Humanism vs. Christianity
The Polarization of America
by Patrick Vosse
A Spiritual Island in a Sea of Secularism
Chapter 18 - Decisions
It is clear that America, and indeed the
world, is polarizing. As the polarization strengthens, the conviction on
each side also strengthens. It will become more difficult to remain
neutral. As we discussed throughout the book, the differences are not
just about the size of government, political parties, social
entitlements, or lifestyle. The differences go deep into the soul
of the Nation and the soul of the individual. At the core is the
conflict between Humanism and Christianity, God
and Atheism, collectivism and individualism. The differences cannot be
resolved; there cannot be a "politically correct XE "politically
correct" " compromise. The time is coming for each person to make the
Decisions are strange things. We make
decisions in several different ways. Humanists claim
their reasoned logic is the only true way to come to a
decision and fault Christians for their lack of reasoning in spiritual
matters. The root of the Humanism-Christianity conflict
is essentially how each side makes the decisions that form their
position. The decisions each make are a cosmic coin toss with one side
"reason" and the other side "faith," but it is
not that simple because each side does not make its decisions as
advertised. Actually, there are many different factors in making a
decision besides reason and we, even the Humanists, use all of them.
Consider rote tradition. A few years ago my project required visits to remote
Indonesian villages. The way of life in those villages was
essentially the same as it had been for centuries. The daily. weekly,
monthly, and annual routines we fixed by tradition. Decisions were
automatic, no reasoning required. Even in our modern world we find
ourselves in fixed routines, such as driving to work each day, that are
mere rote reactions. However, rote tradition is prevalent in the
Christian community as well. A person born into a family with a
tradition associated with a particular denomination is labeled a
"Christian" or "that denomination" and grows up in that tradition. A
decision to be either a Christian or that particular denomination is
never made. The person may attend church services or not, believe in
Jesus or not, but will wear the label Christian often without giving it
much thought. The Political Church was full of these nominal Christians.
A common decision that does not use
reason is marriage. Initial attractions are hormone-driven
urges and emotion, infatuation, puppy love. In time, the love matures
and eventually a decision is made to bond with the loved one on a
permanent basis. Not much logic involved in that decision.
A common decision factor is experience.
Consider a person hiking on a new trail that has many
unmarked branches to dead end vistas. The first time on the trail, the
hiker will probably look for signs that indicate the main trail, such as
width, wear, and maintenance. But sometimes the fork in the trail gives
no clear clues and the hiker makes his best guess, sometimes he picks
the correct trail, sometimes not, and he has to retrace his steps. The
next time the hiker takes the trail, he make the decisions
about which trail to take based on his experience. The
first time on the trail, the hiker used reason to make
decisions, the second time on the trail; reason was only a minor factor.
Perhaps the most common factor in making
a decision is peer pressure. Peer pressure: the need
to be accepted by the herd. The more insecure the individual, the more
likely to need approval of the herd—social peers. This is most obvious
in teenagers who follow the latest fad like lemmings over the cliff. But
as we mature, the need for peer approval doe not appear to diminish.
Exhibit 1, the closet full of unused clothes that were the "must have"
style until the next peer-approved models arrived. Humanists are no
exception. Insecure person make their decisions based on
what the herd considers acceptable. It takes a very secure person to
make decisions without regard to peer pressure. Ask Galileo. Or Lister.
Or any of those individuals that broke with the herd mentality and went
against the consensus opinion of the experts. It take courage to make
decisions without regard to the herd consensus.
Many decisions are made
with faith. Consider The hiker discussed above. If he come
to the fork in the trail and meets a child who tells him to take the
right branch, the hiker may dismiss the advice because he cannot trust a
small child to have sufficient information. However, should he meet a
park guide and the guide advises to take the right branch, the hiker
will follow the advice without question because he has faith in the
knowledge of the guide.
Decisions made with logic are
considered the most reliable and this type of decision-making forms the
basis of the scientific method. It is the
reasoning the Humanist claim to support their philosophical position.
But how "pure" is the logic we use in our reasoned decisions?
The problem is with the data used in making a reasoned
decision. Too often, we do not have sufficient data or the data we have
is incorrect. No matter how good the logic, if it is based on poor
assumptions the decision will be incorrect. Sometimes the data is
inconsistent and this makes logic almost impossible to use. If the data
is incomplete and a logical decision is made on that data, the decision
my be found to be incorrect later when new and contradictory data is
discovered. For this reason, much of the scientific
community deals with statistics. When a decision is made under these
conditions, the decision is based on a certain percent logic but without
100 percent certainty. The question is, what factor makes up the
These are simple examples of the many
ways we make decisions but, in reality, decision making
is complex and often involves several of the factors mentioned here. In
Chapter 6, we discussed the various factors involved in the probability
that humans exists through natural means only, without any divine
influence. With all the reasoning used in the Humanist
argument, and much of that reasoning is excellent, there remains a very
high probability against human existence without divine influence. The
most optimistic statistic is given by Richard Dawkins in The God Delusion at 50 percent. Yet
even with such uncertainty, Humanists assert that evolution by natural
selection is a fact. The reasoning, no matter how excellent is not
sufficient, something must be added to the decision process to make up
the difference between 50 percent and 100 percent certainty.
