Examples of humanism in our society

Let us look now at some examples of views/ principles that are humanistic in their roots and in their nature, all of which we will be aware of and familiar with, although perhaps we may not have fully recognised them as humanistic.

Democracy

Many of you reading this will have grown up in a democracy. Democracy is taught in our schools as the best and only appropriate political system for a modern, freethinking society, which humanists hold as a realistic goal. Democracy’s rallying cry is ‘Power to the People’.

Human rights

It is hard to avoid hearing the phrase ‘human rights’ today. It dominates discussions and the media. The past two centuries has seen significant change in western society particularly. Mankind has embraced sexual equality, racial equality, abolition (of slavery) and emancipation (from slavery) with mixed results. The rights of each human being are set out in the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights (http:// www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/).

Environmentalism

There is no doubt that in our greed and selfishness the human race is destroying the planet at an un­sustainable rate. The debate over global warming is rarely out of news headlines. Environmentalists pas­sionately believe that it is up to each of us to ‘Save the Planet’ and thousands of cause-based non-profit organisations are dedicated to achieving this goal.

Evolution

We have seen already that this theory evolved (pardon the pun) from humanistic origins and endeavours. Scientists explain that millennia ago, a collection of gases exploded in a ‘big bang’, cre­ating basic organisms from which all life on earth evolved – and of course, our ancestors descended from apes. In today’s textbooks, news media and TV documentaries, evolution is treated as fact.

Multiculturalism

One of humanism’s vaunted solutions to some of the world’s oldest problems is now mostly accepted as a failure. ‘Multiculturalism’ (getting all races to mix and live together), the buzzword when I was growing up in the 80s, would end wars, ethnic ten­sions and territorial disputes. This has not happened.

Atheism

Atheism is not new. There have always been atheists, but even in my lifetime, I have witnessed a marked increase in those holding no Christian/religious beliefs. Generations of youth are now being raised and educated with humanism’s goals in mind, to eliminate Christian/faith-based education. Sadly, whilst today’s students are fed a diet of science and humanism, few of these ‘educated’ students actually pick up the Bible to test the assertions made by their champions (such as Richard Dawkins). Instead, they just parrot what they read or were taught, which is usually that the Bible is not inspired, but rather a collection of ancient writings and fables, and not the basis for mankind’s morals and ethics.

The purpose of man

Since the formative days of humanism in ancient Greece, men have debated whether there is a God or whether mankind is alone in the universe. Humanists have gravitated firmly to the latter view, believing that mankind’s future lies only in its own hands, and that science and reason will see us through. Yes, there will be experimental failures, but that is part of learning and scientific process (a handy excuse to divert attention from humanism’s many failures).

We lack the time to consider the many other products of humanism, but the question I pose to you now is: “Did you realise that the above exam­ples were rooted in a philosophy set firmly at odds with our own beliefs?” For some, this is evident, but for others, perhaps not so, since the society we live in has been actively conditioning us in its ways.

This brings us to the stark point of this subject. Humanism as we find it today has not happened by accident; it has been actively championed and deliberately inserted into society by atheists, who are determined to see an end to Christianity (and religion in general). Humanists exist at the most senior levels of our governments and policy-setting bodies, educational institutions and the scientific establishment. They are united in their goal and winning more and more to their cause (ironically, in fulfilment of Bible prophecy – but more on that later). There is no room for a middle position for us. Put very simply, the conflict can be shown as follows:

 

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Bible teaching on these humanistic examples

Democracy

It is noteworthy in Scripture that God never in­stituted democracy, but always appointed single leaders for Israel, and He will do so again when His Son returns to set up the first truly worldwide government. The Kingdom will not be a democracy but a perfect benevolent dictatorship. Democracy is not scriptural and therefore is not a political system that we should favour.

Human rights

We know from Scripture that neither Jesus nor the apostles challenged practices of the day that to humanistic thinking are unacceptable. They neither challenged Rome’s brutal occupation of their home­land nor promoted emancipation of slaves. Right or wrong was not the point – Jesus’ and the apostles’ focus was a much greater work, one that would not just temporarily improve a man or woman’s lot, but rather would save their lives from sin.

“But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him’” (1 Cor 2:9, ESV).

That should be our focus for this life also. The other important and humbling point is of course that mankind has no rights before God – we are all sinners, and worthy of death.

Environmentalism

“Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, you are very great! You are clothed with splendour and majesty, covering yourself with light as with a garment, stretching out the heavens like a tent. He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings of the wind; he makes his messengers winds, his ministers a flaming fire. He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved” (Psalm 104:1–35, ESV).

Does that sound like God needs our help to save the planet? The earth is God’s creation; He maintains it and He will save and restore it when Christ returns. As God’s servants, we should respect this creation but need not crusade for it.

Evolution

We all know the Bible is very clear on this:

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them. And God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen 1:26–28, ESV).

Atheism

I do not think we even need to list out the many of verses and proofs that dismiss Atheism.

The purpose of man

“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first com­mandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself ” (Matt 22:37–39, ESV).

“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Col 3:2, ESV).

