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Humanism: Unbelief, Materialism, Situation Ethics, & Immorality

Humanism: 
Unbelief, Materialism, Situation Ethics, and Moral Permissiveness

What does Humanism teach about God, situation ethics, evolution, materialism, religion, and sexual morality? What influence does it have regarding homosexuality, abortion, euthanasia, and moral permissiveness?

What does Humanism teach about God, the Bible, origins, eternal destinies, situation ethics, and sexual morality? What influence do Humanists have in government, education, the media, and entertainment? This study quotes official statements of the American Humanist Association to document their belief in atheism, agnosticism, evolution, materialism, abortion, euthanasia, suicide, divorce, homosexuality, and sexual permissiveness. These views are contrasted to the Bible teaching of faith in God, creation, judgment, heaven, hell, respect for life, marriage, and an absolute standard for moral purity. 

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Introduction:

Few people were aware of, or concerned about, the Humanist philosophy until recently. As it has become more influential, it has become better known. Yet still few people really understand it or realize the depth of its influence on society.

The purposes of this study are to acquaint people with the major doctrines of Humanism, to demonstrate the influence it is having in our society, and to compare its teachings to those of the Bible.

People are confused about Humanism partly because the word has different meanings and partly because Humanists themselves hold different beliefs. Sometimes "humanism" refers to a humanitarian concern for others. But at other times it refers to a philosophy that exalts man while denying or belittling God.

In this discussion, we will examine Humanism as defined by the American Humanist Association in its official publications: "Humanist Manifestos," "Secular Humanist Declaration," The Humanist magazine, and other publications.

We will then examine the impact of these beliefs in many influential areas of society, including: government, education, entertainment, and the media.

Consider the influence of Humanism in the following areas:


I. Faith in Man, Not in God


A. Humanist Beliefs

... we find that traditional views of the existence of God either are meaningless, have not yet been demonstrated to be true, or are tyrannically exploitative. Secular Humanists may be agnostics, atheists, rationalists, or skeptics, but they find insufficient evidence for the claim that some divine purpose exists for the universe. They reject the idea that God has intervened miraculously in history or revealed himself to a chosen few, or that he can save or redeem sinners. They believe that men and women are free and are responsible for their own destinies and that they cannot look toward some transcendent Being for salvation. We reject the divinity of Jesus, the divine mission of Moses ... We do not accept as true the literal interpretation of the Old and New Testaments ... - "Declaration," pp. 18.

"Secular Humanism places trust in human intelligence rather than in divine guidance" - "Declaration," p. 24.

As non-theists, we begin with humans not God, nature not deity ... we can discover no divine purpose or providence for the human species ... No deity will save us; we must save ourselves - "Manifestos," p. 16.

In the Humanist Magazine, Jan/Feb, 1983, p. 26, Humanist author John Dunphy says:

... a viable alternative to [Christianity] must be sought. That alternative is Humanism. ... The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new - the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of Humanism...

So, Humanists clearly admit that they do not believe in the God of the Bible or in the Bible as God's word. They openly view themselves as opponents of "Christianity."

B. Influence in Society

Government

"Separation of church and state" has become a tool to accomplish what our founding fathers never intended: complete elimination of religion from public life. This has occurred through legislation and especially through court rulings.

Former Chief Justice Rehnquist once said that federal courts "bristle with hostility to all things religious in public life" (PS Report, 10/2006). This hostility is manifested in many ways.

In response to the efforts of atheists and the humanistic American Civil Liberties Union, courts have progressively removed the Bible, God, and prayer from public buildings and public institutions.

Efforts are under way to remove "under God" from the pledge of allegiance.

Because the Boy Scouts require their leaders to believe in God and not be homosexuals, powerful forces seek to remove all support of the Scouts from public institutions.

Government officials are severely criticized in the media if they mention prayer, God, or the Bible. And sometimes they are even criticized for privately expressing trust in God.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia once delivered a speech in which he defended the role of "Christians" in public life. For this he was fiercely criticized. One critic said, "We expect our Supreme Court justices to be the most secular of our public servants" (via Dr. James Dobson). Why? Early Supreme Court justices openly declared their faith in God. Why should people who do not believe in God be better judges than people who do believe in God?

It has reached the point that religious people are ridiculed if they even express a viewpoint about laws or government activities. Who can deny that Humanist values have great influence in our government?

Education

It is a known fact that the Bible, prayer, and essentially all references to God have been banned in school classes and activities. And although schools allow students to form clubs to discuss all kinds of subjects from homosexuality to Islam, yet students have to fight for the right to voluntarily meet on school property to discuss the Bible before or after school hours.