Freshmen enter the university with awe.
The indoctrination begins immediately. The liberal professors have an
agenda and what young, inexperienced student is in a position to
question the intellectual authority. He is told that Marxism is the
solution to poverty. He does not understand that the professor is
ignoring the fact that all Socialists countries have a greater percent
of the population living in poverty than capitalist countries. He is
told that evolution is an undisputable fact, but the major gaps in the
hypothesis are ignored. Humanism, he is
told, is the only valid, rational, and practical solution to the
problems facing humanity today. If he questions the professor’s bias, he
is ridiculed, his grade is in jeopardy. His peers, wannabe
intellectuals, mouth the right words and he is pressured to join the
chorus. He makes his decision that Humanism, Progressivism,
and Evolutionism are the only valid
truths. As he gains experience and broadens his world
view, some doubts enter, reason alone cannot cover all the
questions. To maintain the decisions of youth, he must add factors to
the process. Peer pressure requires that he maintain his position; after
all, intellectual wannabes must maintain the socially acceptable
philosophy. All his professors and the modern philosophers say Humanism
is the only game in town; if he cannot put his faith in
them, who can he trust?
Unless our student has sufficient
security and courage, he will find it almost impossible to ask the
challenging questions and seek alternative answers. He will continue to
fill the reason deficit with peer pressure and faith in the expert consensus until one day
his decision has become rote tradition. His village
of intellectuals have sung the words to the song of Humanism
so long they do not even think about their meaning. It is
rote tradition. He no longer struggles with the decision about abortion.
Yes, biologically, the fetus is fully human, a person, with
the unique DNA, separate from the
mother, that will never change throughout his life. But,
philosophically and legally, the experts and peers sing the traditional
song of Humanism and he must join the chorus or be forced out of the
village. His doubts are suppressed and pushed deeper within. But they
are there nevertheless.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth …
… I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence;
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Perhaps there is a better way to make a
decision than "reason" formed by an agenda, nurtured by
indoctrination, maintained by peer pressure, and
secured by faith in the expert consensus. Sometimes, in the
drone of the chorus, the solo can make all the difference.
But what about the other side of our
cosmic decision-making coin, the Christian side. Actually, becoming a
Christian is not so much a decision as a response. It begins by the
urging of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus answered, "No one can come to me
unless the Father who sent me draws him. Jn 6:44
God draws us to him. There is
something deep in our soul that senses that divine
harmonic, the presence of God. Gently, the presence shows us
the state of the soul. We have known, deep down, that things are not
right, something is missing. There is something about that presence,
something that is right, complete. By contrast, our soul seems
incomplete. This is not emotion and it is not reason; it is
an experience never before encountered. The Holy Spirit
Jesus said, "Many are called
but few are chosen." In fact, everyone, at sometime in his or her life
is called many times. Too many ignore the call. Distracted by
the worldly pleasures, ego, hedonism, or prejudice, the call is lost in
the noise. After all, the call is gentle; no one is forced to come to
God, response is voluntary. You realize that God is a
gentleman. But a few hear the call and yield to the divine
presence. They are aware of their spiritual deficit and they are
attracted to that presence. That presence! There is something about that
presence—love. But not just any love, this is different than
human emotion, it is spiritual love. The Greeks have three words for
love representing the three kinds of love we experience.
Eros is physical love, erotic passion, lust.
Philos is love at a higher level, brotherly
love, love of country, friendship, love of knowledge (philos +
sophia). Then there is agape, spiritual
love, unconditional love, the love of parents for a child. The call of
God is agape. It is a love experienced in a part of the soul
previously unknown; and with it you know changes must be made in
your life so that this relationship can continue. It is a spiritual
love. Then you realize that the source of the love and the Presence is a
Up to this point, everything has been an
experience, no decision required. But now it is time to
make a decision. You can turn from the Presence, ignore the Holy Spirit,
and resume life as before. Or, you can
respond to the call and change your life forever. It is a rational
decision? No. Is it an emotional decision? No. However, it is a profound
decision. It requires admitting that, "I have sinned and am far from God."
