Apostle Fianko Larbi

“Belief In God” Hinders “National Development”: Are Secular Humanists Right?

Overview of Secular Humanism

Secular humanism is a type of worldview. Worldview is the “lens” through which people see and interpret the world – seen and unseen – around them. The Christian Worldview is “Jesus Christ revealed in the Bible and glorified by the Holy Spirit is God, Savior and Lord over all creation”. As Christians we reflect on all issues of life through this worldview.

Each era in history has had a driving force on which the predominant worldview of the era thrives. There have been three eras to date; these include the pre-modern era, modern era, and post-modern.

Pre-modern era was up to 1800s – it was largely a wind of SUPERNATURALISM (FAITH); nearly everything was viewed from the angle of God and the supernatural. It was an era that gave a good environment for religion to thrive.

Modern era was from late 1800s to 1980s; it was an era of SCIENCE (FACTS); people began to do away with God and the supernatural; everything was viewed through science; life was all about reason, facts and logic; if something could not be proven scientifically, people would not hold it as truth. It was an era for lots of scientific discoveries.

Post-modern era is the era from 1980s to date; it is an era of SKEPTICISM (FREEDOM). It is an era where people can even doubt God and the supernatural and also doubt scientific findings. This is the era we find ourselves in, now. In this post-modern era, each person is to have their own set of truth and live by them; what is truth for you, may not be truth for another person. This is the era driving the predominant worldview of secular humanism.

Secular humanism mainly holds that, one must examine and discard religion and hold their own truth and seek their own happiness without harming others. The word “secular” means, the physical world as we see it whiles the word “humanism” means the happiness and pleasure of human being should be the purpose in all things; humans, not God, should be at the center of all aspects of life.

Thus, according to secular humanism, there is no God and no supernatural; all we have is what we see and how we can use all that we see through scientific means to reduce human pain and make humans happier. This means, as long as what you are doing breaks no law or harms no one, do it! Secular humanism says, enjoy your life for all you can, because “You Only Live Once” (YOLO). The symbol for secular humanism is the “Happy Human”.

Secular humanism positions human being as their own “god” to be served and made happy. Paul in 1st Corinthians 15:32 says, “…if there is no resurrection of the dead, then, let is live and eat for tomorrow we die”. Paul’s point is that, the hope of the reality of the resurrection is the reason Christians reject secular humanism; nothing more, nothing less. We believe, the resurrection (which I define as “heavenly realities replacing earthly things”) is the reason for our rejection of secular humanism and for our faith in Christ.

It is worth noting that, in principle, secular humanism began in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3) when Satan succeeded in convincing Eve to reject and ignore God, free herself from God’s commands and rather focus on fulfilling her won pleasures. At the core of secular humanism is the efforts to “free” people from what they call, the “control” of all organized social systems such as family, church, religion and the state.

Secular humanists, therefore, seeks to stand against religion (belief in God) of any shape and form especially in public life; if for nothing at all, to them, be religious in your private life but never in public, else, you will be discriminated against and cancelled. Secular humanists are political since they seek numbers to make their beliefs into laws so as to dominant the whole world in their dire desire to stand against the Almighty God and His Son, Jesus Christ. (I have an eschatological dimension to this aspect, but it is beyond the scope of this article).

Secular humanism is not just against Christianity, but against all forms of Christianity. However, their main target is Christianity because to them, Christians hold that there is only one way to salvation, namely Jesus Christ. Secular humanists therefore try to create enmity between Christians and other religious people in a “divide and rule manner” so as to dominate. For them, if they cannot do away with all religions at all, then there should be inter-religious factions then they come in with counterfeit unity approaches such as inter-faith movements.

Secular humanism holds that one does not need a God or belief in the supernatural external force in order to be virtuous; that, human beings are inherently good. Thus, secular humanism upholds many noble expressions in this world, such as cooperation, reason, education, science, humor, inquiry, democracy, compassion, tolerance, imagination, open debate, human rights and spirituality (connecting with one’s inner self through yoga, meditation etc.). According to secular humanism, vice or “sin” is only when you break national laws and/or prevent others from living to please their pleasure and happiness when they do not contradict any national law or global conventions. Hence if someone is chastised for say, having a side chic, secular humanists will ask, “Why are you against it? Does it contradict any law? Is it a crime? As long as they are happy, who am I to judge?”

As stated, this worldview further posits that humans can express all virtues without God. Christians believe that, we can be virtuous not based on the good in us but by the power of the Holy Spirit and with the sole purpose to glorifying Christ. It is important to note that secular humanism creates their own versions of Judaism and Christianity by taking away all the God factor and the supernatural from the bible. It might interest readers to know that since Thomas Fredrick in 1974, there has been secular humanistic chaplains in various universities in the West – notably, Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  In fact, we have to restate that, there are people who go to church and claim to be Christians and yet in their hearts, they deny the power of God and the supernatural; they even speak against “fellow Christians” who spend time to pray – even if, they are getting miraculous results and transformation.

Alice Bailey, one of the key proponents of secular humanism, who lived from 1880 to 1949 propounded a 10-point plan for the destruction of Judeo-Christian systems with the aim to establishing a New World Order through the spread of secular humanism ideologies on the wings of postmodernism. These 10-points are as follows:

  1. Take God and prayer out of the education system
  2. Reduce parental authority over the children
  3. Destroy the Judeo-Christian family structure or the traditional Christian family structure
  4. Make sex free and if sex is free, then make abortion legal and make it easy
  5. Make divorce easy and legal; free people from the concept of marriage for life
  6. Make homosexuality an alternative lifestyle
  7. Debase art; make it run mad through obscenity
  8. Use media to promote and change mindset
  9. Create interfaith movements so as to water down the exclusive claim of Christianity as the only way for salvation
  10. Get governments to make all these into laws and get the church to endorse these changes

The False of the Secular Humanist Postulation on the Link between Belief on God and Development of a Nation

As we stated earlier, as part of their broader agenda to stifle Christianity and the “God factor”, secular humanists often say that, nations develop better when they do not believe in God or in the supernatural. This postulation is falsehood, at least for two factual reasons as follows.

