| Humanism in the Church?|
I have heard the term bandied about so much, "Revival Hymn" and other things. I want a full understanding of what is exactly humanism in the church. What shape does it takes, how does it act out, what way does it infiltrate. I am not asking to stir a debate, I am truly somehwat confused then uncertain and would appreciate any help in this matter. Thank,
| 2004/6/13 23:20||Profile|
Phoenix, Arizona USA
| Re: Humanism in the Church?|
Well I think Paris Reidhead lays it out pretty clearly in "Ten Shekels and A Shirt", have you listend to that sermon? If not it is highly recommended.
Humanism is when we make appeals for sinners to come to Christ with the primary motive being what they can get out of God instead of what God can get out of them. When we promote the humanistic gospel we are primarily using God only as a means to our own ends, it is a selfish appeal to mans soul. It says come to God for happiness, and while it may be true that life in Christ is the only truly "happy" life, that is not why we serve Christ. We serve Him because He loved us first and gave Himself for us and He is worthy to be loved and served back in kind. The true gospel makes God the end that He really is, it says "the end of all being is the glory of God"! This should be the primary thrust of the call to sinners to come to Christ, any other gospel message is humanism.
The more I think about the Christian life and the gospel we should be preaching the more I come down to this one simple verse of Scripture, this should be our life and our message;
[i]And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.[/i]
(2 Corinthians 5:15)
| 2004/6/13 23:47||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| Re: Humanism in the Church?|
Hi sister Shelly, Humanism in its essense is the betteriment of mankind. Its really anything that will further and help mankind apart really from morals, laws, etc. Humanism also as Paris Reidhead points out so actutely, it uses religion for the betteriment of men also. This seems admirable but really its selfishness and using God for our own means and end. In the sermon 'ten shekels and a shirt' Paris Reidhead says point blank: "are you going to serve God for what you can get out of Him or are you going to serve Him because He is worthy to be served." I think Brother Ed's (Gideons) signature really gives a good picture of this:
The one thing which Satan cannot successfully counterfeit is a love for the glory of God. It is the grace that distinguishes us as true believers, for no unconverted person can love God's glory. If you do love it, you are without doubt a true child of God. Jonathan Edwards
We should love and serve God apart from our benefits, and if God chooses to add benefits or peace, joy, fulfillment along the way then great but our supreme motivation and desire needs to be to seek God and know Him more, to glorify Him. I guess this can get the ball rolling abit, this is a great subject and deserves alot more introspection.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2004/6/13 23:50||Profile|
Celbridge Kildare Ireland
For me when I listened to "Ten Shekels" for the first of many times, what the Holy Spirit revealed to me was just how much we all plea bargain with God. If I get this I will give this etc. This all stems from the emphasis put on coming to Christ to evade punishment, and now bolted on top of this is the dreadful scourge of the "Prosperity Doctrine" so many are coming to gain rather than to worship.
The best example is that of Shadrach , Mishach and Abednego in the book of Daniel. Who when faced with a a death by furnace said to Nebuchadnezzar " O king we need not say a word in answer to that question, There is a God who is able to save us, the God whom we serve, able to save us from the furnace and from your power, o king. But even if he does not, understand this o king, we will not serve yours gods, and we will not bow down before the golden image which you have erected" (moffat translation the one I had to hand).
What a testimony we stand on Gods word, not how we feel or what is convienent. How many will stand when faced with the coming pressures on the final end days. If we have based our relationship with Jesus on anything less than a knowledege that He alone is worthy of all we have we will not stand.
Paul R Carley
| 2004/6/14 8:43||Profile|
I remember hearing my first message on humanism in 1992 and I distinctly remember the preacher saying, "There is something that has been lost in the body of Christ and it is reverence for a Holy God. The fear of the Lord has departed His people. We don't fear Him; we have an ungodly arrogance born of a gospel of humanism." How true is that today? Where is the fear of the Lord? It has been removed by a gospel of humanism (among other things). In our camp it has been facilitated by a reactionary group in the 1950's and 60's that lashed back at the extreme 'holiness' movement that taught that the most minute imperfection in your heart will lead you to hell. This caused many to stop teaching the fear of the Lord to children in sunday School and opt for "Jesus loves me" ONLY. There was no loner a balance.
What has happened? The emphasis has been shifted from God's glory to man's happiness. The end of all being is the happiness of man? The totality of all things is man's happiness? No, the purpose of all of creation is to bring glory to its creator. In other words we OWE God our service and can never do anything above that which is our duty to do. Why? Because He's worthy! As the old hymm says, "All to Him I owe- sin had left a crimson stain He washed it white as snow."
Humanism has been taken to a whole new level with the modern Church growth philosophy. Take a poll- did you like the service? Was the music too loud? Was the sermon too long? How can we better serve you? don't offend. Don't preach on sin. Take down the crosses. Excuse me? That is one step from Universalism, beloved! They should have asked, "Did you meet God?" "Were you convicted of your sin?" "Did you fall prostrate under under the mighty hand of a Holy and righteous God?"