The decision to make that statement is difficult. Having
acknowledged a sinful life, what is next? What do we do with sin once we
admit to it?
The answer to that question is what
separates Christianity from all other religions, philosophies, Humanism,
and Progressive agendas. You do not have to DO anything!
Everything necessary to restore us to God was accomplished by
Jesus. Jesus assumed the responsibility for all the sin
committed by humanity, all of them. He paid the price for our sins by
his suffering and death so that we do not have to do anything. As proof,
God raised him from the dead after he had been in the grave for three
However, there is a condition. We must
accept his gift of salvation. It is just that easy. In
accepting salvation, we must acknowledge our sins and commit to turning
away from the old life. Then accept that Jesus paid the
price for them. Having committed to a new life, we invite him to become
a part of that new life. We commit to a relationship with
Jesus. That is the difference between Christianity and Humanism;
Christianity is a commitment to a relationship, not a
But there is a decision required to
commit to that relationship and that decision is based on faith.
It is not a faith in a professor, a theologian, a pastor, or
peers. It is a faith based on the Person behind the presence that called
us. Approached from a purely rational point of view, this makes no
sense. In fact, it should not make sense to the rational mind.
This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human
wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in
spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things
that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he
cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The
spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not
subject to any man’s judgment. 1 Cor 2:13-15
When the new Christian makes the
commitment to let Jesus come into his life,
something happens that cannot be expressed in words. When God
first calls, he touches a part of our soul that previously
was not a part of our experience. When we accept Jesus,
that part of our soul comes alive. There is a new dimension to life. A
Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God
unless he is born of water and the
Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but Spirit gives birth to spirit.
You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ Jn 3:5-7
This is where the phrase "born-again"
Christian comes from. We are all born of water, the
natural birth accompanied by the surge of amniotic fluid from the womb.
But we must experience a spiritual birth in order to
enter the kingdom of God
previously dead must be awakened. The death Adam and Eve experienced was the death of the spirit and, through the Holy
Spirit and the sacrifice of Jesus, our
spirits are restored. As Paul explains to the congregation a
Therefore, if anyone is in
Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come! All
this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and
gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the
world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. 2 Cor 5:17-19
The "new-born" Christian has just begun
his journey. He must learn to walk God's path. He must learn
to listen for the gentle guidance of the Holy Spirit
and live in obedience to God’s commands. This does not mean following a
set of dogmatic rules, many of which are man-made interpretations of
what God gives in his Word. That was the mistake of the Political
and the Philosophical Churches. God deals with each of us individually. He accepts us as we
are, then gently guides us, step-by-step, to a mature spiritual life.
That explains the variety of Christian views. God guides one
person one way and another person another way, depending on the
individual’s needs. In addition, each Christian is in a different stage
of spiritual growth.
The main source of instruction for the
Christian is the Bible. The Bible is an interesting document. If one who
has not received Christ, and is not guided by the Spirit, reads the
Bible with the mind of reason only, much of it is difficult
to accept. Humanist approach the Bible in this way. The Greeks have two
word for "word", logos and rema.
Logos is the root of our word "logic." It is the
understanding we gain from reasoned learning. It is the word understood
by the mind. It is the Humanist understanding of the Bible. Rema,
literally message, is a spiritual understanding. It is the deeper
understanding that come from a good metaphor, a deeper message. A
message from God to you, personally. A poem can say much more than the
prosaic words and may say something to one person and something else to
another. It is a personal message. When a born again Christian reads the
Bible he understands with his mind, logos, as does the Humanist,
but he also understands with his spirit, rema. It is through
rema that the Holy Spirit guides the individual
Christian and gives spiritual meaning to his faith.
As the Christian matures spiritually, he
becomes aware of something new in his relationship with God —
his faith has changed. Paul describes the
function of this new faith:
The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your
heart, that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming. That if you confess with your mouth,
"Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified … Rom 10:8-10
The "word" used here is rema,
a spiritual message. This is not a faith based on a mental
exercise, a calculated risk, the faith of the Humanist in his professor.
This is a spiritual faith. It is a gift of the Holy Spirit.
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is
given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the
message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the
same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit … 1 Cor 12:7-9
As the Christian matures spiritually, the
spiritual faith increases and becomes a certitude, a
conviction, deep in the soul. Just as Square's
experience in Spaceland could not be cancelled by his
fellow Flatlanders through their arguments, the Christians faith is not
subject to rational arguments from the Humanists; much to their
This experience, as describe above, is not the same for each Christian. However, it is the
process of salvation that the Bible describes for both
the early Church and Evangelical Christians today. For some Christians,
the entire process of salvation can take only a few minutes; others may
grow gradually over months or years. As discussed in Chapter 4, some
wear the label "Christian" but never make this commitment to Jesus.
