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Secular Humanism

Discussion in 'The OT' started by RichW, May 7, 2002.

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  1. May 7, 2002 #1 of 22
    RichW

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    A comment was made in another thread that many pastors and minister preach "Secular Humanism" rather than the Bible. While I am glad that Secular Humanism is not linked exclusively to atheism, it got me thinking about the concept of secular humanism.

    You see, I am a Christian but also consider myself to be a Secular Humanist. I follow the teachings of one of the first Secular Humanists whose words and thoughts were recorded.

    He, during his life, pointed out the fallacy of Biblical legalism. He preached against religious fundamentalism and emphasized that the brotherhood of man was just as important as worshipping God. That the two go hand in hand, inexorably linked. That faith in God leads to good works among mankind.

    Yes, I am a Christian... and a Secular Humanist because that teacher was Jesus Christ.
     
  2. May 7, 2002 #2 of 22
    MarkA

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    Uh, no. Secular Huminism (by the very definition of secular AND the definition of humanism) and Christianity can NOT coexist.
     
  3. May 7, 2002 #3 of 22
    RichW

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    Thats like stating that Church and State cannot coexist. when, in fact, they do.

    As Christians we have as much a duty to our fellow man as we do to God. Nor does Christ tell us to only to help Christians. He is a equal opportunity provider.
     
  4. May 7, 2002 #4 of 22
    MarkA

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    Okay:

    Secular - (I'll give you two definitions from the dictionary):

    1. Worldly rather than spiritual.

    2. Not specifically relating to religion or to a religious body: secular music.

    Humanism - (again from the dictionary):

    1. A system of thought that centers on humans and their values, capacities, and worth.

    ----------------------

    Now say that again about secular humanism coexisting with Biblical Christianity?!?!?!?!? It's NOT possible. Biblical Chrisitianity is a religion (secular is non-religious), and it centers on God's grace through Jesus rather than human salvation through good deeds (humanism centers on the good of humans). Therefore secular humanism and Biblical Christianity can not coexist.
     
  5. May 7, 2002 #5 of 22
    Geronimo

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    Why is it that a system of thought thast centers on humans cannot co exist with Christianity.

    They are certainly not the same thing but there is no reason for them to be in conflict. i thought Christainity was tolerant of other viewpoints and perspectives.
     
  6. May 7, 2002 #6 of 22
    MarkA

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    Geronimo. humanism cannot coexist for the simple reason that humanism says that there is nothing above humans, and that humans don't need anything. Humanism and Satanism (before you get mad at me for making that comparision, learn something about satanism and satanists) are very similar. But Humanism and Christianity totally contradict one another.
     
  7. May 7, 2002 #7 of 22
    RichW

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    Most Christians are also "worldly" and most of them also practice charity. The majority of chrisitians also see the good in people.

    I said nothing about works being the way to salvation, yet faith, without good works, is most likely a dead faith. Misanthropy has no place in Christianity.
     
  8. May 7, 2002 #8 of 22
    MarkA

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    "I said nothing about works being the way to salvation" - which is basically the definition of humanism.
     
  9. May 8, 2002 #9 of 22
    markh

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    Rich's original post has brought up something that has always confused me. I generally agree with his post about Jesus telling us to care for our fellow man. For Christians, I see that as being the main objective of faith. But so many more fundamental Christians seem to put more emphasis on the Old Testament than the New.

    I guess I see threads like the one on Creation where so much emphasis is put on the Old Testament story having to be literally true for a lot of folks to believe. I guess in my opinion that doesn't have everything to do with Jesus' message. I'm sort of a lapsed Catholic, so you can make of my opinion what you will.

    I don't want anyone to take this as criticism or flamebait. If you do I guess I'll have to head for another planet. Hope Nick wants company. I don't know if I can get that far out though. :)
     
  10. RichW

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    Now wait, Mark, you first gave us one definition of humanism and then give us another. Certainly the atheists who practice humanism don't feel that good works are the way to salvation, because they don't believe in salvation. In fact, an underlying point of this thread is that non-believeers have hijacked the principles of humanism as there own. "Lazy" Christians - those misanthropes who thump the Bible but do noting for their fellow man - have allowed this to happen. Its time that believers in God reclaim humanistic values as their own. Christian humanists, especially, are involved in philanthropy out of love of God and their fellow man, not because it is the road to salvation.