What philosophy dominates in the schools? The preface to the Humanist book Humanist Ethics says:

... a large majority of the educators of America and of the western world are Humanist in their outlook. The faculties of American colleges and universities are predominantly Humanist, and a majority of the teachers who go out from their studies in the colleges to responsibilities in primary and secondary schools are basically Humanist, no matter that many maintain a nominal attachment to church or synagogue for good personal or social or practical reasons.

We will see later that nearly every major tenet of Humanism has been endorsed by official resolutions of the National Education Association (NEA).

Entertainment and the media

No one would attempt do deny that the modern media is secular. Religion is consistently ridiculed or ignored.

TV & movies

Newsweek reported a survey of 104 top TV writers and executives. 45% of them reported that they have no religious affiliation, compared to only 4% of Americans in general (via Citizen, 9/21/92).

Music

Dead Kennedys recorded "Religious Vomit" saying, "All religions make me wanna throw up. All religions make me sick" (Christian Inquirer, 7&8/82).

XTC recorded "Dear God" in which a child starts a letter to God. Then the song blames God for war, family problems, famine, disease and death. The song concludes as the child says, "If there's one thing I don't believe in, it's you, God" (Media Update, 9&10/87, p. 9).

News media

AFA Journal and TV Guide reported that 90% of Americans say they believe in God or a higher power, and 80% pray regularly. Americans contribute nearly fifteen times as much money to religious groups as they spend to attend major league baseball, football, and basketball combined. According to a Gallup Poll, attendance at religious services is more than fifty times greater than attendance at the three major professional sports leagues.

Surely religion is a major part of the lives of Americans. Yet a survey of evening TV news shows on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, and PBS revealed that only about 1% of the news reports discussed religion. (via "The Gospel Observer," July 14, 1996)

Our public institutions have become largely non-religious, exactly like Humanism wants.

C. The Teaching of the Scriptures

We have shown is that Humanism is a real danger. Christians must make difficult personal decisions regarding how they will respond to the influence of Humanism. But the Bible is clear regarding what should Christians believe.

God does exist & the Bible is His word.

Genesis 1:1 - In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Psalms 14:1 - The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God."

Many proofs support these conclusions.

Romans 1:20 - The only logical explanation for the existence of the universe is that there is a God who made it. [Psalms 19:1; Acts 14:15,17; 17:24-31]

Isaiah 41:21-23; 42:8,9 - God repeatedly predicted the distant future in detail in order to prove His Deity (John 13:19; Jeremiah 28:9). Man cannot predict the future infallibly (James 4:14; Proverbs 27:1). Yet Bible writers did so time after time. It follows that they were guided by God, as they claimed. (See also Ezekiel 26:3-14; Deuteronomy 28:15-64; Matthew 2:1-6; 21:1-9; 26:14,15; 27:9,10,38; Acts 2:24-32; Isaiah 53.)

John 20:30,31 - The only reasonable explanation for the miracles recorded in the Bible, especially Jesus' resurrection, is that these events were caused by God to confirm that these men were His inspired messengers. These events could not be done by human ability, yet historical eyewitness testimony confirms them to have occurred. (John 5:36; 11:38-48; Hebrews 2:3,4; Acts 14:3; 1:3; 2:22; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8)

Man should trust in God, not in himself.

Genesis 1:26,27; chap. 3 - Man was created good but sinned and became corrupt.

Matthew 7:13,14; Romans 3:23 - Throughout history, all people have committed sin, and most have lived lives that were generally corrupt. Wars, hatred, crime, and immorality have characterized people of all time periods. These should not be blamed on God, but on people who choose to disobey God. (Romans 5:12; 1 John 1:8-10; Genesis 6:5; Jeremiah 17:9)

It follows that man cannot solve his problems himself. He must trust in God's wisdom to guide him.

Proverbs 14:12 - There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.

Proverbs 3:5,6 -- Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

Humanism says we should reject the idea of God and solve our problems ourselves. This idea is not new. Only the name is new. Trusting self has been the basic attitude of men throughout history; and it has always led to tragedy. Trusting in self is not the solution to man's problems but the cause of them! (Romans 1:20-32)

For much more detailed evidence of the existence of God and the Bible as God's word, please see our Bible Instruction web site at www.gospelway.com/instruct/.

