The Deceit of Humanism

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Deceit of Humanism

By Larry R. Lasiter

© 2010

 Everything that God created has a purpose which is an assignment from God. Everything created was made to bring glory to God. Everything we do should result in the praise and glorification of God. Like everything else, we were created by Him and for Him. Have you ever made something which spoke back to you and refused to do what you created it to do? Now, I understand that you may have made something that didnít work, but the keyword in my question is "refused."

When I was in the Cub Scouts we were given a project to make billfolds for ourselves. When I completed the task, I was proud of the little billfold that I had made - it even had my initials on it. The purpose of the billfold was to carry money, identification and whatever else you needed and didnít want to lose. Now, my little billfold carried out itís purpose very well, though I never had much money to carry in it.

But what if it refused to do what I had made it to do? What if it refused to carry my money and decided for itself that it preferred to carry peanut butter? What a mess that would be! And not only a mess, but it would be extremely frustrating to find that my money was always gone.

This analogy may sound a little silly, but the Apostle Paul used a similar example, -"Who are you, O man, who answers back to God? For who resists His will? The thing molded will not say to the molder, ĎWhy did you make me like this,í will it? Or does not the Potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?" (Romans 9:20-21)

One concept that stands in opposition to the truth that all things are created and have been given the assignment to bring glory to the Creator God, is the philosophy of humanism. Since I will be discussing this subject in this article, I will include here the opening statement of the First Humanist Manifesto.

"The time has come for widespread recognition of the radical changes in religious beliefs throughout the modern world. The time is past for mere revision of traditional attitudes. Science and economic change have disrupted the old beliefs. Religions the world over are under the necessity of coming to terms with new conditions created by a vastly increased knowledge and experience. In every field of human activity, the vital movement is now in the direction of a candid and explicit humanism.

In order that religious humanism may be better understood we desire to make certain affirmations which we believe the facts of our contemporary life demonstrate. There is a great danger of a final, and we believe fatal, identification of the word religion with doctrines and methods which have lost their significance and which are powerless to solve the problem of human living in the Twentieth Century. Religions have always been means for realizing the highest values of life. . .

We hold that the universe exists for no purpose. We are the result of a blind and random process that does not necessitate any kind of meaning. Life is only worth living if we ourselves make it worthwhile and enjoyable. . .We maintain that no objective or universal values exist. A person may be moral if he or she creates a system of values and lives according to them. We maintain that no one is obligated to be moral. Obviously, if no moral absolutes exist, you canít demonstrate that anything is wrong or evil. Thus, in a humanist society, no one can really judge or condemn the choices or actions of others."

 

Religious humanism maintains that all associations and institutions exist for the fulfillment of human life.

Do you recognize any of this? If you look at the state of Europe and of America today, I think you would agree that the western world has succumbed to the philosophy of humanism. Unfortunately, this thinking is not regulated to the world but has crept into the Christian Church. Modern Christianity is permeated with humanism. It seems everything we do is designed for our fellow man. We are so afraid to offend the sinner we forget that our holy God is offended by their rebellion against His will and purpose for their lives. Today, you will find far more Christians who are more sympathetic towards sinners than toward the Creator who made them or the Savior who gave His life to save them.

The love of God is designed to turn sinners from their wicked practices, yet many conclude that God will accept them just as they are. The truth is, God created people for life, and sinners stand in stark opposition to their Creator.

By ignoring God and living in their sins, they deny God the works of His own hands and the love He so deserves. He gave them life, they lost it in their sins, so He gave His only Son to pay for their crimes, and yet the sinner chooses to live in death. This grieves the heart of God and denies Jesus the reward of His suffering. As the children of God, we should grieve for our Father, our Savior and the sinner who loves his sin, while remembering that God has done all He can do, and if the sinner will not repent he deserves to die in the Lake of Fire.

After the Great Awakening Revival of the mid-1800's, the Christian faith sustained a frontal attack directed by the higher critics of Europe. Darwin had postulated his theory of evolution and certain philosophers adapted their positions to accommodate it, and certain theologians began applying it to the Scriptures. Satan had always attacked Godís Word and the servants who ministered it, but by 1850 higher education began to openly denounce the veracity of the Bible. After formulating his theory, Darwin declared that the Bible would one day be a relic that you will have to go to a museum to see. He was convinced that it would be utterly destroyed by the arguments he was bringing against it.

