Tag Archives: Secularism

Examining The Earth Charter

Examining the Earth CharterExamining The
Preamble of the
Earth Charter

By

Tom Kendall

Few people in America are even aware of this document called the “Earth Charter“.  Its development and promotion have been no secret, but it has not been an issue covered in any depth or regularity by the mainstream media, and as a result, has gone unnoticed by our entire population.  The exceptions might be people deeply involved in the “green” or “environmental” movement.  Probably not their casual supporters, but in the leadership of those organizations.

 The complete text of the Earth Charter can be found on their website at EarthCharter.org.  This document, however, is focused on examining the meaning behind the words, the people who are behind the words and the document,  and what their world view, perspective and goals may be.  Let us begin. Continue reading Examining The Earth Charter

OUR SECULAR SOCIETY

There is no doubt in my mind, the most challenging aspect to living in this world as a follower of Jesus Christ is always telling the absolute Truth of God to a secular society that often doesn’t want to hear, or know, anything about Him.  This isn’t a new problem, as we can clearly see similar issues described in Jesus’ letters to the seven churches in the first three chapters of the Book of Revelation.  But, as scripture also tells us the signs of the end times to look for, we also see we are living and ministering in these unique times, so it is important to examine some of the aspects that have formed our society into what it is today.

In the mid-1800’s, a secular humanist movement began to emerge and infiltrate in our society with the goal of removing the God of the Bible from all aspects of the world in which we live.  Today, we see organizations like “The Freedom from Religion Foundation”, the “American Civil Liberties Union” (ACLU) and many others demanding that virtually everything Christian be removed from the public eye.  Government, our courts and many of our politicians have sided with these organizations and have legislated Jesus and all that He represents to be scrubbed from public view.

In the name of “human rights”, “diversity”, “tolerance” and “compassion”, our government tells us we have certain “entitlements” and one of those is the freedom to live as WE want to live, not how religious doctrines tell us we should.  It seems ironic that as Christianity is being attacked in our country and throughout the world, there is no “religion” more loving, tolerant or compassionate and supporting of human rights than Christianity.

Secularism is defined by Merriam-Webster as:
sec•u•lar•ism \ˈse-kyə-lə-ˌri-zəm\ noun
1851 : indifference to or rejection or exclusion of religion and religious considerations — sec•u•lar•ist \-rist\ noun — secularist also sec•u•lar•is•tic \ˌse-kyə-lə-ˈris-tik\ adjective[1]

Secular humanism is defined as:
secular humanism noun
1933 : humanism 3 especially : humanistic philosophy viewed as a nontheistic religion antagonistic to traditional religion — secular humanist noun or adjective1

It is important to note that in the definition of secular humanism, that it is “antagonistic” to traditional religion.  The term “antagonistic” is quite the opposite of “tolerant” and suppresses “diversity” while it is being sold to the world as being both.

We should not be tempted to lump secular humanism into the larger category of “atheism”.  Although secular humanists don’t believe in a transcendent God, and thus could be defined as “atheist”, there are many different atheistic philosophical worldviews that have distinct differences.  For example, Jean-Paul Sarte wrote in “Being and Nothingness” (Being and Nothingness: An Essay on Phenomenological Ontology, Philosophical Library, 1956, abridged edition, Citadel, 1964.) that there never was a God, thus there is no God and never will be a God. He is an example of a “traditional” atheist as we might think of atheism.  Friedrich Nietzsche wrote in “Gay Science” (published in 1882) that the term “God” is a God-myth that was once alive in the minds of men who believed and lived by those mythological principles, but that myth died and is no longer a viable view in today’s society.

Another version often referred to as “dialectical atheism” which was described by Thomas Altizer in “The Gospel of Christian Atheism” (Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1966).  The term “dialectic”, is essentially an intellectual exchange of ideas between two interacting forces, elements or ideas with the goal of seeking to resolve the conflict.  Altizer’s resolution stated that the God once was alive, but when He became incarnate through Jesus Christ and was crucified and died, that God really died too, and it has taken all of these years for man to realize this.  One major problem with this is the resolution is not based on a foundation of absolute truth, just supposition that affirms a current worldview.

Although there are a number of atheistic views like this, they all deny, at least, the current existence of God, and thus are “atheistic”, or “agnostic” at the least.  The “Humanist Manifesto 1” was published in 1933 by thirty-four humanists outlining their philosophy.  There are 15 basic affirmations, which include:

    • “Humanism asserts that the nature of the universe depicted by modern science makes unacceptable any supernatural or cosmic guarantee of human values.” There are no God-given values to discover; therefore values are relative and subject to change[2]. This is the rejection of moral absolutes, which we will see begins a downward spiral away from God in the secular worldview.
    • “Religious humanism considers the complete realization of human personality to be the end of man’s life and seeks its development and fulfillment in the here and now.” This is where we find the substantial growth in materialism, because why not? If this is all we will ever have or achieve, get all we can while we’re here! If there is no eternal life after death, our only purpose is the “here and now”.
    • “Believing that religion must work increasingly for joy and living, religious humanists aim to foster the creative in man and to encourage achievements that add to satisfactions in life.” Life is basically all about “ME”.
  • “The humanists are firmly convinced that existing acquisitive and profit-motivated society has shown itself to be inadequate and that radical change in methods, controls, and motives must be instituted.” This is also the basis where we see the Marxist and Leninist anti-capitalistic worldviews that promote and teach that the proper world order is socialized via government and cooperative in nature to promote “fairness” in society rather than giving everyone the opportunity to “excel”. This is part of the basis for socialism and the many social programs we have seen enacted in our own country over the past hundred years.

