Secular Humanism

A Biblical Response

As I have repeatedly stated, each of us subscribes to a source of authority which is used as a lens through which to view and interpret the world and universe in which we live. That chosen source will direct each individual into a certain path and away from others. In this section you will find the greatest dichotomy known to humanity—belief in God as Creator and Savior and the disbelief in God as Creator and Savior. Here are six points of critique about the disbelief.

Response #1: Secular humanism advocates the rejection of God from human consideration.

     “Be brave. Be free from philosophies, prophets and holy lies. Go deep into your feelings and explore the mystery of your body, mind and soul. You will find the truth.”--Amit Ray

     “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21 ESV).

Plainly stated, secular humanism rejects God and the truth as announced in the Hebrew Scriptures.

Response #2: Secular humanists seek to remove the only hope for humanity—God.

     “But we can discover no divine purpose or providence for the human species. While there is much that we do not know, humans are responsible for what we are or will become. No deity will save us; we must save ourselves.”--Humanist Manifesto II

     “The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together,against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, ‘Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us’” (Psalm 2:2-3 ESV).

Secular humanism contributes some good to the human situation particularly by advocating for the general good of humanity including freedom from oppressive governmental and religious institutions who impose their rules and force subservience on people. Secularism espouses a freedom for people to pursue life free from such restrictions and, in this, and closely related areas, humanism does contribute to the good of humanity.

Unfortunately, secular humanism also advocates that mankind alone has the ability to resolve its own problems. In the face of increasing challenges facing the humankind, even purportedly threatening the existence of humanity itself, secularists influence society to turn from the hope God offers in Jesus Christ to the shifting hope that mortal man offers.

Response #3: Secular humanism exalts himself to the position of God.

     “When did I realize I was God? Well, I was praying and I suddenly realized I was speaking to myself.”--Peter O’Toole

     “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:21 ESV).

Secular humanism exalts itself to the position of arbitrator of truth and reality through reliance on human reasoning and wisdom. In all of creation there is probably no greater spectacle than created beings who possess incredible cognitive abilities standing on two feet and proclaiming loudly that he finds no evidence for the creative work of an intelligent creator. Such exaltation is energized by a desire to be free from any external authority and accountability. Secular humanists demand such freedom and issue a call to others to join them. In their self-proclaimed freedom they believe they have found true meaning and purpose—their good news.

Response #4: Secular humanism contrives a future that does not exist.

     “Afterlife is a fairly tale for those who are afraid of the dark.”--Stephen Hawking

     “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2 Corinthians 5:10 ESV).

At the highest level, secular humanism makes two primary promises: the promise of the good life presently, and the promise that nothing exists after death and, subsequently, no ultimate accountability should be expected.

Secular humanism is the product of a worldview in which God is excluded and the meaning of life and purpose is replaced by a temporary satisfaction with what life has to offer (particularly when affluence and abundance is available). At worse, secular humanism turns its back on the source of truth and life and peace and joy—in this life and in the life to come. Secular humanism is the replacement of eternal life with a few moments of self-actualization that is as fleeting as a vapor of smoke that dissipates and is gone forever (Psalm 39:4; James 4:13-15).

I invite you to read the article titled,“The Promise of Humanism” found on the American Humanist website and consider what secular humanism actually offers its adherents.

Response #5: Secular humanism places its trust in human wisdom.

     “Religious humanism also began with Greek philosophy and its hope of achieving the good life through human agency.”--Human Secularism Defined

     “For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness” (1 Corinthians 1:22-23 KJV).

There is a fundamental distinction between thinking about human life with God and thinking about life without God. Thinking about the existence of humanity without the Bible as the source of understanding inevitably leads to a perspective based solely on limited reasoning and human wisdom. The document “Human Secularism Defined” cannot be surpassed in its clarity and public acknowledgment of this and should be thoroughly considered for what it is reporting (emphasis added):

Atheism and freethought trace their roots to ancient Greek philosophy, with its emphasis on rational inquiry and curiosity about the workings of nature. Other sources included early Chinese Confucianism, ancient Indian materialists, and Roman Stoics, Epicureans, and Skeptics. Submerged during the Dark Ages, freethought re-emerged in the Renaissance. With the Enlightenment, rationalist and empiricist thinkers laid foundations for the modern scientific outlook. Utilitarians emancipated morality from religion, foreshadowing consequentialism. The late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries ushered in a golden age for freethought. With the turn of the twentieth century, this flame flickered, but an abiding tradition remained that decades later would emerge as secular humanism.

The biblical critique about these sources for understanding life and God should also be considered. The apostle Paul juxtaposes the two perspectives in 1 Corinthians chapter 1. The commentators of the Henry Morris Study Bible summarizes Paul’s words by saying, “The epistle [letter] is...also known for its critique of human wisdom, so prized among the Greeks, in relation to divine wisdom as revealed through the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures” (Henry Morris Study Bible, KJV Version, p. 1734).

In the first chapter of 1 Corinthians, Paul states the problem like this (emphasis added):

Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:20-22 KJV).

Secular humanism seeks to understand the claims about God and, inevitably, the world, through human wisdom. Yet, humanity cannot know God through human wisdom alone. In fact, God chose the opposite—God intentionally choose what human beings would consider as foolish to counter man’s inclination to depend solely upon his own wisdom and ability (emphasis added): “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That [in order that] no flesh should glory in his presence” (1 Cor. 1:27-29 KJV).

And what did God choose to announce that people may come to him and know him? He choose the preaching of the cross—a disdain and foolery to many. Paul says it clearly, “...we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:23-24 KJV). And why is the preaching of the cross disdained by many? Because it appears to be foolishness: For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1Co 1:18). And why does the preaching of the cross appear foolish? Paul explains that too in his second letter to the Corinthians church, saying (emphasis added), “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ…” (2 Cor. 4:4 ESV).

In comparison, those who believe the gospel and turn to Jesus Christ and away from human wisdom alone and the self-proclaimed “hope of achieving the good life through human agency” (Humanist Manifesto II), God provides godly wisdom and understanding.

“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 4:4-6 ESV).

When this occurs God makes Christ to become for us the most important and beloved aspect of human existence and joy unsurpassed:

“And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30 ESV).

Response #6: Secular humanism needs a clear biblical warning.

     “Please with the God talk. Hate to break it to you, but there is no God.”--Howard Stern

     “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 53:1 ESV).

The rejection of God is truly life changing. When God is rejected, that is, the God of the Hebrew Scriptures, the consequences are such that human comprehension cannot come to grips with them—at least, not in this lifetime.

Among the things produced when a person rejects God is boasting of personal freedom while ironically becoming shackled to the paltry scope of human wisdom and understanding. Rejection of God also causes people to swell in confidence and often leads people to speak disparagingly against the One who gave them life and brought creation into existence. Furthermore, rejection of God causes people to display pomp and arrogance (often while boasting of the need for people to remain humble).

Likewise, as in the case of America, although material prosperity and relative safety exists, for those who reject God, their situation is dire. For now such people may increase in public notoriety, in personal achievement, in greater leisure opportunities, and many other possible attainments including “...the successful quest for the good life, intellectually, ethically, emotionally rich, and without any reliance on religious faith” (Secular Humanism Defined). Unfortunately for such people, the supposed good that is experienced in this life is but momentary—their future is described differently. Because of this there is grave need for public warning!

Please continue on with me as we consider the biblical warning to secular humanism.

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