    As a postscript:

    The Bible admonishes us to "judge not lest ye be judged". I take this to mean that only God determines who is with Him and who is not. Furthermore, it is very hard to see what is really in a person's heart, but God knows. Thus it matters not to me what you believe. The sincerity of your beliefs is between you and the Lord.
     
  11. Geronimo

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    Your definition of humanism is false. And the comparison to satanism is well unfounded at the very least. Also you say nothing about tolerance for other viewpoints.


    The fact of the matter is that amny peoplke consider themselves to be both humanists and Christians. You may consider them to be poor Christians but that is the fact. They worship Christ as savior and they see the grace of God in humans.

    In my own case I found my personal savior through the grace shown to me by others. That is NOT the only path but it is one.
     
  12. ka7yak

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    Rich, I consider myself to be a secular humanist, and I believe it is compatible with Christianity, Judaism and many other faiths. Religion throughout the ages has been mostly brutal, oppressive and violent. Countless millions have been slaughtered in the name of G-d, Jesus and Mohammed. Religion on the whole is mostly used to control and opress. Secular humanism is a way out of the brutal and exclusionary view of G-d.

    An SS officer, in charge of executing a group of Jews on the edge of a freshly dug mass grave asked one of the Jewish men if he knew why they were being killed. The man shook his head. The SS officer answered "Because you murdered our savior, Jesus Christ".



    :hi:
     
  13. RichW

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    Yep, I would urge all people to practice a bit of humanism in today's world, regardless of one's religious beliefs. Relgious atrocities, or more correctly, atrocities committed in the name of religion, are most likely manifestations of egoism or paranoia.

    Some religious leaders have hoodwinked the uneducated masses to follow them blindly. This is currently the case with Moslem fundamentalists who pervert the teachings of the Quiran. I have yet to read ANY held sacred by ANY religion that rejects teh principles of humanism.
     
  14. Bogy

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    For a better understanding of what Secular Humanism is really all about, you might want to check out this explanation by the Council on Secular Humanism http://www.secularhumanism.org/intro/what.html as well as the whole website, which has a lot of interesting information.
    An observation on Jesus role as a humanist (secular or not) is that in Jesus I believe that God became a human being. He devoted immense amounts of time and energy healing the sick, feeding the hungry, comforting the downtrodden. Even though he denied that he came to be an earthly ruler himself, his work did much to change the entire political scene in the centuries to follow. Most of the social welfare institutions we have today (hospitals, orphanages, nursing homes, programs to feed the hungry, provide housing for the homeless, etc.) have been done in his name. All of these things have benefited the existence and conditions of the beings we know as humans. If that wasn't enough, Jesus allowed himself to be nailed to a cross and died for humans. He didn't do it for angels, he didn't do it for other gods, he did it for humans. God died for humans, so that the sins of humans could be removed. Because God so love the world, ie. humans. Sounds like God is quite the humanist. He seems to think quite highly of humans and seems to be very concerned about their needs and future. I also believe that God would like us to use all the brains and resources and the guidelines he has given us in the Bible and make this world the very best place we can without depending upon supernatural intervention. I am a humanist as well, because I believe God has called me to work with humans to help them become the very best humans they can be. In fact I believe that what happened in the Garden of Eden is that humans lost part of the humaness with which God had blessed them, and now we are in the process of regaining that "humaness," otherwise known as the image of God.
     
  15. ken4kne

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    Secularism is antithetical to any form of spiritualism be it Judaism, Christianisty or Satanism. You can't be practicing Christian or Jew and be a secular humanist. Humanism worships at the alter of humanity. It isn't about loving your neighbor or helping those in need.

    God so loved us that He fogave us all and took us home. This is what tolerance will have you believe. Tolerance is a politcally correct word that means accepting everything. Liberals love to throw around that word because it is their own form of absolution. Rage, may be into a bit of condemnation but he right about one thing, allowing someone to continue to operate in sin w/o bringing it lovingly to their attention isn't anything but hating your neighbor. Tolerance can sentence someone to hell. Christianity isn't about tolernace, never was, never will be. Jesus didn't tolerate sin, He understood the nature of sin and the source of it. He didn't condemn the person but he didn't tolerate the sin either.