[See also Philippians 4:6,7,13; 1 Peter 5:7: Psalm 103:13-18; 2 Chronicles 32:7,8; 1 Samuel 17:37,45ff; 2 Kings 6:14-17; Matthew 6:25-34; 7:7-11; Psalm 23; 27:1-3,14; 34:19; 46:1,2; Joshua 1:5-9; Romans 8:28,31-39; Genesis 11:1-9; Ephesians 6:10-18; Mark 16:16.]


II. Evolution and Materialism


A. Humanist Doctrine

Religious Humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created ... Humanism believes that man is a part of nature and that he has emerged as the result of a continuous process ... science affirms that the human species is an emergence from natural evolutionary forces. - "Manifestos," pp. 8,17

We have found no convincing evidence that there is a separable "soul" ... that ... survives death - "Declaration," p.19.

Promises of immortal salvation or fear of eternal damnation are both illusory and harmful. They distract humans from present concerns ... We strive for the good life, here and now. The goal is to pursue life's enrichment ... - "Manifestos," pp. 16,17.

B. Influence in Society

Government

Evolution is affirmed by displays in many state or federal parks and museums. Often we are told the supposed evolutionary ancestry of various kinds of plants or animals. Or fossils and geological formations are stated to be millions of years old, in order to harmonize with evolutionary theory.

Many government-financed scientific projects are based on evolutionary beliefs. A major goal of the American space program, for example, has been to determine the origin of the planets or to seek for evidence of life in outer space. The hope, of course, is that this will confirm evolution.

Some courts have forbidden schools to require the teaching of the evidence for creation, if evidence for evolution is presented. Some have even ruled that schools could not require teachers to point out the flaws in evolution or to refer students to books presenting alternative views.

Education

Evolution is regularly defended in science, history, geology, sociology, health, and especially biology classes. But textbooks rarely even mention creation (some teachers present it anyway). I once counted the number of pages defending evolution in textbooks approved for use in Indiana public high school biology classes. The average number of pages devoted to evolution was 46, but the average number of pages devoted to creation was zero!

If creation is mentioned at all, it is dismissed with statements such as the following:

... no major pattern of scientific evidence that conflicts with [Darwin's] theory has turned up - Biology, Scott-Foresman, p. 222

Entertainment and the Media

Movies and TV programs, especially PBS programs and scientific "documentaries," commonly cite evolution as established fact.

Modern music and other forms of entertainment also often ridicule life after death.

The Beatles recorded the song "Imagine":

Imagine there's no heaven - it's easy if you try. No hell below us, above us only sky. Imagine all the people living for today ... and no religion too ... You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope some day you'll join us..." (Fact Sheet, p. 1; and Peters, pp. 63,64).

Michael Omartian, who has produced albums for many top artists, said that the image portrayed by pop stars is: "Do whatever you want to do. It doesn't matter. There's nothing to live for anyway. Let's just go crazy" (Peters, p. 180).

C. The Teaching of the Scriptures

Man was created

Genesis 1:1-28 - God created the heavens and the earth, the plants and animals, and the people. Evolution, however, cannot explain how life came from non-living matter apart from God. That would be spontaneous generation, which all scientific evidence has disproved. [Acts 14:15; 17:24; Exodus 20:11; Psalms 33:6,9; 148:5; Matthew 19:4,5; Hebrews 11:3]

Genesis 1:11,21,24 - All plants and animals reproduce after their own kind. Every person can confirm this by personal observation. Evolution has yet to prove that kinds of living things can produce new kinds. If evolution were true, there should be millions of fossils of animals halfway between the kinds we have now, but there are none. [Galatians 6:7,8; Matthew 7:16,20; James 3:12]

Genesis 1:26,27; 2:7 - Man did not evolve from the animals but was created in the image of God to have dominion over the animals. Evolution tries to belittle the differences between people and animals, but cannot explain why man's intelligence is so far advanced beyond that of the animals, or why we appreciate and create humor and art and music, or why we have a sense of conscience. [James 3:9; 1 Corinthians 11:7]

Man's spirit will exist after death in eternal reward or punishment.

John 5:28,29; 2 Corinthians 5:10 - All men will be raised and then judged for their lives. [1 Corinthians 15:22-26; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:10; Matthew 5:10-12; 25:41-46; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9; Romans 6:23; Luke 16:19-31]

Ecclesiastes 12:13,14 - The purpose of life is therefore to serve God so we can receive the reward He offers. [Matthew 6:33; 10:28; Hebrews 10:26-36; 1 Peter 1:3-9]

1 Corinthians 15:32 - If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die. This is the consequence of Humanism. It is a philosophy of despair and hopelessness. If this life is all we have and nothing follows, no wonder young people commit suicide when tragedy strikes. Only those who believe in God have a better hope.

