Bible Study 6-2-2020
Christian? or Secular Humanist?
We live in a day when there is a great war going on in the society in which we live. There are many battlefronts and aspects to the war, but the primary war in our day is between Christianity and secular humanism.
Secular humanism is a religion and a philosophy of life which views man as the supreme being of the universe. It rejects the existence of God and the supernatural. It sees moral values as relative and changing and varying from person to person.
It is important for every Christian to know the subtle ways that secular humanism is manifesting itself all around us. It is important for us to make decisions on a daily basis that demonstrate that we have not been captured, to any degree, by this intoxicating and persuasive philosophy and religion. The following chart is in no way comprehensive. But it may help us recognize some of the most significant differences. We must make good choices!
“See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)
|God||Humanists usually do not believe that God even exists. Humanists believe mankind is the highest entity. (“Man is the measure of all things.”)||God is the highest Entity. He is perfect in wisdom, power, might, and love. He created us. He is to be worshipped. We love Him because He first loved us.||How is my worship life? Do I live day-to-day talking with and praising and serving God? Or do I basically ignore Him, as a humanist would?|
|God’s Name||Uses God’s name as a byword. God’s name means nothing to the humanist, because he does not believe God exists.||Reverences God’s name. Uses God’s name only when speaking respectfully about God or when talking to God in prayer. (Ex 20:7)||Have I gotten careless with God’s name as a result of movies, TV, or people around me? Do I get as close to the humanist behavior as possible without “crossing a line”? (e.g., saying “Gah” or “Jeez”)|
|Jesus Christ||Jesus Christ, if He existed at all, was a mere man. He may have been an interesting teacher, but when he died, he stayed dead like any other man.||Jesus Christ is God, come in the flesh. He was born of the Virgin Mary. He lived a perfect, sinless life. He died on the cross to pay for our sins. He rose from the dead to prove He had conquered sin, death, and hell. He lives forevermore. When we repent of our sins and receive Him as Savior and Lord, He comes to live in our lives, giving us His peace, joy, righteousness, purpose for living, forgiveness of sins, and eternal life.||Have I personally received the Lord Jesus Christ into my life? Am I living for Him and worshipping Him as Savior and Lord? Or do I basically ignore Him as a humanist would do?|
|Creation||Acts and talks as if evolution is a scientific fact and that anyone who disagrees is ignorant. Evolution is the only way he knows of to explain the existence of life, since he denies the existence of God.||Acts and talks in light of the truly scientific evidence (as well as Biblical revelation) that God is the Creator. Often speaks of “the creation” and not just “nature.”||Have I been intimidated by humanists who try to make me feel ignorant or uneducated if I disagree with them? Do I talk about creation freely?|
|The Bible||Considers the Bible of little interest. Believes the Bible to be the work of men (perhaps with a religious ax to grind). Certainly does not accept it as the Word of God.||Reverences the Bible as the Word of God. Since he believes it is God’s Word, he believes it is worth taking time to read and study it.||How much time do I spend reading and studying the Bible? Do I treat it like a humanist?|
|Self-Esteem||Sees man as basically good. Thinks that people should feel good about themselves regardless of their behavior. Tries to deal with guilt by positive self-talk.||Realizes that man has a sin nature and tends to do evil things. Realizes that people have great value and worth because we are created in the image of God and for God’s glory. Believes that God has made each person very unique and special and for His glory. Realizes that God has a great purpose for each of us. Believes that through repentance and faith in Christ we can have our sin forgiven and be made into new creatures.||Do I try to make others and myself “feel good” about ourselves in spite of what may be sinful behavior? Or do I realize that my value is based on Who Christ is and what He has done for me?|
|Sanctity of Life||Since man is a merely highly evolved animal, some human life is not so special. Supports abortion, euthanasia, and even infanticide in some cases.||Since man is created in the image of God and for the purposes of God, all life is precious. Abortion, euthanasia, and infanticide are considered to be horrific sins.||Have I grown complacent about the existence of abortion in our country? Do I take a stand against these evils against human life?|