As a result of this, the philosophy of the day became humanism. Humanism teaches that the end of all things is the happiness of man. The ultimate goal of this philosophy is to be happy as you live. It is the belief that the reason for existence is your happiness. Those who hold this view spend their time trying to get all the happiness they can out of life. They pursue money, power, influence, fame, immorality, etc, -anything they think will bring them happiness.

The spread of humanism has led to a certain degree of cultural lawlessness. The moral standard of the teachings of the Bible or of Jesus no longer mattered if it got in the way of oneís pursuit of personal happiness. Divorce, adultery and fornication began to be accepted in the name of seeking personal happiness. "I divorced my wife because I just wasnít happy" - "I had an affair because my husband did not make me happy."

Darwinism and humanism caused great debate among the Christian Churches. This eventually manifested itself by producing two main groups, the liberals, and the fundamentalists. The liberals accepted this new found philosophy and adapted their message to sound something like this, -"We donít really know if there is a personal God, or if there is a heaven and hell, but you are going to live some years in this life and you will be happier if you live it as a Christian. Now, itís important for you to come to services every week so we can help you to live your best life now."

In the light of Darwinism and humanism, the liberal Christian wouldnít dare try to defend the veracity of the Bible. Early on they had been soundly defeated in their debates with evolutionist intellectuals. They were embarrassed by Bible stories of a talking serpent, a young shepherd killing a giant warrior with a stone and a man living inside a big fish for three days. With these religious leaders, the shine and been knocked off the Bible. They were faced with two choices, deny the existence of God, Jesus and the Christian faith, or create a mixture that did not require them to Biblically defend, and one which was palatable to the carnal mind. So, this gave birth to liberal Christianity. I was once questioned about a particular belief by a liberal Christian, and when I answered him by using a quote from one of Paulís epistles, he laughed and said, -"Paul was just a man!" When I told him that though Paul was a man, his writings were inspired by God, he scoffed at the idea.

While liberal Christians blended right in by going along to get along, fundamental Christians stepped up boldly to defend their God, their Savior and their traditional faith. They cried, -"The Bible is true! Jesus really was the Son of God who died for the sins of the world! Heaven and hell really exists! We believe sinners will have their part in the Lake of Fire! We believe the only way to be saved is by accepting Jesus Christ! Jesus is coming back to judge the world! And you better live by the Word of God!"

The ultimate goal of humanism is the happiness of man - to be happy as you live. The ultimate goal of Christianity is to bring glory to God.

If you are a fundamental Christian you are probably thinking -"Way to go boys! Tell it like it is and never back down from the truth!" But there was a secret problem. The whole atmosphere of the great debate was permeated with humanism. Humanism is like an infection that easily spreads largely undetected. While the fundamentalists set a guard against evolution and the higher critics who attacked the validity of the Bible, humanism crept in the backdoor while no one was watching. As a result God became a means to an end rather than the end itself.

All it took was a little twist of the Scriptures. Satan secretly suggested a little slight of hand. Just a subtle change of focus. Hardly noticeable if you werenít playing close attention. If you look at a photo that has a person in the foreground and a person in the background you will notice that the focus is more on the person in the foreground. True Christian theology presents a picture of God and of man together, and God is first, foremost, and in the foreground. Fundamental Christianity infected with humanism began to put the focus on man which made God a little out of focus. In a photo the object of most importance is the one which is most sharply focused.

Liberal Christians came to believe that Christianity exists to make man happy while he lives. Liberals determined to use social programs to promote manís well-being and to eliminate poverty and need. Does the term "Social Justice" ring a bell? The Bible teaches "Equal Justice" but not Social Justice. Social Justice involves taking from those who have to give to those who do not, generally using government to do so. Taking from one to give to another is theft. It is collective by nature and leans toward the concept of collective salvation rather than individual, personal salvation which the Gospel teaches.

Equal Justice is what God means when He says that He is no respecter of persons, but gave His Son to save any who would receive that gift. Equal Justice is not a hand out as much as it is a hand up. It is the belief that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. Equal Justice practices personal Charity.

