people were aware of, or concerned about, the Humanist philosophy until
recently. As it has become more influential, it has become better known. Yet
still few people really understand it or realize the depth of its influence on
purposes of this study are to acquaint people with the major doctrines of
Humanism, to demonstrate the influence it is having in our society, and to
compare its teachings to those of the Bible.
are confused about Humanism partly because the word has different meanings and
partly because Humanists themselves hold different beliefs. Sometimes
"humanism" refers to a humanitarian concern for others. But at other
times it refers to a philosophy that exalts man while denying or belittling
discussion, we will examine Humanism as defined by the American Humanist
Association in its official publications: "Humanist Manifestos,"
"Secular Humanist Declaration," The Humanist magazine, and other
then examine the impact of these beliefs in many influential areas of society,
including: government, education, entertainment, and the media.
the influence of Humanism in the following areas:
Faith in Man, Not in God
find that traditional views of the existence of God either are meaningless,
have not yet been demonstrated to be true, or are tyrannically exploitative.
Secular Humanists may be agnostics, atheists, rationalists, or skeptics, but
they find insufficient evidence for the claim that some divine purpose exists
for the universe. They reject the idea that God has intervened miraculously in
history or revealed himself to a chosen few, or that he can save or redeem
sinners. They believe that men and women are free and are responsible for their
own destinies and that they cannot look toward some transcendent Being for
salvation. We reject the divinity of Jesus, the divine mission of Moses ... We
do not accept as true the literal interpretation of the Old and New Testaments
... - "Declaration," pp. 18.
Humanism places trust in human intelligence rather than in divine
guidance" - "Declaration," p. 24.
non-theists, we begin with humans not God, nature not deity ... we can discover
no divine purpose or providence for the human species ... No deity will save
us; we must save ourselves - "Manifestos," p. 16.
Humanist Magazine, Jan/Feb, 1983, p. 26, Humanist author John Dunphy says:
viable alternative to [Christianity] must be sought. That alternative is
Humanism. ... The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between
the old and the new - the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its
adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of Humanism...
Humanists clearly admit that they do not believe in the God of the Bible or in
the Bible as God's word. They openly view themselves as opponents of
Influence in Society
of church and state" has become a tool to accomplish what our founding
fathers never intended: complete elimination of religion from public life. This
has occurred through legislation and especially through court rulings.
Chief Justice Rehnquist once said that federal courts "bristle with
hostility to all things religious in public life" (PS Report, 10/2006).
This hostility is manifested in many ways.
response to the efforts of atheists and the humanistic American Civil Liberties
Union, courts have progressively removed the Bible, God, and prayer from public
buildings and public institutions.
are under way to remove "under God" from the pledge of allegiance.
the Boy Scouts require their leaders to believe in God and not be homosexuals,
powerful forces seek to remove all support of the Scouts from public
officials are severely criticized in the media if they mention prayer, God, or
the Bible. And sometimes they are even criticized for privately expressing
trust in God.
Court Justice Antonin Scalia once delivered a speech in which he defended the
role of "Christians" in public life. For this he was fiercely
criticized. One critic said, "We expect our Supreme Court justices to be
the most secular of our public servants" (via Dr. James Dobson). Why?
Early Supreme Court justices openly declared their faith in God. Why should
people who do not believe in God be better judges than people who do believe in
reached the point that religious people are ridiculed if they even express a
viewpoint about laws or government activities. Who can deny that Humanist
values have great influence in our government?
It is a
known fact that the Bible, prayer, and essentially all references to God have
been banned in school classes and activities. And although schools allow
students to form clubs to discuss all kinds of subjects from homosexuality to
Islam, yet students have to fight for the right to voluntarily meet on school property
to discuss the Bible before or after school hours.
philosophy dominates in the schools? The preface to the Humanist book Humanist
large majority of the educators of America and of the western world are
Humanist in their outlook. The faculties of American colleges and universities
are predominantly Humanist, and a majority of the teachers who go out from
their studies in the colleges to responsibilities in primary and secondary
schools are basically Humanist, no matter that many maintain a nominal
attachment to church or synagogue for good personal or social or practical
see later that nearly every major tenet of Humanism has been endorsed by
official resolutions of the National Education Association (NEA).
and the media
would attempt do deny that the modern media is secular. Religion is
consistently ridiculed or ignored.
reported a survey of 104 top TV writers and executives. 45% of them reported
that they have no religious affiliation, compared to only 4% of Americans in
general (via Citizen, 9/21/92).