In 1973, the “Humanist Manifesto 2” was published which updates some of the principles in the post-modern era.  These include:

  • “Promises of immortal salvation or fear of eternal damnation are both illusory and harmful.” The secular humanist is, today, also an “evolutionist” affirming that science has not found evidence that life survives death. However, since scientific method requires observation and repetition in developing that proof, it is impossible for science to prove that life survives death; however, it is also impossible to disprove it.
  • “Reason and intelligence are the most effective instruments that humankind possesses.” Thomas Paine, one of our country’s founding fathers, believed this philosophy even when he signed the Declaration of Independence. He wrote a pamphlet that was published beginning in 1794 called the “Age of Reason” which was one of the early writings challenging institutionalized religion and the legitimacy of the Bible. An interesting side-note and study is a reference to the “Age of Reason” as part of the Georgia Guidestones found in Elberton, Georgia.
    Georgia Guide Stones Marker - Age of Reason

The sixth principle states: “In the area of sexuality, we believe that intolerant attitudes, often cultivated by orthodox religions and puritanical cultures, unduly repress sexual conduct.”  About the same era where the “Humanist Manifesto 2” was published, we saw a dramatic rise in abortion, sexual promiscuity, birth control rights, divorce, etc.

  • “The separation of church and state and the separation of ideology and state are imperatives.” This belief says the “state” (government in general) should not favor any particular religious view through the use of public funds or in the promotion of a particular ideology. Since its publication, we have seen a dramatic increase in the demand to remove “Christ” from Christmas, remove all nativity scenes from public view at Christmas, and essentially cleanse the country of anything religious, particularly Christian in nature. They claim the United States Constitution requires a “separation of church and state” but what the Constitution states is that the Government shall not impose an particular “religion” on its people. Interestingly, “secular humanism” was recognized by the United States Supreme Court as a “religion”, thus the government imposing these beliefs on the people are in reality the true violation of the Constitution.
  • “The principle of moral equality must be furthered through elimination of all discrimination based on race, religion, sex, age, or national origin.” The Bible doesn’t discriminate either, but they don’t consider that as a relevant basis for truth. Thus, they promote redistribution of wealth, minimum wages, welfare to all who need it and the entitlement “rights” we see constantly promoted and enacted that go far beyond “need”.
  • “We deplore the division of humankind on nationalistic grounds. We have reached a turning point in human history where the best option is to transcend the limits of national sovereignty and to move toward the building of a world community.” This may be the scariest of all as it is a move toward the “one world government” we see described in the Bible’s book of Revelation; the “new world order” that is led by the figure the Bible refers to as the anti-Christ. In essence, it replaces the “supernatural” with the “supernational”.

 

 

[1] Merriam-Webster, I. (2003). Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, Inc.

[2] Geisler, N. L. (1999). In Baker encyclopedia of Christian apologetics. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.

SECULAR HUMANISM

Naturalism is the underpinning of Secular Humanism.  Humanism, as a philosophy that values human beings, is not inconsistent with Christian beliefs and the Bible, as God placed so much emphasis on human beings that He created us in His own image.  So it is not the word “humanist” that is so much of the problem, it is the “secular” part, which means to be absent of a God or Supreme Being.  Put them together and you have the first problem with Secular Humanism: It’s all about “me”.  In other words, God has been replaced by man as the supreme.  Thus, the result of putting man in charge of whatever makes him happy is the abandonment of an absolute moral law.  Morality is whatever pleases us, whatever may be “politically correct”, and sounds and looks good to other people.

To recognize there is an absolute moral law would require one to acknowledge there is an absolute moral law GIVER: God.  Since naturalists, and thus secular humanists do not believe in the existence of God, then there is not absolute moral law giver except man, and we tend to easily accept whatever “feels” good to us.  Many may remember the saying that was popularized in the late 1960’s and 1970’s: “If it feels good… do it.”  That pretty much sums up man’s moral law philosophy.  However, societal trends in political correctness, such as compassion, diversity, human rights and freedoms, etc. also have a strong impact on what the world considers as “moral”, but there is inherent conflicts even among the “politically correct” regarding its finer points.  There is probably no better illustration than in the movement to “empower” women to choose to have abortions, and the “rights” of the unborn babies.  By definition, if man were indeed the absolute moral law giver, there would be neither conflict nor changes in moral standards to meet the personal desires of various groups.  However,  since even secular, naturalist, humanist mankind cannot successfully navigate to an absolute standard, it becomes evident, at least to those with a Christian worldview, that man cannot be the giver of absolute morals or truth.