Like Paris said back in the 1960's when that sermon was originally preached, "Its the betrayal of the AGES, and it's the betrayal in which we live and I don't see how God CAN revive it."
Robert Wurtz II
| 2004/6/14 9:25||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: Humanism in the Church?|
Here's some more (also for the sake of others here):
The hellishness of humanism.
[i]A philosophical system of thought that focuses on human value, thought, and actions. Humans are considered basically good and rationale creatures who can improve themselves and others through natural human abilities of reason and action. Secular Humanism is a late development emphasizing objectivity, human reason, and human standards that govern art, economics, ethics, and belief. As such, no deity is acknowledged.[/i]
[url=https://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=1867&forum=35#11971]What will it profit a man[/url]
Paul rightly said:
[i]"This all stems from the emphasis put on coming to Christ to evade punishment, and now bolted on top of this is the [b]dreadful scourge of the "Prosperity Doctrine"[/b] so many are coming to gain rather than to worship.
The best example is that of Shadrach , Mishach and Abednego in the book of Daniel. Who when faced with a a death by furnace said to Nebuchadnezzar " O king we need not say a word in answer to that question, There is a God who is able to save us, the God whom we serve, [b]able[/b] to save us from the furnace and from your power, o king. [b]But even if he does not[/b], understand this o king, we will not serve yours gods, and we will not bow down before the golden image which you have erected" (moffat translation the one I had to hand).[/i]"
Thanks brother for marrying these two together. It was precisely this scripture that the Lord used to break down all these notions of 'speaking forth', 'name it and claim it' etc. Or even at the worst point hearing the blasphemous words of "you should never pray 'if it is the Lords will'", the presumption and audacity being worse because the motivation is to the greed and lust.."
Jam 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts."
Robert also rightly stated:
"[i]Humanism has been taken to a whole new level with the modern Church growth philosophy. Take a poll- did you like the service? Was the music too loud? Was the sermon too long? How can we better serve you? don't offend. Don't preach on sin. Take down the crosses. Excuse me? That is one step from Universalism, beloved! They should have asked, "Did you meet God?" "Were you convicted of your sin?" "Did you fall prostrate under under the mighty hand of a Holy and righteous God?"
Like Paris said back in the 1960's when that sermon was originally preached, "Its the betrayal of the AGES, and it's the betrayal in which we live and I don't see how God CAN revive it."[/i]
To follow up:
Until we find it something like this;
"Accept Jesus so you can go to Heaven, you don't want to go to that old, filthy, nasty, burning hell when there's a beautiful Heaven up there. Now come to Jesus so that you can go to Heaven."
And the appeal could be as much to selfishness as a couple of men sitting in a coffee shop deciding they are going to rob a bank to get something for nothing.
Becomes so subtle ... it goes everywhere. What is it?
In essence it is this: that this philosophical postulate at the end of all being is the happiness of man has been a sort of, covered over with evangelical terms and Biblical doctrine until God reigns in Heaven for the happiness of man, Jesus Christ was incarnate for the happiness of man, all the Angels exist in the... Everything is for the happiness of man!
And I submit to you that this is un-Christian!
Christianity says... "The end of all being is the glory of God."
Humanism says, "The end of all being is the happiness of man."
This is the betrayal of the ages!!
And it's the betrayal in which we live and I don't see how God can revive it!
Until we come back to Christianity.
Isn't man happy?
And God intend to make you happy?[b] But as a byproduct and not a prime product.[/b]
Now I ask you, what is the philosophy of mission? What is the philosophy of evangelism? What is the philosophy of a Christian? If youll ask me why I went to Africa, Ill tell you I went primarily, to improve on the justice of God. I didnt think it was right for anybody to go to hell without a chance to be saved. And so I went to give poor sinners a chance to go to Heaven.
No, I hadnt put it in so many words. But if youll analyze what I just told you, do you know what it is? Its humanism. But I was simply using the provisions of Jesus Christ as a means to improve upon human conditions of suffering and misery.
And when I got to Africa, I discovered that they werent poor, ignorant, little heathen running around in the woods, waiting for, looking for someone to tell them how to go to Heaven. That they were a monsters of iniquity. They were living in utter and total defiance, of far more knowledge of God than I ever dreamed they had. They deserved hell because they utterly refused to walk in the light of their conscience and the light of the law written upon their heart and the testimony of nature and the truth they knew.
And when I found that out, I assure you, I was so angry with God that one occasion in prayer, I told him that it was a mighty, little thing Hed done, sending me out there to reach these people that were waiting to be told how to go to Heaven. When I got there I found out they knew about Heaven, didnt wanna go there. And they (were) loved their sin and wanted to stay in it.
I went out there motivated by humanism. Id seen pictures of lepers. Id seen pictures of ulcers. Id see pictures of native funerals. And I didnt want my fellow human beings to suffer in hell eternally, after such a miserable existence on earth. But it was there in Africa that God began to tear through the overlay of this humanism.