Kennedys recorded "Religious Vomit" saying, "All religions make
me wanna throw up. All religions make me sick" (Christian Inquirer,
recorded "Dear God" in which a child starts a letter to God. Then the
song blames God for war, family problems, famine, disease and death. The song
concludes as the child says, "If there's one thing I don't believe in,
it's you, God" (Media Update, 9&10/87, p. 9).
Journal and TV Guide reported that 90% of Americans say they believe in God or
a higher power, and 80% pray regularly. Americans contribute nearly fifteen
times as much money to religious groups as they spend to attend major league
baseball, football, and basketball combined. According to a Gallup Poll,
attendance at religious services is more than fifty times greater than
attendance at the three major professional sports leagues.
religion is a major part of the lives of Americans. Yet a survey of evening TV
news shows on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and PBS revealed that only about 1% of the
news reports discussed religion. (via "The Gospel Observer," July 14,
public institutions have become largely non-religious, exactly like Humanism
Teaching of the Scriptures
shown is that Humanism is a real danger. Christians must make difficult
personal decisions regarding how they will respond to the influence of
Humanism. But the Bible is clear regarding what should Christians believe.
does exist & the Bible is His word.
1:1 - In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
14:1 - The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God."
proofs support these conclusions.
1:20 - The only logical explanation for the existence of the universe is that
there is a God who made it. [Psalms 19:1; Acts 14:15,17; 17:24-31]
41:21-23; 42:8,9 - God repeatedly predicted the distant future in detail in
order to prove His Deity (John 13:19; Jeremiah 28:9). Man cannot predict the
future infallibly (James 4:14; Proverbs 27:1). Yet Bible writers did so time
after time. It follows that they were guided by God, as they claimed. (See also
Ezekiel 26:3-14; Deuteronomy 28:15-64; Matthew 2:1-6; 21:1-9; 26:14,15;
27:9,10,38; Acts 2:24-32; Isaiah 53.)
20:30,31 - The only reasonable explanation for the miracles recorded in the
Bible, especially Jesus' resurrection, is that these events were caused by God
to confirm that these men were His inspired messengers. These events could not
be done by human ability, yet historical eyewitness testimony confirms them to
have occurred. (John 5:36; 11:38-48; Hebrews 2:3,4; Acts 14:3; 1:3; 2:22; 1
should trust in God, not in himself.
1:26,27; chap. 3 - Man was created good but sinned and became corrupt.
7:13,14; Romans 3:23 - Throughout history, all people have committed sin, and
most have lived lives that were generally corrupt. Wars, hatred, crime, and
immorality have characterized people of all time periods. These should not be
blamed on God, but on people who choose to disobey God. (Romans 5:12; 1 John
1:8-10; Genesis 6:5; Jeremiah 17:9)
follows that man cannot solve his problems himself. He must trust in God's
wisdom to guide him.
14:12 - There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of
3:5,6 -- Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own
understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your
says we should reject the idea of God and solve our problems ourselves. This
idea is not new. Only the name is new. Trusting self has been the basic
attitude of men throughout history; and it has always led to tragedy. Trusting
in self is not the solution to man's problems but the cause of them! (Romans
much more detailed evidence of the existence of God and the Bible as God's
word, please see our Bible Instruction web site at www.gospelway.com/instruct/.
also Philippians 4:6,7,13; 1 Peter 5:7: Psalm 103:13-18; 2 Chronicles 32:7,8; 1
Samuel 17:37,45ff; 2 Kings 6:14-17; Matthew 6:25-34; 7:7-11; Psalm 23;
27:1-3,14; 34:19; 46:1,2; Joshua 1:5-9; Romans 8:28,31-39; Genesis 11:1-9;
Ephesians 6:10-18; Mark 16:16.]
Copyright 3/1984, 7/1996, 11/2006, David E. Pratte
You are free to keep copies of this material on computer and/or in printed form for your own further study. If you have any other requests about the use of this material, please read our copyright guidelines at www.gospelway.com/copyrite.htm.