Still need further convincing?

Let’s look at another humanist’s quotation, this one from noted science fiction author Isaac Asimov. “We Humanists celebrate humanity. We want human­ity does survive it will only be by its own efforts. Never can we sit back and wait for miracles to save us. Miracles don’t happen. Sweat happens. Effort happens. Thought happens. And it is up to us humanists to expend our sweat, our effort and our thought. Then there will be hope for the World.”

The Bible contains many examples of people who ‘celebrated humanity’. Invariably this led to God’s punishment in some form: the Tower of Babel, proud Nebuchadnezzar surveying his great city, etc. Celebrating humanity means ignoring our Creator. It means setting our mind on the earth and not on things above.

Asimov does not seem convinced that mankind can save itself, and there we agree! We know that mankind is incapable of this. The author suggests that if all humankind devotes its time and effort to humanism then there will be hope. We, however, can call to mind the words of Solomon the Wise: “Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” (Ecc 2:11, ESV).

Perhaps the most confronting image the internet reveals is this one, which lays out the conflict between Christians and humanists in the plainest possible way. Humanists proudly wear this button on their jackets, declaring that they are “Good without God”!

good with

So where is this leading mankind?

Let’s recap:

  • Humanism is now entrenched in all levels of government, our education systems and scientific bodies, especially so in Western societies. This is not a conspiracy theory; this is reality.
  • Generations are growing up and being taught humanism in its various forms as part of edu­cational curriculums in high school and univer­sity. For the most part, this is accepted without challenge. Many parents today would not know what humanism is and would not object if they did know.
  • Today, God is dismissed by the majority of peo­ple without their bothering to read the Gospel message themselves. The concept of the existence of a God conflicts with the humanistic beliefs they have been raised on and programmed with.
  • Christian ethics and beliefs that once formed the basis of law and behaviour are now held in contempt.

After hundreds of years of careful positioning, humanists have much of what they want. So the big questions are: Is the world a better place? Is Humanism solving all the world’s problems or is it just creating more?

As we so often see, when something long held is abandoned, something else will fill the vacuum. So, as society abandons God in favour of human­ism, we see:

  • A focus on God is replaced with a focus on pleasure and self-fulfilment.
  • Drug addiction is a problem in every country. In recent years, the author has lived in Indonesia and the Philippines and both have huge drug problems. If humanism is moving us closer to a Utopian society, why do so many people resort to drugs for stimulation and entertainment?
  • Divorce rates are spiralling out of control, result­ing in the breakdown of the family unit. Research has shown children growing up in broken homes are far more likely to be divorced themselves – what a sad cycle.
  • Bible-based morals are discarded and sexual promiscuity, homosexuality and ‘same-sex mar­riage’ is widely accepted. Any contrary view is labelled as homophobic.
  • Today we witness the proliferation of horrific cases of violence, gang rape, sickening child abuse etc. across the globe.
  • Suicides are increasing. Recently I saw alarm­ing statistics about rising suicide rates among students in Asia, China, Korea, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. They are under so much pres­sure from parents to achieve high marks and secure university places that they are cracking under the pressure and killing themselves.
  • We have all witnessed the rise of mass shootings and massacres in places like the US, many taking place in schools involving disillusioned students. If this is not a wake-up call to humanists, what is?
  • Far from reducing conflict, the humanist-inspired United Nations has been exposed as feeble and powerless. Wars and conflicts rage on many continents. Civil unrest hits one country after another.
  • Greed and corruption thrive in most countries where governments are concerned primarily with petty politics or enriching themselves at their people’s expense. We have seen the entire US government controlled by lobbyists and shut down over politics.

For all the humanistic focus on learning, science has not delivered solutions to the problems created by humanist rule:

  • Unrestrained global pollution has given us global warming.
  • World resources are being depleted, and science is not keeping up with solutions fast enough.
  • Modern medicine has made many breakthroughs against disease, but what is the result? Humans are living longer, creating fresh social and eco­nomic problems. Lethal viruses are mutating, becoming resistant to the drugs that science is creating.
  • Technology has given us the Internet and Smartphones; powerful tools, but already warning bells are being sounded over children becoming less social, more withdrawn and prone to retreat into online fantasy worlds.

Is this the humanist’s idea of a ‘better world’? Incredibly, most humanists stubbornly insist that the world is becoming a better place. For all their devotion to reason and logic, they cannot accept the plain fact that this world needs God. We are far from being “Good without God”! It is only by God’s intervention and the return of His Son as ruler of the earth that the human race will live in peace and harmony. How we long for the promised day when “the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Hab 2:14).

The closing verses of 2 Thessalonians 2 provide sound advice to those of us battling humanism in our daily lives. Paul exhorts us, “So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter” (v15, NIV).

I recently read a quotation from Bro Harry Tennant in his book Comfort of the Scriptures, which struck me as particularly apt. He writes, “We are nearing the end of a generation and have to heed the advice given to the early disciples to ‘save yourselves from this untoward generation’. There is something about human nature which, despite frequent and clear warning, presses on in its foolishness, hasting towards an inevitable destruction.”