For much more detailed evidence regarding creation vs. evolution, please see our Bible Instruction web site at www.gospelway.com/instruct/.


III. Situation Ethics


A. Humanist Doctrine

Thus secularists deny that morality needs to be deduced from religious belief ... For secular Humanists, ethical conduct is, or should be, judged by critical reason, and their goal is to develop autonomous and responsible individuals, capable of making their own choices in life ... As secular Humanists we believe in the central importance of the value of human happiness here and now. We are opposed to Absolutist morality ... Secular Humanism places trust in human intelligence rather than in divine guidance - "Declaration," pp. 15,24.

We affirm that moral values derive their source from human experience. Ethics is autonomous and situational, needing no theological or ideological sanction. Ethics stems from human need and interest ... We strive for the good life, here and now. The goal is to pursue life's enrichment ... - "Manifestos," p. 17.

The right to ... abortion ... should be recognized ... the individual must experience a full range of civil liberties in all societies. This includes ... a recognition of an individual's right to die with dignity, euthanasia, and the right to suicide - "Manifestos," pp. 18,19.

So situation Ethics is the belief that there are no absolute rules of right and wrong, and no Divine revelation to set the standard for conduct. Each individual decides for himself what to do according to what he believes would best promote the enrichment of people in this life. Any act can be right under certain circumstances, including lying, stealing, suicide, or even murder.

B. Influence in Society

Government

Have our rulers been influenced by situation ethics? Do they ever lie to us or to one another? If they get caught, do they ever argue that the situation justified it?

Abortion

The practice most frequently justified by situational reasoning is the taking of human life. Since 1973, 1 1/2 million unborn babies per year are killed in this country. The "gateway" arguments used to break down resistance to the killing always involve emotional situations.

We are told that the mother was raped, the baby will be deformed, the parents are too poor, the child will have too poor a "quality of life," the parents will abuse the child, etc. Then when people conclude that these "situations" justify killing the baby, judges and politicians rule that a mother may kill an unborn child for any reason whatever. As a result, more than 80% of all abortions occur, not for any of these reasons, but because the woman conceived outside marriage!

The government punishes parents who deliberately kill or harm children after they have been born. Parents who even bruise a child have been accused of "child abuse" and subjected to vigorous prosecution. Could you deliberately kill a 10-year-old if it was conceived as a result of rape or is deformed, poor, or abused? Of course not, but if the child is still in the womb, then the government allows the child to be killed, even when these situations do not exist!

And many people want the government to pay for women's abortions!

Mercy-killing and "assisted suicide"

Now the government often permits (or overlooks) people who kill or help kill people even after they have been born.

Babies born deformed are sometimes set aside to die without legal penalty. Some nations and at least one state in America have laws that allow doctors to help people commit suicide.

How is this justified? By situational arguments. The person is so old and sick that they want to die, etc.

Who would have believed, just a few decades ago, that our society would come to this? Yet all this is exactly what Humanism has defended all along.

Education

One of the most common ways the schools undermine absolute standards is by exercises called "values clarification," "values education," or "morals education." These can be found in any subject at any grade level, especially in sex education, social studies, psychology, sociology, etc.

These exercises involve questionnaires, role-playing, or group discussions of challenging and controversial moral issues, often involving lying, stealing, killing, or sexual conduct. Students are often assured that "there are no right or wrong answers." Conclusions are reached, not on the basis of research to accumulate and evaluate evidence, but on personal opinions along with peer pressure ("pooled ignorance").

Appeal to authority is disallowed. If a student appeals to the Bible or religion, he is asked, "But how do you think it should be?" Exercises are done, if at all possible, without parents' knowledge so as to avoid the input and influence of parents. Difficult hypothetical situations are invented to make it appear that traditional absolute values will not work. Students are compelled to participate at ages when they are unprepared to reach mature judgments about such difficult issues.

A frequently used example is a lifeboat (or bomb shelter) with too many people in it. Students must examine each occupant and decide who should be killed so the others can live. As a result, kids conclude that killing may be justified in certain situations.

I once reviewed the high school text Person to Person, published by Bennett. The teacher's edition encouraged teachers to assign students to say if they agree or disagree with controversial statements, including the following. But they are first assured that "There are no right or wrong answers."