|Sin||Rejects the idea of a “sin nature.” Believes that whatever I want to do is ok, as long as it “doesn’t hurt anyone else.” (But is often shortsighted in deciding what may hurt someone else!) Tendency to rationalize that all behavior that I wish to do is acceptable.||We are all guilty of violating God’s standards. All of us have sinned. But we can be forgiven and cleansed in Christ. God declares me to be forgiven and gives me His righteousness as a gift when I agree with Him about my sin.||When I sin, do I rationalize it away? Or do I confess it to God and receive His forgiveness?|
|Goals||Since this physical life is all there is, my goal is to get as much happiness and gain as many things as I can before time runs out and I cease to exist.||Lives in light of Eternity. Makes decisions on the basis of what will bring God the most glory. Realizes that this life is ultimately very brief compared to eternity. (As a by-product of living to bring God glory, experiences great joy, peace, contentment, and fulfillment)||Do my decisions indicate that I’m all wrapped up in the physical things of this life alone? What do I do differently that proves that I am interested in bringing God glory? What do I do that proves I am thinking in terms of eternity?|
|Sex||Since man is only a highly evolved animal, sexual gratification is not to be denied as long as it “doesn’t hurt anyone.” (Again, the humanist is often shortsighted about what kinds of behavior “hurt” others.)||Realizes that sex is a gift from God, who created us as sexual beings. Realizes that, when used as God intended (i.e., within a marriage relationship), sex can bring great joy to a husband and wife. But also realizes that when used in ways God did not intend that it can lead to great harm. Even though sex outside marriage may “feel good” for the moment, it inevitably leads to disappointment, frustration, and deep emotional pain and regrets.||Am I absolutely and totally committed to reserving sex for marriage? Have I made arrangements to stay out of situations that could lead to sexual temptations? Do I really believe what God has said about sex?|
|Sexual Deviancy||Since man is merely an animal, no sexual acts should be considered improper as long as “it doesn’t hurt anyone.”||Since God created sex to be a holy picture of the relationship between Christ and the church, only heterosexual sex between a husband and wife is acceptable to God. Other sexual behaviors are perversions of that picture.||Have humanists gradually persuaded me that some sexual activities are acceptable even though God says they are sinful?|
|Moral Relativism||Humanists believe some things are right for some people and some situations that may be “wrong” for other people and other situations. There is no absolute right and wrong. Everything depends on the situation.||Believes that God has established some things as absolutely right and others as absolutely wrong. If God says that certain behavior is sin, it is wrong for us to convince ourselves that the behavior is really ok.||Do I resist the temptation for me to rationalize behavior that God says is wrong? Do I assume that because other people that are supposed to be Christians are doing it that it must be ok?|
|Tolerance||Believes that values, morals, and ethics are determined by each person for him or herself. Therefore, to tell someone else that their behavior is “wrong” or “sinful” is considered to be intolerant. “Intolerance” (defined this way) is not tolerated!||Believes that values, morals, and ethics are determined by God and revealed in His Word, the Bible and given to us for our benefit. Therefore, to tell someone else that their behavior is wrong may be one of the greatest blessings we can give them. Christians certainly believe that we should all be very tolerant of other people, allowing them the freedom to believe and worship as they see fit. But we believe that to excuse and overlook sin in our society, in the name of “tolerance” is to do great harm to our society in general and individual people in particular.||Do I know what the Bible teaches about the major issues of our day? Am I willing to take an unpopular stand because it is right? Do I recognize the “anything goes” in the name or “tolerance” attitude that is so common in our society?|
|Family||Secular Humanists prefer to think of “family” in larger groups of perhaps unrelated people. Many secular humanists would affirm the legitimacy of same-sex marriages or civil unions. Many would deny the importance of fathers, encouraging “single parenting by choice.” Many secular humanists trust schools more than parents to know what is best for children. Some humanists believe that the child’s first responsibility is to a representative of the state, not necessarily to the parents. (For example, humanists often support the right of a child to an abortion without parental consent.)||Christians see the traditional family unit (father, mother, and children) as created by God to represent our relationship with Him. Christians believe that, with some exceptions (e.g., abusive parents), parents do a better job at raising children than government organizations. Christians believe children are to be responsible to and submissive to their parents (unless the parent is requiring the child to commit sin). Of course, Christians recognize the importance of foster parents and stepparents in family units.||Do I recognize my parents|