Archive for the ‘humanism’ Tag

Modern Christian Heresies   Leave a comment

Be good, feel good, do good ….

That is what Christian Smith found in the religious and spiritual beliefs of US teens.

The gospel has been reduced to improvements in behavior. If you’re a good and moral person, you will be happy and you will achieve this by being kind, pleasant, respectful and responsible, working on self-improvement, taking care of your health and doing your best to be successful.

Have we forgotten that our Savior scandalized His generation by being crucified? We’ve traded justication and sanctification for social shame as if Paul never wrote the letter to the Galatians.

 

“We are more flawed and sinful than we ever dared believe, yet we are more loved and accepted than we ever dared hope,” Tim Keller (Gospel Coalition Blog)

Many well-meaning Christian leaders offer therapeutic solutions to the problems our society faces. If we only had hobbies or retreats or new routines …. We’d feel better about ourselves but not know God.

Deism, of course, turns God into the Divine Butler who waits for you to call upon Him to intervene like some sort of cosmic genie by granting your wishes. And, if things don’t work out the way you hoped, you can blame Him. How convenient! It allows us to work on the social gospel and feeling good about ourselves while ignoring the very real existence of sin and what God wants us to do in response to it.

Dr. Smith said that Moralistic Therapeutic Deism is not an official religion. It is “colonizing many established religious traditions and congregations in the United States.” Nearly 40 years ago, Francis Shaeffer warned that humanism was infilitrating our churches.

It’s here! And has been for a while.

Anti Law   Leave a comment

The zeitgeist of ani-law always exists, but it manifests itself in different ways for different generations. For three hundred years in the Christian era, the world-spirit persecuted Christians. In the Roman Catholic era, the world-spirit actually worked through the ecclesiastical structure to put clergy in the seat of God, separating believers from a personal relationship. In the Protestant era, the rise of the state church sought to maintain that status quo. More recently, humanism and post-modern anti-belief-in-anything has been the flavor of zeitgeist for our society. The tone changes, but the goal is always the same — distract believers from God’s purpose and conform us to the world rather than to God.

If Christians are not to get the muck of the world on us, we must resist the general spirit of lawlessness, but we must also recognize and resist this generation’s flavor of rebellion.

That’s easier said than done.

Christians are naive if we think we are not surrounded by the world-spirit which claws at us from birth to death. A thousand voices obvious and subtle express its mentality every waking moment of our days. We try to shut our doors against it, but like the smoke of a forest fire, it works its way in and seeps into our subconscious. Worse — it infects our children and because everybody is doing it, it seems normal to them.

The solution is not to ignore the zeitgeist. We’ve been doing that for a long time. How’s that working out?

Instead, we should turn it up like we’re sitting in front of the speakers at Lollapalooza, so that we hear every word and can analyze what is being said. We know that the message is the same whether we’re standing in Renaissance Italy or Fairbanks Alaska in 2014. It’s all one message — the spirit of the world and the particular flavor it takes in our generation — is all an attempt to silence, mischaracterize, and marginalize the God of the Bible so that that the god of this world has no socially-acceptable rivals.

And, who is the god of this world?

Uniqueness of Man   2 comments

“Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; … his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs,  are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms …. No fire, no heroism,  no intensity of thought and feeling can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; … all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and the whole temple of man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins.” (Bertrand Russell)

Man is different. We’re unique in this world. Our moral character, creativity, love, heroism, intellect and devotion to other people set us apart from every other living organism. Bertrand Russell acknowledged that, but could not explain it. Other thinkers of his ilk try to deny the uniqueness of mankind and insist that our only difference is in our complexity. For them, we are only a piece of complicated chemistry, not really different from a mouse or mosquito, but so complex we can be compared to a super-computer.

American psychotherapist Perry London appeals to this model for man. Man is as completely insignificant as the computer, for mechanical apparatus have no responsibility for what they do. In the end, man’s difference is illusion. Love, commitment, choice, creativity, rationality … none of it has any meaning in the end because they are merely tricks of the complicated human brain.

Are you depressed?

I would be depressed if I fell for the existentialist crap.

The Christian faith gives us an explanation for our uniqueness. Humans – believer and non-believer — are made in the image of God. We are reflections of God’s nature.

  • “God is love,” the apostle John wrote. God made us in love to love Him and to love one another.
  • God is righteous. We were made to distinguish between good and evil, to judge what is right and to choose the good and live it.
  • God is Creator. We are made to create life, beauty, order.
  • God is a communicator. Scripture speaks of communication between the Father, Son and Spirit both in this age and before the world was made. We are made to communicate in language with one another and God.
  • God is a God of order and not chaos, sense rather than nonsense, reason instead of absurdity. We are made as rational people, called to reflect on our lives and the world in which we live.

All of the aspects of our experience that set us apart are the characteristics of personality. Instead of being depressed that our experiences are merely illusions in an impersonal universe, Christians can rejoice that we are at home in a universe made by the personal God.

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