Today is Easter. Obviously, Lord, we (those of us who love You) celebrated Your Resurrection today! The Fact that You are ALIVE, now and forever!
How ironic it is that someone would ask me, today of all days, to do the one thing that is impossible for me to do. As if this particular request was the most reasonable and intelligent request possible — what any truly “thinking” person would do. We were analyzing some of the latest current events in the world, when this person said to me:
“Tell me what your reasoning would be, leaving God and the Bible out of your thinking.”
How could I leave You and Your Word out of my thinking and my reasoning? As if I could put You, Lord — Your wisdom, Your truth, Your admonitions about right and wrong, and so much more — in a box labeled Irrelevant? There was a time I never thought to care about You or what You might think. I didn’t know Your Word and I didn’t care to know it. But now that I do… there’s no going back, is there? Why would I ever want to?
What would be the standard by which I would weigh (evaluate) potential answers to any question and choose the “best” one? Don’t we all have some sort of evaluation criteria in our minds that inform our thoughts and decisions (even if we have not made those criteria explicit, even to ourselves)? Where do those criteria come from? Isn’t it important for everyone to know this, about themselves and others? How can we know if we are on solid ground… or quicksand?
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2)
The person in today’s discussion was quick to assert that we should, instead, look at this from a “non-religious” point of view — i.e., a “secular” or “humanistic” point of view. If that is so, what does that really mean?
Secularism is “the belief that religion should not play a role in government, education or other public parts of society.” (www.merriam-webster.com). It is “the view that public activities and decisions, especially political ones, should be uninfluenced by religious beliefs and/or practices.” (www.wikipedia.org)
Humanism is “a system of values and beliefs based on the idea that people are basically good and that problems can be solved using reason instead of religion.” (www.merriam-webster.com). “A non-theistic life stance centered on human agency, and looking to science instead of religious dogma in order to understand the world.” (www.wikipedia.org)
“There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12)
The creators and early adherents of Humanism started this “movement” with even stronger language: In their original Manifesto (1933), they said Humanism was a new “religion” that had become necessary, given mankind’s scientific achievements, better understanding of the universe, and greater appreciation of “brotherhood.”
They had to revise their Manifesto some 40 years later, after some unexpected world events rendered their original perspectives too “optimistic.” Events like Nazism and other totalitarian regimes that did not end poverty, science that produced evil (not just good), wars made in the name of peace that turned out to be inhuman, abuses of power by military, political and industrial elites, etc. Hmm… maybe people weren’t as “basically good” as originally thought?
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
In their second Manifesto (1973), Humanists added: “… traditional theism, especially faith in the prayer-hearing God, assumed to live and care for persons, to hear and understand their prayers, and to be able to do something about them, is an unproved and outmoded faith. Salvationism… still appears as harmful, diverting people with false hopes of heaven hereafter. Reasonable minds look for other means of survival.”
Their second Manifesto continued: “We believe, however, that traditional dogmas or authoritarian religions that place revelation, God, ritual, or creed above human needs and experience do a disservice to the human species… We find insufficient evidence for belief in the existence of a supernatural; it is either meaningless or irrelevant to the question of survival and fulfillment of the human race. As non-theists, we begin with humans not God, nature not deity… We can discover no divine purpose or providence for the human species… humans are responsible for what we are or will become. No deity will save us; we must save ourselves.”
The blind leading the blind?
“The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.” (Luke 24:46-48)
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13)
I remember a media campaign from decades ago about the importance of a college education: “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Yes, it is. And what better way to waste a mind than to fill it with lies? What better way to nourish a mind than to fill it with Truth???!!!
Thank You, Lord… for the Truth of the EMPTY CROSS and the EMPTY TOMB!!!