Where does Humanism originate from?
One of our speakers was Dr. Ron Rhodes, the president of Reasoning from the Scriptures Ministries. He's a prolific author of more than 50 books. He holds a doctorate in systematic theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, and he specializes in the field of Apologetics. He also serves as an adjunct professor at several seminaries. Dr. Rhodes' topic at our conference was "The Challenge of Humanism and Atheism" (watch).
Ancient Origins of Humanism
First of all, I want to let you know that Humanism is nothing new. It's nothing new. In fact, there are seeds of Humanism even back in biblical times. Now, let me clarify, it is true that the religion of Humanism founded on the Humanistic Manifest I, II, and III is fairly recent, but in terms of the seeds of Humanism it goes way back to biblical times. For example, in Genesis 3:4-5 we read, "You will be like God, knowing good and evil." Now, who said that? Satan through the serpent said that. Think about that for a minute. Where do you think Humanism comes from then? Satan.
It's my belief that Satan is a master marketer. He's the one behind all of the false religions and cults. His goal is to draw people away from the Christ of Scripture.
To achieve drawing people away from the God of the Bible, Satan's got different religions that appeal to different demographics in our society. For example, if you want to become a god ruling your own planet, he's got Mormonism for you. If you are one of those people who likes to declare your reality and by positive thinking you can call your world into being, well maybe the New Thought Movement is for you. Or, if you are the type of person who would like to do away with death and disease and suffering and that kind of stuff, well Christian Science is your ticket. You see, Satan has come up with all kinds of counterfeits in order to draw different parts of our society away from Jesus Christ.
Humanism is one of Satan's masterpieces. It's the one that has the broadest mass appeal. For that reason, we need to be aware of it as Christians.
Genesis 11:4 reveals the Humanist's motive, "Come let us build for ourselves a city and the tower whose top will reach into heaven. Let us make a name for ourselves." That Tower of Babel statement demonstrates the Humanistic tendency towards self-exaltation, this idea that we can become our own gods.
Judges 21:25 explains their moral relativism, "Every man did what was right in his own eyes." We see that behavior even back in biblical times. Likewise, Isaiah 5:20-21 reads, "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil. Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness. Who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter." Instead of black and white categories, everything merges into a gray zone. That again is moral relativism, this idea that there is nothing absolute that we need to pay attention to.
Then, of course, there's the warning from the Apostle Paul in Colossians 2:8, "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deception philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."
A second point I want to make you aware of is that Scripture actually prophesied end time Humanism. Would you agree with me that we are living in the end times? Yes, I think that we are, and one of the things that we are seeing is this rise in Humanism. I'm thinking of 2 Timothy 3:1-5 which reveals, "Realize this that in the last day's difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God." Doesn't sound too good, does it?
Notice in 2 Timothy 3:1-5 the three loves: 1) lovers of self, 2) lovers of money, and 3) lovers of pleasure. Lovers of self is another way of describing Humanism. Lovers of money is another way of describing Materialism, which I might add is part of the Humanistic worldview. Lovers of pleasure is another way of describing Hedonism, also known as Hefnerism, and this is part of the Humanistic worldview as well. These are three of the most prominent philosophies of our day and they are complementary.
Now, here is the thing, when you compare this with the signs of the times that Jesus gave us in the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24 and 25, can there be any doubt that we are living in the end times? I think that it's very clear that we are. I believe that Scripture indicates that end time Christians are going to be challenged in standing for Christ. So, will you stand with me in standing strong for Jesus Christ as we continue to live in the end times?
Time For Self Examination
Why should Christians engage in self-examination? Why do I ask this? The first response of most Christians when responding to Humanism is to launch right into Humanism and debunk it. Well, we do need to do that, but we first begin with our own house. I say that because I believe that the Christian Church and Christianity and individual Christians and Christian organizations have become tainted by Humanism. They have. We have witnessed the enemy within the gate. So, before we can become effective witnesses reaching the world and standing against Humanism, we need to make sure we've got our own act together. Does that make sense? Scripture says, "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith." Test yourselves.
Ideally, I would like to ask about 100 questions to help you engage in self-examination, but we don't have the time for that. Here then are just a few:
- Am I willing to take an unpopular stand because it is right?
- Do I tend to look the other way when people use the Lord's name in vain?
- Do I talk about Creationism freely, or am I intimidated into silence?
- Am I unreservedly committed to living as a biblical Christian when it comes to the issue of sex, or do I buy into moral relativism?
- Do I sometimes have a tendency to measure myself and my own goodness against other people instead of God's absolute righteous and holy standard?
You will be a better witness against the satanic lie of Humanism when you've removed all its trappings within your own life.