshua 1:5-9; Romans 8:28,31-39; Genesis 11:1-9; Ephesians 6:10-18; Mark 16:16.]
(C) Copyright 3/1984, 7/1996, 11/2006, David E. Pratte