For example, the Political Church
compromises the basic biblical teaching in order to establish and
maintain temporal power. It substitutes the "form of Godliness" in
elaborate rituals, some borrowed from Gnostic cults, for the actual
power of the Holy Spirit. The Philosophical Church
also makes compromises by substituting the
wisdom of the world for the wisdom and power of God (1Cor
2:13-15). The Social Church compromises the Gospel
message to gain popularity and acceptance by adapting the Humanist
philosophies of "social gospel" and "collective salvation". Much of what
we see in the Political, Philosophical, and Social churches was a danger
to the Early Church and the apostles warned against such contamination.
The danger is still with us.
It is clear that Humanism
is gaining in the American society. It has even worked its way into
some churches. Humanism is expanding but authentic Christianity is
increasing its influence as well. Conservative Evangelical congregations
are the fastest growing segment of Christianity in America. These two
dynamics cause the polarization of American society to increase. The
uncommitted middle ground is shrinking. It is time for decisions.
In this polarized environment, the options are
increasingly limited and, in fact, there are only two choices: Man or
God. In both cases, the decision requires faith.
The decision is not just about politics
or social issues. The decision is not about Socialism or Capitalism. The
decision is about your soul—not the collective soul — your
soul. God works on a one to one basis and the decision is
between you and God. Deciding for the Lord does not required changing
political parties or even church congregations. He will lead you in
those matters as you mature spiritually.
It is the most important decision you
will ever make. Whom will you serve? The gods of liberal academia? The
politically correct but morally degenerate
social agenda that worships man? Or will you serve the God who
created you and loves you with unconditional agape love? The
Israelites, after wandering in the desert for forty years, were about to
finally enter the Promised Land. However, some had been influenced by
the cultures and religions of the people the encountered along the way.
Entering the Promised Land meant they must make a commitment to God and
reject the sinful ways and idol worship of the surrounding cultures.
Their leader, Joshua, summarized the decision before them—and before
each of us.
But if serving the Lord seems undesirable
to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether
the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the
Amonites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household,
we will serve the Lord. Josh 23:13-15
Every decision has consequences. Some
consequences are irrelevant some are life changing. As the Humanists
press their agenda remaining neutral and not making a decision is
becoming more difficult. Eventually we all must decide. What are the
consequences of our decision to choose between God and Man? If, as the
Humanists claim, there is no spiritual dimension and when we die, we
cease to exist in every way, then the consequence of choosing Man has
little impact on the Humanist. If the Humanist is correct and the
Christian merely experiences an aberration resulting from impaired
mental functioning (or as Richard Dawkins says, they need to raise their
consciousness), then they have devoted their lives to a life of
misguided hope and missed out on a lot of material pleasure for
nothing—and took a lot of abuse from the Humanists unnecessarily.
Perhaps the joy and peace they experience could have been attained
through psychology, recreational drugs, or other "man-made" sources.
However, if the Christian is correct and
there is a spiritual dimension with a personal God who demands justice,
there are significant consequences for everyone. The Humanist will not
just evaporate into cosmic nothingness. His soul must face a
just God, One-to-one, to whom he must account for his actions, and most
important, his rejection of the salvation offered
through Jesus. God is not an activist judge and will meet out punishment
and reward without regard to politically correct agendas. All judgment for the Humanists will be how they met
their own standards and conscience and whether they have satisfied God’s
standards. As Paul told the Romans, no man can possibly meet either
standard. The result is that an eternity of just punishment is in store
for those who would put themselves above the One who created them.
The Christians, on the other hand, are no
better off than the Humanists. When they die they face a similar
consequence, an eternity of just punishment; except for one thing,
Jesus. The Christian can expect that, when facing his God for judgment,
his deficiencies, sins, will be covered. That is the message of the
Gospel; Jesus paid the price for the sins of those who accept him as the
Son of God and commit their life to him. God will look upon the
Christian and declare, "Not guilty." We cannot even imagine what
eternity will be for these souls. Flatland-Spaceland again. However, we
can expect an eternity saturated in divine agape at a minimum.
This is the source of the Christian’s hope and peace. If the Christian
is wrong, at least while on earth there is a contentment and spiritual
satisfaction not experienced before salvation. If the
Christian is right…
Choosing God is not always
comfortable. Choosing the Lord may loose friends. Choosing the "road
less traveled" will certainly raise eyebrows. However, choosing Jesus
is always an adventure.
 The Road Not Taken,
from The Poetry of Robert Frost,
Henry Hold and Co., 1979.
Copyright © 2011 by Patrick Vosse
All Rights Reserved