I mentioned humanism briefly at the end of last week's commentary ["Evaluating Tiger's Evaluators"] as being the source of the world view and the moral and ethical values exhibited by Tiger Woods and virtually every person operating in the limelight of the public eye these days.
We may hear the term "humanism" mentioned from time to time. We might read of it in a news article. But what does the term mean and where does it come from? It actually has a very long history. The practice of humanism has been going on since Adam and Eve. However, the term itself, according to articles that were procured by Googling on the Internet, apparently arose in the fourteenth century, but it was strongly stamped in the human vocabulary in Italy during the historical period called the Renaissance by philosophers and historians.
The Renaissance is held to be the rebirth of human dignity, personal worth, scholarship, art, and invention following what the historians call the Middle Ages or the Dark Ages, when all of the qualities that I just named were believed to be suppressed by governments and religions. In this period of time—that is, the Renaissance—men felt free to express their intellectual skills in those areas that I just named to a greater extent than before. Thus, they were using their minds to explore, refine, and expand their knowledge, and lead others to do the same as they were doing.
What was literally taking place was an explosion of human reason, with little or nothing to guide or restrain it. This was the period of time of Leonardo DaVinci, Michelangelo, and Christopher Columbus. At its beginning, so did Copernicus and Galileo, and from many men of similar fame but from different professions rose a pattern of thought which they passed on then to others who influenced social life. It was the foundation of a lifestyle based entirely on human reason.
Listen to these definitions of humanism from wordnetweb.princeton.edu:
The cultural movement of the Renaissance based on classical studies; the doctrine emphasizing a person's capacity for self realization through reason; it rejects religion and the supernatural.
Humanism is a broad category of ethical philosophies that affirm the dignity and worth of all people, based on the ability to determine right and wrong by appealing to universal human qualities, particularly rationality, without resorting to the supernatural or alleged divine authority.
The historical revival of classical culture, notably during the Renaissance, circa the sixteenth century. An ethical system that centers on humans and their values, needs, interests, abilities, dignity and freedom, especially used for an alternative to religious values.
Humanism was the intellectual and cultural movement based on the recovery, interpretation, and imitation of Greek and Roman antiquity. It began in the fourteenth century and continued to flourish until the seventeenth, making an impact not only on scholarship but also on literature, art and science. What all these views have in common, however, is that they derive from the study of the classical past.
Did you notice that virtually every one of these brief descriptions of humanism contained a statement or inference showing the rejection of God, divine authority, or religion, and that the entire focus of the humanist is on human reason and human classical scholarship?
I think that we can certainly find humanism's roots in demonism. Jesus said Satan was a liar from the beginning. It was Satan who persuaded Adam and Eve to become the first humanists. They rejected God and His authority on the basis of Satan's lies. They reasoned that the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was good for food, so they chose to eat its fruit, and in so doing, they rejected life and chose death.
Proverbs 16:25 says,
Proverbs 16:25 There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.
Back to Wikipedia again. This is a little bit longer quote:
Since the nineteenth century [that is the 1800s], humanism has been associated with anti- clericalism [that means against religion or against churches]. This they inherited from the eighteenth century enlightenment [that is the 1700s]. Twenty-first century humanism tends to strongly endorse human rights [sounds pretty good so far, but hang on:], reproductive rights [that is a euphemism for abortion], gender equity [that is a euphemism for homosexuality, lesbianism, and feminism], social justice [that is a euphemism for same-sex marriage], redistribution of wealth, and separation of church and state [that is a euphemism for, "God, get out of my business."].
I think that you can readily and clearly see what is driving the cultural battles in this nation. The humanists are at war against God and His authority, and they are showing that enmity by doing everything they can to destroy His moral, ethical, and spiritual standards, and brethren, they are winning and doing it decisively. And it is painful for us to experience.
Because this is the time of the end, it is going to get worse because God has so decreed it will be this way when Christ returns to rescue us. Brethren, we are all like the little Dutch boy, bravely holding his finger in the leaking dike. But there are so many leaks, the evil tsunami cannot be restrained forever. And neither can God's wrath. So, we must be zealous in prayer, and do our part morally and ethically before God and His Son. That is what he requires of us while all this mess is building to the end.