  • To find out if they are sexually suited for each other, a couple should have intercourse before marriage

  • If a couple is in love, it is all right to have sexual relations before marriage

  • One way to tell a date "I like you" is to have intercourse with him or her

  • If people have a safe birth control method, it is all right to have intercourse before marriage.

  • An exercise in student edition of this book tells students to choose another student as partner, pretend they are married, and role-play making arrangements for their divorce!

    A high school health class where we once lived used a death education survey with 57 questions including all the following:

  • 8. To what extent do you believe in life after death? ...

  • 9. Regardless of your belief about life after death, what is your wish about it? ...

  • 10. To what extent do you believe in reincarnation? ...

  • 20. Based on your present feelings, what is the probability of your taking your own life in the near future? ...

  • 24. When you think of your own death ..., how do you feel? A. fearful B. Discouraged C. Depressed D. Purposeless [etc.] ...

  • 25. What is your present orientation to your own death? A. Death-seeker B. Death-hastener C. Death-accepter [etc.] ...

  • 29. If you had a choice, what kind of death would you prefer? A. Tragic, violent death ... F. Suicide. G. Homicidal victim [etc.] ...

  • 35. To what extent has the possibility of massive human destruction by nuclear war influenced your present attitudes toward death or life? ...

  • 39. Whom have you known who has committed suicide? ...

  • 40. How do you estimate your lifetime probability of committing suicide?

  • 41. Suppose that you were to commit suicide, what reason would most motivate you to do it? A. To get even ... G. Family strife H. Atomic war [etc.] ...

  • 42. Suppose you were to commit suicide, what method would you be most likely to use? A. Barbiturates or pills B. Gunshot C. Hanging [etc.] ...

  • 43. Suppose you were ever to commit suicide, would you leave a suicide note? ...

  • 51. What kind of a funeral would you prefer? ...

  • Examples can be multiplied (see the book Child Abuse in the Classroom).

    Remember, all these issues are discussed by immature students in the face of strong peer pressure, without reference to the Bible (which has been banned), and with all appeals to authority being disallowed.

    The effect is to teach immature students to ignore authority and objective evidence, and reach conclusions according to subjective personal feelings, opinions, and peer pressure. Situation ethics is the fundamental tenet, and Humanism is the big winner.

    Entertainment and the media

    Situation ethics has been the standard of TV since it began. Even programs in the early days of TV justified lying if it would help people feel better. Modern TV and movies justify stealing, abortion, mercy-killing, and even deliberate killing of adults in certain situations.

    The Newsweek survey of 104 top TV writers and executives reported that 97% believe abortion is a woman's right.

    Elton John recorded the song "Suicide":

    I'm getting bored being part of mankind ...
    Think I'll buy a forty-four and give 'em all a surprise.
    Yeah, think I'm gonna kill myself, cause a little suicide.
    Stick around for a couple of days, what a scandal if I die.
    Yea, I'm gonna kill myself, cause a little headline news (Fact Sheet, p. 6).

    Alice Cooper, in his performances, frequently pretended to hang himself (Larson, p. 22f).

    Eddie and the Hot Rods had an album called "Teenage Depression." The front pictured a young man pointing a gun at his head, obviously about to commit suicide (Peters, p. 136).

    Is it any wonder that suicide is the #2 killer of young people? A major reason is that humanistic situation ethics has become the norm in some of the most influential institutions of society.

    C. The Teachings of the Scriptures

    The Bible claims that man is not wise enough to decide moral issues without Divine revelation.

    Jeremiah 10:23 - It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.

    Proverbs 14:12 - There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.

    2 Corinthians 10:18 - For not he who commends himself is approved, but whom the Lord commends.

    Isaiah 55:9 - The Lord says that as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.

    When a person claims he is wise enough to decide right from wrong by his own human wisdom alone, he demonstrates, not his wisdom, but his foolishness!

    [Proverbs 3:5,6; 2 Corinthians 10:12; 1 Corinthians 1:18-31; 2:1-5; 4:6; Colossians 3:17; Matthew 15:9; Luke 16:15; Romans 1:18-32; 10:1-3; Matthew 7:21-23; Galatians 1:6-9; Deuteronomy 4:2; Revelation 22:18,19; 1 Timothy 1:3; 6:3; James 4:12]

    The Bible claims that it is the absolute standard of right and wrong, which men must obey.

    2 Timothy 3:16,17 - Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable to instruct in righteousness and thoroughly equip us for every good work.

    Psalms 119:105 - Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

    John 14:15 - Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." Love is not an excuse for disobedience but a motivation for obedience.

    Psalms 19:7-11 - God's laws are perfect, right, and true. They make us wise, enlighten us, and lead to great reward.

