commentary: Humanism's Flooding Influence (Part Five)
It's Effects on Today's World
John W. Ritenbaugh
Given 06-Feb-10; 11 minutes
I want to take one more crack at describing a fruit of humanism. I'm doing this—I'm spending a great deal of time on this subject—because it is a deceptive religion that's not organized like religions normally are. They do not meet in church buildings on a set day of the week that they call holy. They do not sing hymns. They do not have prayers or ceremonial aspects to their meetings. But the adherents claim they are a religion because they do have a certain pattern of beliefs that they follow as a way of life. These people are often fine, civil people, the kind of people that you would love to have as your next door neighbors. They often involve themselves in community service organizations. However, they unanimously do not believe in God and the supernatural. Unless pressed, they tend to hide this fact from others.
The hardcore humanist would make no bones about not believing in God, but most humanists walk a delicate tightrope before the public. One reason for this tightrope is because they truly do desire to help humanity, and because of this, they are often drawn into politics. To openly declare that they do not believe the Bible, or trust that God is worthy of their worship...they generally avoid any open show off their antipathy. In fact, they will frequently be members of a church, but they do this to enhance themselves, politically or in business.
President Obama is, to me, an almost picture-perfect member of this group. An email arrived on my computer this week claiming that President Obama attended services only five times since he has been President. That low number is unusual for a President of this nation, but it fits his past record. For many years, he attended a church pastored by the Reverend Wright, in which some of the most radical of messages were delivered. That congregation, though, was on Chicago's South Side, and it was politically astute for him to be seen there by the constituents in his area. Was he concerned about the anti-God, anti-Christian themes of the messages that came to him each Sunday? Not until it affected higher political aspirations. But as President, he stands at the forefront of what many in high leadership positions have been doing for a long time.
Leaving God out of governing responsibilities has drastic consequences. This is seen most clearly, I believe, in that our universities have become largely godless institutions, despite the fact that very many of the top, major ones began as religious institutions, places like Harvard and Yale. Now these universities are producing droves of humanistic graduates every year. These essentially godless graduates become the leaders in government, education, and business. It's not that these graduates are standing on street corners saying, "Down with God," but in a way that is worse, because their negative impact is subtle.
King David said of these essentially godless people in Psalm 10:4, "God is in none of their thoughts." But he did not stop there. He then proceeds to say about the same godless people in the very next line, "His ways are always prospering" (Psalm 10:5). He's talking about people who are leaders, but God is in, he says, none of their thoughts.
The apostle Paul adds in Romans 1:21-22,
Romans 1:21-22 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools,
When we connect this with Psalm 10, Paul and David are talking about essentially the same people—people with leadership responsibilities who influence the public that they are are serving.
That's where we are today. It is not that humanists have no knowledge of God at all. How could they possibly reject someone they have no knowledge, whatever, of? And they have rejected Him. Therefore, they examined Him and rejected Him. So, most of these people that are serving as leaders have considered things about Him, but they have rejected Him as unimportant to their concerns in life, demanding proofs that He is unwilling to give at this time. They will not live by faith.
What they lack is that they have never had any kind of a relationship with Him. They do not know Him. If they did, one of the first fruits would be that they would be thankful, and because they were thankful, they would be seeking His way on everything and submitting to whatever they found. Instead, they continuously seek other men or some physical, material means of solving life's issues.
We've got a world that is filled with problems and seemingly ready to explode into the throes of a gigantic, worldwide economic disaster. What usually follows that is violent warfare. They're connected. But the solution one keeps hearing is, "We need more money (material), a greater military (material); we need political union with other nations." Now, each of those solutions is really another word for a more general, but a more accurate, term. What they are really saying is, "We need more power." "It's not that we ourselves are the problem; it's just that we need more power to control the circumstances. And if we had that power, we would do it."
In my last commentary, I made the point that when God is taken out of the picture, mankind always tends to liberalize—you can bet the bank on it—because God and His laws act as a restraining force. But as men liberalize, it opens the door for an ever-increasing looser behavior. So, crime will increase, just as sure as the sun comes up each morning. There will be an increase in the occurrence of divorce, of adultery, fornication, and all the associated fruits of those behaviors, like disease, mental and physical.
The government's reactions will also be predictable. Taxation will increase because as people's behaviors liberalize, so will irresponsibility toward one's own personal obligations. The government that will then need more power to control that irresponsibility. An ever-expanding welfare system is triggered because liberalizing people will not take care of their own. The government will then bear the burden. A vicious cycle of social destruction is created, and the government will gradually become overbearing in the uses of its powers to control what liberalization produces in order to maintain some sort of direction on whatever it's agendas happen to be.
We are in the midst of this cycle, and that cycle has an energy of its own. The intensity will only increase. Unless God is merciful, there is no turning the civil and social tsunami back, short of a revolution. Which is it gonna be? Well, I'm betting we will not change.