Since liberal Christians were no longer sure about the details of an afterlife, they attempted to make living on the earth a heavenly experience. Again, Liberal Christians came to believe that Christianity exists to make man happy while he lives - Fundamental Christians came to believe that Christianity exists to make man happy when he dies. Both views are a perversion of the truth.

With just a tiny emphasis change in the Gospel message, man could use God to get what he wanted. The thinking came to be that everything was for the benefit of man. God made the world for man, the heavens exist for man, He gave His Son for man, He has a great plan for man, He desires to bless man and bring him happiness, etc. You might be thinking, -"Wait a minute, whatís wrong with that? God does love us! God did give His Son for us! God does want us to be happy!"The answer is yes, but as a by product, not as the prime product. God was not made for you - you were made for God. God does not exist for you - you exist for Him. God does not exist to help you pursue your dreams - you exist to fulfill Godís dreams.

God loves us and created us to be His children, even heirs of everything that He has - but God must not be reduced to a formula to get what we want. No, we are to give Him what He wants. He is the beginning and the end and everything in between - He is not a means to an end, He is the end. That is, our personal happiness must not be our goal, but He must be our goal. We follow the example of Jesus who said, -"Father, not My will, but Your will be done."

Are we happy when we find Him? Yes, but if it is not primarily about Him and seeking Him for who He is, we are out of balance and have slipped into humanism. We are not to seek the human experience but a divine experience in His manifest presence. Everything was created by Him, and for Him, -"For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on the earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities -all things have been created through Him and for Him." (Colossians 1:16)

Why do we preach the Gospel? Do we do it for God or for man? That may sound like an unusual question but it is one which needs to be answered. God sends us forth with the message of salvation because He loves man and desires for no one to perish. But He wants more than for a person to merely flee from His coming wrath - He wants them to run to Him.

He longs for fellowship with those separated from Him by their sins. He wants the sick healed. This is the very reason that He allowed His Son to be so brutally beaten, -"for by His wounds you were healed." (1 Peter 2:24) Bottom line, Jesus died to save us, was beaten to heal us, and He deserves the reward of His suffering. Yes, we are to have the love of God dwelling in us and expressing it to those who are lost in sin, but we preach salvation for Him first, not them first - and for His purpose and glory - and that His will might be done - and that Jesus would receive the reward of His suffering and death.

God promises to never leave us nor forsake us. No matter what fiery trials we may face in the future we can rest assured that our Father and our Savior will be there to see us through. David wrote, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. For Your rod and Your staff comfort me." (Psalm 23) When we endure such trying times, sweet platitudes and churchy principles of liberal Christianity will not do - we need a real Father and a real friend in Jesus.

Jesus said, -"Seek you first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. And all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6:33) When asked which was the greatest of all the Commandments, Jesus replied, "The First Commandment to love the Lord your God with all your heart all your mind and all your soul." Then Jesus said, "And the second is to love your neighbor as yourself." God first, man second.

The Ten Commandments were written on two separate tablets. The first four were written on the first tablet and the last six on the second tablet. The first four instruct us in loving and obeying God, and the last six teach us how to love and treat our neighbor. Let us always remember that God comes first and people come second. We cannot honor God by putting the interests and feelings of man above that of God.

When I preached the Africa Crusades I was shocked to see that there were as many hypocrites there as there are here in America. The Bible and the gospel was generally very well known. I could see little difference in people. They were content to live in sin and to trample the sacrifice of the Beloved.

Dear ones, weep for them and for all sinners, but not so much as you weep for your grieving heavenly Father who offered His only Son. If you must weep, weep for your Beloved Savior who suffers the rejection. Sinners who refuse to repent deserve the sentence of hell. Godís wrath rightly abides on the sinner who stands in rebellion and denies the Lord the reward of His suffering.

Dear ones, let us forever set a guard against the deceit of humanism.

* Special thanks and credit goes to the late Pastor Paris Reidhead for his sermon "Ten Shekels and a Shirt." Much of what is written in this article was inspired by his anointed message. If you would like to listen to his message it is listen in our sermon section.

 

 

 

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