Encountering Secular Humanist Proselytizers
I once took nearly half of a year in meeting with Jehovah’s Witnesses. I understood their intentions; they were trying to proselytize me. And to be sure, my intentions were exactly the same in the opposite direction. As it turns out, Jehovah’s Witnesses are trained in the art of subverting faith. That’s what they do best and they make no apologies for it. It’s all above-board in that regard.
The same is not so much true for the Secular Humanist. Yes, most desire that you be converted, and many will actively work toward that end, but it will be very different with them because it won’t in any way be above-board. Indeed, the Secular Humanist proselytizer won’t see himself as a proselytizer at all and would reject any such notion out of hand. This is because he will have been thoroughly indoctrinated since his childhood, along with the rest of his culture, into his way of thinking. Consequently, it will be much more difficult for him to question or examine his own mindset and principals. Why would he? His thinking aligns so nicely with everyone else’s. In other words, his thinking is “normal.” It’s when our thinking is not like everyone else’s that we are constantly forced to evaluate it.
You should realize, therefore, that you will be living your life in a culture dominated by the religion of Secular Humanism. Indeed, it wouldn’t be false to claim that it is your nation’s established religion in that it’s the mandatory view in the state school. And in keeping with the history of established religions, which is to say, state religions, you will find that it is entirely intolerant of any opposing beliefs where it matters the most: in the one place where young minds are being molded for the future, the state-run schoolhouse.
Still, we must concede that Secular Humanism is different from other religions in that it rejects the existence of a deity. In this religion Man is god, and as such the adherent doesn’t view himself as one of those religious, zealot proselytizers. So, unlike myself and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, he will not knowingly be usurping anyone’s faith, but rather, he’ll see himself as simply convincing others that they’re misguided and that they ought to be normal . . . like him.
Man, as it turns out, must order his existence according to a framework of ideas that he considers to be truths. And these truths must have some sort of source. If you are able, therefore, to locate the source of a man’s “truths,” you’ll find the object of his faith. As Man orients his life around these “truths” he attempts to answer the larger questions of life concerning his origins, purpose, and eternal destiny. The Secular Humanist looks exclusively to his own mind for such answers. And since his mind lacks the knowledge to answer them, he makes them up, then presents his make-believe as “science.” And into this so-called science he throws himself with blind faith. What man, for example, can the Secular Humanist point to who has gone to the grave to observe what happens there and then returned to inform us? No one, of course. That would be an absurd question for the Secular Humanist. But that’s exactly the reason why he must resort to faith concerning Man’s ultimate destiny beyond the grave, even if he believes that decay is the only thing that awaits him there. And to console himself, he must convince all others to do the same. The serious Secular Humanist’s faith is based on the assumption that he lives in a materialistic, naturalistic world, and that he will simply cease to exist once his body begins to decompose.
All of that said, the reality is that you are not likely to encounter an actual serious Secular Humanist. In fact, you are not even likely to encounter anyone who even realizes that they are an adherent to this religion. But whether one is knowingly a Secular Humanist or is one by default, the effect is still the same when it comes to a person’s thinking.
The kind of person you are much more likely to meet, therefore, is one who actually entertains a belief in a deity of some sort, and who will concede the possibility that one does exist. He may even concede that it is entirely possible that there is life after death. He may even claim Christianity as his religion. But because he has been thoroughly indoctrinated, he will be quick to add that, even if these realities do exist, he is confident that we can’t know, as he counts knowing, anything about them. In addition, he will insist that no one should worry about being held accountable for their deeds in this life after they die. He will also insist that whatever anyone does believe about such things, those beliefs ought not to inform his worldview, especially when it comes to how one determines the ultimate rights and wrongs of culture. In other words, he will be adamant that any beliefs like these should be banned from the public square. Why does he have so much confidence in such views? Why faith, of course, a faith, I’m quick to add, that informs his own worldview concerning the ultimate rights and wrongs of culture. And just because he lives by faith doesn’t mean that he won’t ridicule or challenge others because they order their lives to a different faith.
Since the Secular Humanist is self-oriented, you will also notice that he will see himself as neutral in all things. He will see himself as one who listens to all possible explanations from a supposed objective perspective, and then, by his own supposed reasoning skills, will draw his good conclusions. But such a task is impossible for Man because Man cannot control the forces which most affect his thought patterns; things like the culture he was born into, his life experiences and how he was indoctrinated from an early age have all played a part in programming his mindset. To think of oneself as a neutral observer in this world is to flatter oneself.
In a discussion I once had years ago, a man who disagreed with my view on an issue told me that the only reason that I held the views that I did was because of the region in which I was born and raised. It had obviously never occurred to him that he himself had been raised in a region. Was I to believe that the region that he hailed from had no influence on him? Or better yet, that the thinking in that region was itself neutral on all matters and had achieved a state of centralized perfection in human thought? Apparently so. He certainly could not get past seeing himself as a neutral and objective observer in this world. But he, of course, was not objective or neutral. We were both subject to the same forces, and it was these forces that were responsible for indoctrinating us both to see ourselves as neutral and to judge all views on reality from that perspective. The only difference between us, then, was that he couldn’t grasp that fact.