    John 12:48 - Jesus' words will judge us in the last day.

    God's revelation is perfect. No man can improve on it. It will be the standard by which our lives will be judged. Our eternal destiny will depend on our obedience to it. Our responsibility is, not to sit in judgment on God's word nor to modify it, but to learn and obey it.

    [1 Corinthians 14:37; 9:21; Matthew 28:18-20; 2 John 9; John 17:17; 14:21-24; 1 John 5:3; 1 Peter 4:11; Ephesians 1:22,23; Colossians 1:18; 2:8,19; Acts 3:22,23; Romans 2:6-10; 2 Corinthians 5:10; 2 Thessalonians 1:8-10; 1 John 3:6-8,10; Revelation 22:12; 1 Samuel 15:3-23]

    The Bible gives compelling evidence that it is a revelation from God.

    The Bible is united and harmonious.

    Disagreement about moral issues is the invariable consequence of human wisdom. Humanists admit that they do not agree among themselves ("Manifestos," p. 24). If men are so wise, why can't they agree about what is right or wrong?

    Though the Bible was written by over forty men from different backgrounds over a period of 1500 years, yet their writings contain no contradictions. How could they so agree, unless they were guided by God as they claimed?

    Bible writers successfully and repeatedly predicted the distant future in detail.

    Their predictions always came true. Humanists cannot predict the future. Since Bible writers could predict the future but Humanists cannot, why should we believe that humans are the greatest source of wisdom? Why not grant that the Bible writers spoke the truth, when they claimed they were speaking by guidance of God.

    The men who revealed the message of the Bible could do miracles: works that are impossible except by Divine power.

    They raised the dead, walked on water, calmed storms, and instantaneously healed obvious and incurable diseases. Humanists can do none of these things. So why should we accept humans as the highest power on earth and submit to human guidance? Why not grant that the Bible writers spoke by the guidance of God, as they claimed?

    When we realize that God exists and made the universe, then we must believe He is far wiser than we. Men have made nothing even fractionally as great as the universe. It follows that we should trust God's wisdom to guide us through His Divine revelation.

    Faith in God is far more reasonable than Humanism. But the proper beginning point is, not to allow our human wisdom to sit in judgment on the reasonableness of Divine law, but to honestly evaluate the evidence that God exists and that the Bible is His word.

    For much more detailed evidence for the Bible as God's word, please see our Bible Instruction web site at www.gospelway.com/instruct/.


    IV. Sexual Permissiveness


    A. Humanist Doctrine

    In the area of sexuality, we believe that intolerant attitudes, often cultivated by orthodox religions and puritanical cultures, unduly repress sexual conduct. The right to birth control, abortion, and divorce should be recognized ... neither do we wish to prohibit, by law or social sanction, sexual behavior between consenting adults. The many varieties of sexual exploration should not in themselves be considered "evil" ... individuals should be permitted to express their sexual proclivities and pursue their life-styles as they desire - "Manifestos," p. 18

    Hence, with its human wisdom and situation ethics, Humanism concludes that men have a right to premarital and extramarital sexual unions, divorce, polygamy, homosexuality, and any other "sexual proclivity" they desire. What if a person's "proclivity" leads him to desire sex with children? By the Humanist's "wisdom," what right would other people have to "repress" such conduct with their "intolerant attitudes"? (Many Humanists defend the practice of pedophiles.)

    B. Influence in Society

    Government

    With "no fault" divorce laws, almost anyone can obtain a divorce, if he can afford the lawyer's fees. As a result, nearly half of all marriages end in divorce.

    For years the government has provided contraceptives to unmarried teens without the parents' knowledge or consent. Your teenage daughter cannot get her ears pierced without your consent; but the government will provide her with condoms, even if you object, and pay for it with your tax dollars!

    Many communities have passed laws granting special favors to homosexuals. Now homosexuals demand that states grant them the rights and privileges of marriage. And officials that refuse to bow to Gay Rights' demands can be sure that their personal lives will be searched with a fine-tooth comb; any faults found will be exposed to public ridicule, probably right before an election. And the incredible hypocrisy is that often the homosexuals and humanists will expose some official for one of those "sexual proclivities" or other such practices that the homosexuals and Humanists themselves practice, defend, and justify!

    The National Endowment for the Arts gives federal tax dollars to fund "art" projects so grossly immoral we cannot describe them here. They include open displays of homosexual acts. One display showed a crucifix immersed in human waste. One woman's "art" consisted of calling men from the audience to come on stage and inspect her private organs. So our tax dollars promote the "sexual proclivities" that Humanism defends.

