Is 2017 the Year for Humanism to Grow?

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Earlier this year an article appeared in The Washington Post titled, “Clergy Who Don’t Believe in Organized Religion? Humanists Think 2017 Is Their Time to Grow.” This article, appropriately written by a religion reporter, is all about the appeal of humanist “churches” for those who claim to be unreligious (though everyone is religious) and how they are likely to grow given the large numbers of those who describe themselves this way.

They say,

These clergy without a God say that their movement is poised to grow dramatically right now, as American young adults report a lack of religious belief in higher numbers than ever before, but also yearn for communal ties and a sense of mission in a tumultuous time.

So the solution, according to these clergy, is basically to host humanist churches which include singing, listening to sermons, and celebrating “God-free holidays” with the teaching focusing on humanism, “a belief in the power of humanity and the human spirit, without supernatural intervention.”

They’ve basically replaced faith in God and in his Word with faith in humanity and our supposed innate goodness (of course, such a goodness doesn’t exist—human hearts are wicked [Jeremiah 17:9] and we are slaves to sin [John 8:34] apart from Christ).

“Human goodness” will just disappoint because we aren’t good.

Humanists have faith—some will even admit that they do, and the US government has even acknowledged it—but their faith will only disappoint them. What they would call “human goodness” only exists because we bear the image of God (though it is now distorted by sin) and because of our God-given conscience, which convicts even the unbeliever. But “human goodness” will just disappoint because we aren’t good. And a quick survey of human history will powerfully demonstrate the evil that sinful mankind can and does routinely inflict on one another.

It should grieve us as Christians that these clergy have placed their faith in man. Their faith needs to be in the God-man, Jesus Christ, who took our penalty of death so that we can have new and everlasting life if we repent and put our faith and trust in him (John 3:16; Romans 10:9; 2 Corinthians 5:17). That’s the only message that offers hope for now and eternity—and it’s the message their congregations need to hear!

So is 2017 the year for humanist churches to grow? Possibly. But humanist churches won’t ultimately answer the desire that these young people have for community. These gatherings are leading people away from truth and toward an eternity of separation from God. Their longing will only be answered with communion with Christ and community through his body, the church. These young people are searching—and we have the answer!

I encourage you to be bold and intentional in offering these young people community. Have them over to your house, invite them to church, get involved in their lives, listen to their worries, answer their questions, and point them to Christ. Don’t let their search end with a humanist church that offers no hope! Point them toward the one who loved them enough to die for them, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our World Religions Conference this July is a great opportunity to learn how to share your faith with people who believe in religions such as secular humanism, Buddhism, Islam, and many others.

Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
Ken

This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.

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