To meet someone who does not think like this will be uncommon. But don’t you be as deceived about your own supposed neutrality as they are. No one is neutral. I certainly didn’t raise to you be neutral, and even if I had set out to do just that, it would have been impossible. Paul’s admonition to renew our minds assumes that the beginning point of our Christian walk is not a neutral one. And he never suggests in any way that the purpose behind renewing our minds is so that we can be or become neutral.
You will also discover, if you spend a little time thinking about it, that the foundation upon which Secular Humanism is built involves the question of righteousness. The unwitting question is, who decides what is right and wrong? Is it Man or God? But the question also entails accountability. Man must ask, is he ultimately accountable to anyone but himself?
The Secular Humanist, therefore, will preach to you that each of us makes up our own personal standards of righteousness. But he can’t really live as he preaches. For one, he will have no problem imposing onto others his standards of righteousness, which will include his own supposed virtues of inclusiveness, acceptance and libertine freedoms. He will argue ad nauseam that it is wicked to consider someone else’s actions as wicked, especially if those considerations are based on the Bible. Indeed, you must be an environmentalist; anti-religion, especially of the conservative Christian variety; you must approve of aberrant sexual behavior; and you must condone the murder of babies in the womb, to name a few things, in order to be tolerated and considered righteous. These things are a far cry from being free to live according to one’s own personal set of standards. Yet, he will never even entertain the idea that his worldview has hypocrisy built into it, and at the same time he will have no problem condemning others for their supposed hypocrisy.
To overcome his rejection of objective truth, while still desiring to impose a standard onto his fellow man, the idea of “community” becomes the catch-phrase. You must fall in line with “the community’s” standards of righteousness or else be considered wicked and evil. But little does he realize that “the community” is just a facade put there by someone else. What is right and wrong is actually decided by a few who have the power to establish such things. The true source for deciding what’s going to be right and wrong in “the community” is might. If someone has the power to shove a thing down “the community’s” throat, then that thing will be righteous, and you’ll need to agree with it or else be considered unrighteous and deserving of the community’s wrath.
But what about the Secular Humanist’s ideas about guilt and forgiveness? Well, in “the community” there are none. Oh, they’ll tell you that you have no need to feel guilty for anything and that feelings of guilt are in and of themselves a sin since you make up your own standards of righteousness. So, in other words, if you feel guilty about something, you ought to feel guilty about feeling guilty. Guilt is seen as just another old relic from the past that must be done away with. But if you ever disagree with the community, or sin against its standards, you’ll be quick to learn that sin and shame are as big a part of Secular Humanism as they are with any other religion.
Always remember that, when the Secular Humanist is appealing to you, these are the things he’s attempting to proselytize you into. And again, it won’t be because he knows he’s doing it, because he will have no idea. Such thoughts were coyly programmed into his thinking during his youth by those who have the power to dictate the programming, and they will only be seen as “normal” by the Secular Humanist, as he counts normal.
Lastly, you should realize that Secular Humanism comes to you under the heading of many labels, not excluding the label, Christian. Be aware that the Secular-Humanist Christian may also come preaching and proselytizing in his attempts to usurp your faith and lure you into his “religion.” And in the same way as all other Secular Humanists, this proselytizer will not be aware of what he’s doing either. The humanist in your church is easy to discern because of his source of “truth.” If that source is Man’s wisdom, or the so-called “community” rather than God’s Word, he’s trying to preach you into the City of Man. Sure, he will love certain Bible verses that affirm his humanistic sensibilities, but don’t be fooled. He will reject the exact same things that “the community” rejects, and he will accept the exact same things that it accepts because it won’t be God’s word that informs his conscience, it will be the community. The humanist Christian and the Secular Humanist alike will not tolerate thinking that puts the one true God over Man, nor can they.
It’s important to realize also that, as a Christian, you ought not to fit into this Secular Humanist society. What you call evil this world will not call evil and what you call good this world will not call good. What is normal for the Secular Humanist will not be normal for you. You have a different source for truth. So, let us go to that source, God’s Word, and see what He has to say about all of this. Jesus tells us in Matthew 12:30 that:
Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.
A little later in the same chapter he continues:
Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit.
That word, good, raises an important question. Does Man decide through brute power what is good and evil, or does God decree it from on high through His law?
God says that Man’s righteousness is as filthy rags. He says that no man does good, no not one. He says that Man is lost and in need of salvation. Paul had this to say about unsaved people as he spoke of their condition prior to salvation:
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. (Eph 2:2)
Here Paul paints a portrait of the Secular Humanist man who thinks that he is looking to himself for truth. He will deny his condition even when his hands are drenched with his fellow man’s blood. In the final analysis, however, man without Christ is doomed. But God, rich in His mercy, showed us the way and provided for our salvation so that we can walk in it. He promised us a renewed mind, a mind ordered around, and centered on, himself, His law, His righteousness and His love. Unlike the City of Man, God’s yoke is not burdensome but light. I, therefore, beseech you, dear children, to choose the narrow gate early, and to have faith in your God, and to walk along the narrow path that lies beyond. Trials are a part of life, one way or the other, except that on the narrow path they are not in vain.
I pray that you would see the humanist preachers who come your way for what they are. I pray that you will be able to see the pain and misery that their path leads to in this life, and the eternal damnation that it leads to in the next. May the eyes of your hearts be opened, and may a mantle of discernment rest on you.