    Education

    Sex Education

    "Sex education" in schools almost invariably defends Humanist views. But it can occur in almost any class and is often camouflaged by calling it other terms to avoid alerting parents.

    The most influential sex ed organizations are the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and Sex Information & Education Council of the US (SIECUS). Both are totally dominated by Humanists. The American Humanist Association gave the honorary title of "Humanist of the Year" to SIECUS executive director Mary Calderone, to PPFA's founder Margaret Sanger, and to PPFA's president Faye Wattleton. Many other prominent sex educators are open Humanists. Further, an official statement from the AHA lists PPFA as a "kindred cause" to its own Humanist goals.

    SIECUS Study Guides advise sex ed teachers what to teach. Study Guide #5 said on page 25:

    We must examine the potential impact of the [premarital sexual] relationship upon ourselves and the others who are involved. It is just such an examination that has led to the popularity of situational ethics, for it is abundantly clear that for some people having premarital coitus can contribute to the development of responsibility ... to a sense of integrity and self-realization.

    The official "SIECUS Position Statement" said, "It is the position of SIECUS that: The use of explicit sexual materials (sometimes referred to as pornography) can serve a variety of important needs in the lives of countless individuals."

    In 1973 Alan Guttmacher, who was then the head of PPFA, said: "...the only avenue the International Planned Parenthood Federation and its allies could travel to win the battle for abortion on demand is through sex education..."

    We learned of a tax-funded clinic in Indiana that provided sex ed materials. Included was a film named "Vir Amat," desired to instill the proper attitudes in sex educators. Their catalog described the film as follows:

    Two young men, who have lived together for over a year, share their relationship and sexual pattern. The film begins showing them preparing dinner while enjoying kissing, joking, and flirting. After dinner, they move to the living room where they stimulate each other manually and orally to orgasm. Post-orgasmic play continues the element of fun and affection, which is shown throughout the film. The film de-mythologizes homosexual relationships, showing two ordinary men in a warm, loving relationship.

    Again, examples could be multiplied. Not all these objectionable ideas are found in every school, but all school districts have been influenced to a greater or lesser extent.

    The National Education Association

    The NEA, the professional organization (actually a union) with which a majority of teachers are affiliated, is another Humanist-dominated organization. Every year it passes official resolutions describing the goals it hopes to see achieved. Resolutions regularly passed include:

    * Support for "the right to reproductive freedom" (including abortion)

    * Support for sex education that teaches "birth control" and "diversity of sexual orientation"

    * Support for clinics in the schools where students can obtain "access to birth control methods with instruction in their use" (without parents' consent, of course)

    * Training programs for teachers that include the "acceptance of diverse sexual orientation" and "[s]upport for the celebration of a Lesbian and Gay History Month"

    * Support for federal funding to the National Endowment for the Arts with no restrictions on what projects paid for.

    * Opposition to any efforts by parents or government to control what the schools teach about any of the above.

    Entertainment & the media

    The sexual laxness of the media is legendary, whether in movies, TV, or music.

    Movies

    A survey of the contents of PG and PG-13 movies revealed:

    * Nearly 1/4 have the "f-word."
    * 61% take God's name in vain.
    * 71% contain vulgar references to excretion, intercourse, or the genitals.
    * 50% imply sexual intercourse.
    * 13% show intercourse.
    * 30% show explicit nudity (via Citizen, 1/89)

    Television

    A study of sexual acts in 58 hours of prime-time TV revealed: 5 rapes, 7 homosexual acts, 28 acts of prostitution, 41 examples of sexual relations between unmarried people, and six sexual relations between married people. And that was in 1983! (Christian Inquirer, 7 & 8/83)

    Several programs now feature characters that are openly homosexual.

    The Newsweek survey of 104 top TV writers and executives learned that only 45% believe that adultery is wrong, compared to 85% of Americans in general. Only 20% believed homosexual acts are wrong, compared to 76% of Americans in general.

    Music

    Music is so filled with sexual immorality that we hardly need to document it. Chris Stein (Blondie) once said: "Everyone takes it for granted rock and roll is synonymous with sex" (People, 5/21/79, p. 53; via Fact Sheet, p. 2, and Larson, p. 18 and Aranza, p. 76 and Peters, p. 107).

    MTV and music videos multiply the damage by often combining immoral words with pictures of immoral conduct.