1. Nations who believe in God are the most developed: Human Development Index (HDI) is the indicator that tells us how developed a nation is; it measures health (long & healthy life); education (level of knowledge); and income (decent living). It is worth noting that, the top ten developed nations in the world as at now are Norway; Ireland; Switzerland; Hong Kong; Iceland; Germany; Sweden; Australia; The Netherlands; and Denmark. The average population of these nations who are Christians is 61.33% (that is above 50%) whiles their average HDI score of these ten nations is 95%. On the other hands, the bottom ten (least developed) nations are Eritrea; Mozambique; Burkina Faso; Sierra Leone; Mali; Burundi; South Sudan; Chad; CAR; and Niger. The average population of these nations who are Christians is 39.65% (that is below 50%) and their average HDI score of these ten nations is 45%. This shows that, contrary to secular humanistic postulation, high Christian population percentage is positively correlated or associated with development

2. Most Nobel Prize winners are Christians: Nobel Prize is given annually to people who distinguish themselves in science, advancement and development on the global scale. Since 1901, 65.4% of winners have been Christians; and 21.4% are Jews. This means 86.8% of Nobel Prize winners in science etc. since 1901 are from the Judeo-Christian stock

Christian Response to Secular Humanism

Finally, in this article, I wish to discuss some practical ways Christians can respond to the attacks of secular humanism on the Christian faith, in their sphere of life and to possess that sphere for Christ.

  1. Christians should know why they are Christians not just because their parents taught them or the church says so or because the bible say so. The scientific methodology for knowing God/Christ is to “Taste and See”. Christians should have REASON – catalogue of testimonies – that shows that, indeed they have tasted, tested, trusted and tried the Lord Jesus Christ and seen Him to be God, Savior and Lord who indeed redeems our hearts from bondage to sins, addictions, inordinate lusts & affections, shame, guilt, condemnation, witchcraft manipulation, anxiety, stress and fear of the unknown. Secular humanism has no solution to these existential challenges of humanity; the solution is only in a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ and we encounter Him through the study of the Word of God and sincere outpouring of the content of our hearts to Him in prayer.
  • Christians should know that, secular humanism is another anti-Christ “religion” seeking to enslave people with the pretense of giving them freedom. How does, living by the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life set one free? Never! Rather, it enslaves one into various forms of addictions to materialism and the ego leading to all forms of bondages, in the quest for “freedom” that is only a mirage outside of Christ. To this end, we need to see the double standard of secular humanism. Secular humanism stands against organized religion but secular humanism itself is an organized religion that has tenets, groups, rules etc. with the aim to promote sense of belonging as well. In American laws, secular humanism is considered a religion.
  • Christians should understand the global impact of Christianity on national development and use that to debunk the false postulation by secular humanists that, when a nation believes in God and the supernatural, they become least developed. At least, in this article, in the immediate paragraphs above, we have established two facts that debunks this notion. There are even more facts; not to talk about the impact of Christianity on healthcare, education and other sectors of various national economy for many years to date.
  • Christians respond to flood of secular humanism in the hearts of the unsaved through reaching out to engaged the unsaved through listening to their perspectives, intentional intercessory prayers, demonstrating the fruit and power of Christ in our space, sharing the gospel without manipulation or castigation of the “religious” positions of the unsaved and ensuring their discipleship by studying the Word of God with them, praying with them and responding to the issues in their hearts with the Word of God. It is the Holy Spirit who breaks down these worldview – strongholds, high things, arguments, and imaginations – that exalts itself against the knowledge of Christ, in the hearts of the unsaved when we respond in the godly ways discussed
  • Secular humanism thrives when Christians create a mutually-exclusive situation between Common Grace and Redemptive Grace. Common Grace involves all the physical resources God has given us on earth to make life on earth decent. Redemptive Grace is faith in Christ that brings about forgiveness of sins and the Holy Spirit into the heart of a person. Receiving Christ does not mean shutting our minds from critical thinking, innovation, creativity etc. so as to maximize Coon Grace. In fact, having the Holy Spirit rather should make us like “Bezalel and Oholiab” – people who are given to excellence, integrity and sincerity. Christians must demonstrate excellence in their spheres of influence to show that, the Holy Spirit living in us is the Spirit of Excellence. Building systems to maximize Common Grace is not opposed to digging deep in spirituality to maximize eternal life. The Holy Spirit has given us divine power to harness resources to build excellence whiles also enjoying eternal life (life in God’s presence for all eternity). On this note, we need to thank Chairman Eric Nyamekye and the Executive Council of the Church of Pentecost (CoP) for recognizing CoP members who excel in their fields at Opening Ceremony of every Council Meeting.

Concluding Remark

Let me conclude this article by saying that, secular humanism is not new; as we have discussed earlier, it started in principle from the Garden of Eden. There is no need to panic or be overwhelmed by secular humanism as a Christian. Secular humanism is like “Goliath” and “the Image in Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream” representing any ideology that stands against God and the Lord Jesus Christ. We have the power to bring down secular humanism with THE STONE – the Lord Jesus Christ!

As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell face down on the ground. So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him (1 Samuel 17:48-50, NIV).

In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces (Daniel 2:44-45, NIV).

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete (2 Corinthians 10:3-6, NIV).

Written by Aps S. K. Fianko-Larbi (Kenya National Head, The Church of Pentecost)

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