The Battlefront for Christian Leaders
As church leaders, we are on the front lines… engaged in a battle, not with flesh and blood, but with spiritual forces of evil (Ephesians 6:12). Thirty-two years ago, in 1985, I delivered a cautionary message to the Ozark Christian College faculty where I served as president. It concerned my deep-seated apprehensions for the destructive influence of the Humanist Manifesto. The Manifesto was an intellectual product of over 30 secular minds articulating and documenting a developing point of view in the American culture that has radically changed our values and behaviors over the last several decades. It has gone through two additional revisions [the latest in 2003), taking our culture even further down the slippery slope of selfishness and unbelief.
Here are a few of the basic tenants (in their own words) of the Humanist Manifesto:
- The universe is ‘self-existing’ and not created by God.
- Mankind is a part of nature and not the special creation of God.
- Man’s religious culture and civilization are determined by his social heritage and interaction, not Divine revelation.
- Religion must formulate its hopes and plans with accountability to science.
- Fulfillment must be experienced in the here and now, since there is no hereafter.
- Religious emotions must be expressed in a heightened sense of personal life and efforts to promote social well-being, not belief in God.
- Learning to face the crises of life depends on our education and customs, not unreal hopes and wishful thinking.
- The joy of living depends on creativity and achievements, not ‘faith.’
- The goal of humanism is a free and universal society in which people voluntarily and intelligently cooperate for the common good. Humanists demand a shared life in a shared world.
Of course, this is all so high minded and sophisticated. However, any young Christian, with an elementary faith could shred the logic found in these tenants that are based on presuppositions that require far more blind faith than the reasoned faith articulated in and supported by the historical narrative of scripture!
The Manifesto describes a utopian society designed by ivory tower, pseudo-intellectuals who live in perpetual denial about the existence of good and evil in a fallen world, marred by sin and desperately need of Divine intervention in order to be redeemed. The Manifesto looks good on paper. Just one problem– it does not work when applied in real life! As these tenants are given a wider embrace, and are applied at both a national and personal level, everything begins to come apart. Proverbs 16:25 says, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end, it leads to death.”
The flawed and naïve logic represented in the Manifesto has influenced decisions by Supreme Court judges, themes in books and movies, lectures delivered by college/university professors and the teaching of impressionable young minds at both the primary and secondary levels. The ‘trickle-down’ effect of humanistic doctrine is being felt in virtually every family. As the teachings and values of the Bible are rejected or marginalized, the culture will run downhill. And it is happening fast in this generation!
Pray with me. Great God, our Father, You have revealed Yourself to us in nature, in Jesus and in Your Word, the Bible. Thank you, Father, for letting us know You, love You, worship and serve You while we live. We pray for more and more people to have the eyes of their hearts opened so they may know the joy of living in Your grace. Thank you for the knowledge that we can be forgiven and empowered to live abundantly, that we have purpose in this life and the hope of heaven in the greater life to come. In the Name of Jesus, amen.