    Add to this the corrupt influence of many video games, and it is clear that Humanistic sexual liberation has conquered most entertainment, and it successfully uses schools and government to spread its immoral philosophies.

    C. The Teaching of the Scriptures

    Bible truth is generally not hard to understand, though it may be hard to practice.

    The sexual relationship is pure only for a man and woman who are Scripturally married to one another.

    Hebrews 13:4 - Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

    God's word does not oppose the sexual union as being inherently bad. On the contrary, God designed it and glorified it. And therefore, His laws must regulate it. He says it is wholesome within marriage. All sexual relations outside marriage are forbidden.

    [1 Corinthians 7:2-5,9; 6:9-11,16-18]

    Marriage is a lifetime commitment.

    Romans 7:2-3 - Man and woman are bound to their marriage covenant as long as they both live, and are free to remarry only when the spouse dies.

    Sexual relationships, between those who do not have a Scriptural lifetime marriage commitment with one another, constitute adultery or fornication. This would include relationships before marriage, outside marriage, polygamy, and homosexuality.

    The only Scriptural grounds for divorce is fornication. Remarriage without a Scriptural divorce is adultery.

    Matthew 19:9 - Whoever divorces his wife, except for fornication, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery [cf. v3-9; Matthew 5:32; 1 Corinthians 7:10,11].

    God grants only one reason for which one may divorce a Scriptural marriage companion: if that companion has committed fornication. To divorce for other reasons is forbidden, and to remarry then is adultery.

    Sexual relations between people of the same sex are specifically condemned as immoral.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11 - Homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God, unless they repent and cease the practice.

    Romans 1:26,27 - Men who burn in lust for other men are guilty of vile passions, unseemliness, and error. Such practices follow as a consequence of man's rejection of God as the Creator whom we ought to serve. This, of course, is precisely the consequence of Humanism. The whole context, from verses 18 to 32, is an excellent description of the perversions of Humanism.

    [1 Timothy 1:9-11; Genesis 19:1-11; Exodus 22:19; Leviticus 18:22,23; 20:13,15f]

    Christians should avoid having evil thoughts or causing such thoughts in others.

    Proverbs 4:23 - Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. We must learn to avoid, not just sinful acts, but also influences that lead us to want to do wrong.

    Matthew 18:6,7 - If we tempt others to sin, we would be better off drowned in the sea. So not only should we protect our own hearts from immoral influences, we must be sure that our words, deeds, teaching, and manner of dress do not encourage others to immorality.

    Matthew 5:27,28 - Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. So the problem to be avoided is, not just immoral deeds, but immoral thoughts and anything that leads our hearts to desire immorality. [Proverbs 6:25]

    Mark 7:21-23 - A number of passages warn against practices that are "lascivious or licentious." This refers to practices that entice or excite improper sexual lusts.

    [Genesis 39:7-12; Romans 13:13,14; Galatians 5:19-21; I Peter 4:1-4; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Ephesians 5:19; 2 Peter 2:2,7,18; Jude 4; Philippians 4:8; Colossians 3:2; Philippians 3:19; 2:5; Matthew 5:8; 6:13; Proverbs 6:27; I Corinthians 15:33; Proverbs 13:20; 5:8; James 4:4; 2 Corinthians 6:17-7:1]

    In short, Humanist permissiveness is wholly contrary to Scripture. Those who recognize their true relationship to God must live pure lives and oppose immoral philosophies.

    For much more detailed discussion of morality and sexual conduct, please see our Bible Instruction web site at www.gospelway.com/instruct/.

    Conclusion

    The danger of Humanism is, not only that it has had great impact on our society, but that people are often influenced by Humanist views regardless of whether or not they are in any way familiar with the term. How much have we been influenced?

    Philippians 2:15-16 - We must be blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world. This is the duty of Christians. Is your light shining, or has it become polluted by Humanistic views?

    (C) Copyright 3/1984, 7/1996, 11/2006, David E. Pratte

    Local churches and individuals may, within limits, distribute this Bible study guide for free, but not for sale.  Web sites may link to this page but not reproduce it. For details click here for our copyright guidelines.

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    Topics for further Bible study

    Evidences for God, Jesus, & the Bible
    The Inspiration of the Bible
    Evidence for Jesus' Resurrection
    The Consequences of Evolution
    Studies about Creation vs. Evolution
    Morality and Ethics
    Marxism (Communism) and the Bible
    Abortion: Pro-life or Pro-Choice?
    Homosexuality: Lifestyle or Immorality?
    Sexual Morality & the Family
    Suicide: Moral or Immoral?

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