And it was that day in my bedroom, with the door locked, that I wrestled with God. For here was...was I coming to grips with the fact that the people I thought were ignorant and wanted to know how to go to Heaven, and were saying someone come and teach us actually didnt wanna take time to talk with me or anybody else. They had no interest in the bible and no interest in Christ. And they loved their sin and wanted to continue in it. And I was to the place at that time where I felt the whole thing was a sham and a mockery and Id been sold a bill of goods. And I wanted to come home.
And there alone in my bedroom as I faced God honestly with what my heart felt, it seemed to me I heard Him say, Yes, will not the Judge of all the earth do right? The heathen are lost and theyre going to go to hell not because they havent heard the gospel. Theyre going to go to hell because they are sinners who loved... their ..sin.. and because they deserved hell. But, I didnt send you out there for them, I didn't send you out there for their sakes."
And I heard as clearly as Ive ever heard though it wasnt with physical voice but it was the echo of truth of the ages finding its way into an open heart. I heard God say to my heart that day something like this:
I didnt send you to Africa for the sake of the heathen. I sent you to Africa for My sake. They deserved hell but I love them and I endured the agonies of hell for them. I didnt send you out there for them. I sent you out there for Me. Do I not deserve the reward of My suffering? Don't I deserve those for whom I died?
And it reversed it all. It changed it all and righted it all. And I wasn't any longer working for my cup and ten shekels and a shirt but I was serving the living God."[/i]
[url=https://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?mode=viewtopic&topic_id=1573&forum=40&start=10&viewmode=flat&order=1]"The Revival Hymn" Audio Transcription[/url]
I think the key is in those words ultimately;
"Prime product and byproduct". We seem to have it backwards at best nowadays, if it even gets that far. Trying to pour new wine into old wine skins, instead of a true heart change, it is the bandage approach, instead of curing the disease, numb the pain. Where in the world did we ever get the idea that we are 'owed' something? Our so called 'rights'? Being that we had and have absolutely no say so in either our being born into this world or our exit (sure, suicide, but even that would have to be by Gods permissive will) it is absolutely absurd to think we are guaranteed 'happiness' no matter what mere men might abdicate. It is grand mystery that God has even condescended to save our sorry selves let alone not wipe us off the face of His planet again in a flood like fashion, though He pledged not to do so with water....What holds back His hand? Every day that goes by and the dissipation increases makes me really truly wonder why [b]yesterday[/b] was not The Day of The Lord.
If we truly new how much we have offended our Holy God we would never stop thanking Him for providing a remedy, for coming down here in the form of a man, taking OUR punishment upon HIMSELF...It was for HIS sake and strangely ours, that He, despite ourselves loves us anyway.
Humanism has turned the whole thing upside down, inside out and obscured, blurred the lines. It is man's worthless explanation of what he doesn't even understand, worse yet as a stand alone 'philosophy' this deaf, dumb and blind idol of the world has been accepted into the church...
Rom 3:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
| 2004/6/14 11:27||Profile|
Santa Clara, CA
| Re: Humanism in the Church?|
Hmmm, got an error message, this was a double of the previous reply...
"Error - The forum/topic you selected does not exist. Please go back and try again."
But it posted it anyway... :-?
| 2004/6/14 11:28||Profile|
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
But it posted it anyway...
Hmm thanks Mike that error sometimes does come up. I am glad you posted it still. I think you are our in-house expert on Humanism in the Church.. hehe :-P
EDIT: I think I fixed the problem that error message shouldn't show on this thread again.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2004/6/14 11:39||Profile|
| Re: Great discussion|
I'm at work and on lunch so I'll be brief. I agree with what's been said and Brother Mike wraps it altogether very nicely.
I would add the story of Simon the sorcerer from Acts 8. In verse 9, we see that he was a sorcerer and it says "Simon himself [b]believed[/b] and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.
It appears that he became a believer but look at what happened shortly thereafter. In verses 18 and 19 it says "When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money and said, "Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit."
Although we can clearly see this as greed, we must be careful not to repeat the same mistake. Humanism can entail one's desire for "power for their program" rather than the glory of God. If everything we do is not for God's glory and His glory alone, then we've fallen into the trap of humanism.
Humanism is all about me, my church, my needs, etc. compared to what does what God want, what does God require etc,. Humanism ultimately impugns the sovereign nature of God. (i.e. God exists for the happiness of man as Brother Reidhead said and I believe Mike included above).
It's a sobering question we have to ask ourselves on a regular basis. We need the Holy Spirit to continuously search our hearts. We can also examine our own prayers to see if they're humanistic or not.
I'm reading a book called "The Golden Cow" that Brother Ravenhill suggested and in that book it's clear to me that oftentimes we are worshipping the Golden Cow, rather than worshipping the Living God. I'll try to put together some information from the book in another thread once I digest it all....
| 2004/6/14 13:36||Profile|
So what can we/I do besides prayer (which is of the utmost importance.? How do we bring back the fear of God, which in turn leads to wisdom and a knowledge of the Holy divine. I have a clearer understanding of how humannism has intwined itself in church, but I want to lead a study on this as well and would like to have all of my p's and q's in place. I appreciate everyone comments as they have been very enlightening. Please continue with these thoughts...
| 2004/6/14 14:27||Profile|