    And, legalism ISN'T about trusting the word of God to be whole, complete and accurate; it has everything to do with worshiping the law and trusting in it for your salvation
     
  16. Bogy

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    I may be jumping to conclusions here, and if I am, I aplologize, but if you are labeling me with the "tolerant of sin" brush, boy are you barking up the wrong tree. I have absolutely no tolerance for anyone who abuses a child, for the rich and powerful who abuse and use the poor and weak, for those who ignore their obligation to love their neighbor or help those in need. I abhor those who claim "religion" as a reason for hate, killing, and destruction. I rebuke those who claim God has told them to do these things. I call for those who place their trust in either their possessions or their own abilities, or military might to protect them, to renounce their dependence upon false gods. Tolerant, you have no idea of how intolerant I really am when I address the sins that really matter, just as Jesus did. However, lets remember the response of Jesus when confronted with a woman caught in adultery. He called for the person without sin to cast the first stone. He forgave the woman. He commanded her to sin no more. But he was "tolerant" of her. To some extent because it was the rich and powerful who were abusing the law by ignoring the sin of the man involved, and instead condemned the woman. And then there was a Samaritan woman at Jacob's well. She had been married five times and was now living with a man not her husband. The law limited women to three divorces, but of course it was the men who controlled divorce. Jesus did not condemn the woman. He did confront the woman, offered her living water, and changed her life forever. Through her actions her whole village came to know Jesus. We emphasize and condemn the things Jesus never did while excusing and even condoning or envying the kind of people Jesus truly did condemn. Six days to create the universe. Big deal, if God wanted to take six minutes or six trillion years it makes no difference to me. I just know he did it. Tolerant. You bet I'm tolerant, for people who deserve it. Confrontational, you bet I am, but I save it for the people who really deserve it. The ones who the prophets condemned in the Jewish scripture, and that Jesus condemned in the Christian scripture. And if you don't think Jesus was all about loving and caring for others, you really missed the message.
     
  17. ken4kne

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    No, I wasn't trying to single anyone out though I may have to go reread my post(s). My wife brought it to my attention that I was playing a game of one upmanship and that I needed to ask you to forgive me. So, please accept my apology.

    You and I are in agreement. I just hate the word tolerant because Christians have become the whipping boys of the media and their ilk and tolerance is the cane pole. So, I would suggest a change to your statement
    because it doesn't ring true or it just rubs me the wrong way. Jesus loved her and love doesn't condemn.

    Love ya Bogy ;)
     
  18. Bogy

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    Ken, you'll notice that I put the word tolerant in quotes. A better word would probably be compassionate. But some people see any kind of compassion as being "tolerant." Let me give an example. This could almost go in the "Last generation to..." thread, because 21 years ago when I was ordained a great number of the weddings I performed were scheduled to take place in the following two or three weeks. For some reason the couples were often in a big hurry to get married. I wonder why? :rolleyes: I seldom have a "hurryup" wedding anymore. But what I do have is that most couples who come to me to be married have already been living together for some time. Often they already have a child or two. Instead of hurrying to have a wedding before the birth of a child, they wait until the child is born so the brides dress fits better. From what they tell me I am the only pastor in the area who will marry them. Or who will marry them without requirements that they live apart for a specified time. Yeah, this makes sense. A couple has a child or two and we are going to make dad move out and pretend they never had sex. :shrug: The last thing a couple who is finally willing to make a committment needs is to be told by the church that they are to late. They have sinned, they are bad and now we are going to punish them. My church and I show compassion. I marry them. Of course the contract we sign comits them to spending 4 to 6 hours with me talking things over. If I just send them away, and they end up in a judge's chambers, I will never have the opportunity to spend that time with them and the chance to possibly influence them. Many might call that "tolerant." I call it compassion. My church has gained a fair number of members who appreciate the fact that when they came to us, we didn't turn them away. I have had to deal with too many people who were turned away ten or twenty years ago, and are still dealing with the "knowledge" that they are to bad for God to ever accept. We need more compassion in this world. And "Christians" who don't have any are giving the rest of us a bad name.
     
  19. ken4kne

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    There you go. Now Rich, read the above and you will have an perfect example of legalism. Bogy is right on!
     
  20. Rage

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    Rage, may be into a bit of condemnation but he right about one thing, allowing someone to continue to operate in sin w/o bringing it lovingly to their attention isn't anything but hating your neighbor.

    Yeah, some people mistake the truth with "hate" because the preachers haven't done their job and condemned sin and evil living.

    Rev 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
     
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