Humanism & Existentialism; The New World Bible
Because we are all living in the 21st Century, we must at least have an understanding of the mind of the 21st Century man today.
Not suggesting as well that we all think alike. Far from it. I appreciate that God gave us all individual minds of our own to think for ourselves.
When I was still growing up in my early twenties, I remember having random debates with friends on several issues.
We debated on topics that touched on sexuality, social behaviours, governments and power, as well as religion. Questions like: which was the right religion, was it acceptable to have homosexual relationships? enthralled me to be honest. Because I delighted to brainstorm on them.
Though, I had the mind of the average 21st Century man (of which, I am not suggesting it to be unscholarly or simplistic), but rather the mind and reasoning that sought to be more inclusive of everybody.
If maybe some of my friends held to rigid opinions, and said for instance, that Muslims had the right religion, or Christians had the right religion, or Buddhists had the right religion; I was always on the opposing side, wondering why they left ¾ or ½ or ¼ of the world population out of their reasonings.
The same argument would apply to topics on same sex relationships. I believed that every person had the right to love whomever they desired without being ostracized by the community, or made to feel as though there was something wrong with them. I would argue that God loved us all equally, and we had no business passing judgement on other people based on religion, gender, ethnicity and race, or sexuality; perceiving that a certain group was more accepted than another.
Now, some of you are probably reading this and thinking, “spot on!”
But when I later began to interrogate this line of reasoning, the foundation began to crack. It seemed that I was resting my arguments on an unsubstantiated surface. Agreeing to the fact that discrimination was wrong regardless of whoever was concerned, my stating that issues that touched on sexuality, leadership, social etiquettes, and religion was based on one’s own view; was ambiguous and without support.
Think of it this way, since I was arguing that the Muslim was right, the Buddhist was right, the Christian was right, the Jew was right, typically everybody was right. Then, this made truth relative.
If the Buddhists believed that following the eightfold path was the correct way to attain the infinite or to reach God, then, they were right. And if the Christians believed that Jesus was the right way to reach God, they were right too. Therefore, if the Satanists believed as well that the worship of Satan was the right way to reach God, they were right also.
Since according to my argument, the truth was relative and reality was subjective, I could not later come and say to the Satanist, “wait a minute here pal! Your way is wrong! The Muslim and the Christian way are better or somewhat more acceptable than what you believe.” This would make my whole argument a sham. If I accepted all the other religions and rejected the Satanist, I was contradicting myself. The Satanist, had as much right to believe in what he believed and I had no business telling him his way was wrong.
Same to those who were in same sex relationships. If they were right to love whomever they wanted, I had no prerogative refuting a union between an eighty-year-old man who desired to marry a twelve-year-old girl, or even the persons who desired to bind themselves into multiple marriage contracts.
What was right or wrong according to me, was based on my own standard of morality and what was right or wrong according to somebody else, was also based on their own standard of morality.
The truth, according to my argument was based on relativism and humanism.
This then, became scary because, if there were no moral absolutes and right and wrong were relative, then what kind of society or community were we living in?
The most unfortunate thing is that this is how most people today argue in the quest to become more inclusive and tolerable of other people’s views and practices —that there are no moral absolutes and there is definitely no absolute truth, and that, all of life is relative according to each person’s view of right and wrong —
Defining relativism: it is the idea that states that points of view have no absolute truth or validity. They only have relative, subjective value according to view point and circumstances – Wikipedia.
Now, the reason I said this is scary is because, if this is so, then whatever Hitler, Iddi Amin Dada, the Spanish inquisitors, the Christian crusaders, Stalin, and the 9-11 radical Muslims did in history was right. Because according to them, they were carrying out their causes which they believed to be right and moral. Therefore, as a world embracing relativism in huge numbers, we had no place to express disagreement.
Yet, this is what is being taught in most of our education institutions today — Darwinism, Friedrich Nietzsche philosophies of truth, Descartes, Jean-Paul Sartre, Machiavellian philosophy, Marxism, and several other great thinkers — or so they are called by the world. Yes, many having contributed a great deal to their respective fields of study, their philosophical ideas have nonetheless left a bigger dent in the society’s fabric than have helped to repair it. Hence the reason why a higher percentage of educated people today would, and do, base their arguments on such sensitive issues like: the sanctity of the life of a fetus, the existence of a creator, gender, sexuality, etc on atheistic grounds, just as I myself did.
So, what exactly is going wrong?
Most education institutions for the past decades have ceased to value truth and morality and have shifted towards numbers, that is, to enrol as many students as possible as they instil this kinds of teachings. As for truth and morality, what does it matter to them? Teachings on morals and truth have been left to parents and guardians. Yet the youth spend more time in schools and universities than they do at home.
Parents who sometimes work everyday from morning to evening, who barely have time for themselves let alone their children.
Who being extremely proud of their educated children when they acquire their degrees, masters, and doctorates; have no idea the type of dangerous philosophies their children have amassed.
So with this result, what is to stop thousands and thousands of young people in high schools and the universities today, from embracing relativism and existentialism (a philosophy that presents itself as radical atheism), as a way of life? What is hindering them from practicing sexual immoralities, drug abuse, cultism, political thuggery, armed robbery, vandalism, kidnaping for ransom and such like things if these are the principles they are being taught in school? Since the truth is relative, why can’t they do whatever they think to be right or wrong according to their own view?
Then we wonder: where our children pick up foul language from, noting they come home directly from school, why crime levels are at a new high, why sexually transmitted diseases are skyrocketing, why shootings, murders and killings are rampant in the society, and why the number of suicide cases are largely among the youth today— some even barely teenagehood.
No red flags are being raised to show the detrimental effects of these teachings. There is nobody to guide young people now on what is right or wrong, and there is no moral standard to look to, not just for the youth, but the society as a whole. And when those lights of the world dare to teach children the truth, they find themselves under the gun (so to speak).
Our children and youth have been left to the mercy and the grace of God.
Now, having reached this point— falling for anything — I began to reflect on my arguments those past years. I reasoned that there had to be an absolute moral standard that man could refer to for the sake of humanity’s perpetuation — one that could prevent us from turning into a self-destructive society.
A standard that valued all life regardless.
And if there existed a moral absolute, how then could I be certain that it was the Muslim one, or the Sikh one, or the Buddhist one? Who could I approach or which religion could lead me to this moral absolute?
Having a bias towards people and religions, I was now left to cry out to God (whoever He was), to reveal Himself and show me the truth.
Now, on the blog post I wrote on the dangers of blind religion, we discovered that it was possible for man to misrepresent God and distort His word and His laws and turn them into religious rituals and traditions. But we also saw that despite this error, His laws and His Word have never changed.
His Word, was, is, and, ever will be— truth.
I also pointed out on the evidence for faith in Jesus Christ. The only person to ever speak on, teach about, and live an absolutely perfect and moral life. You can follow the link of the post here.
He taught the highest standard of morality in the sermon on the mount, found in Matthew 5. The whole sermon taught that all men had to be perfect. Quoting parts of Matthew 5,
“Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away…. If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell…. Do not resist an evil person, but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you… —Therefore, be perfect just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”—
This, was how Jesus said we should live.
And I can tell you for free that I have never achieved it, never met somebody who has, or heard of somebody who has aside from Jesus Himself.
So, there did indeed exist a moral standard. God’s laws were the absolute moral standard, and Jesus being in the form of God, lived them out without violating any of them.
What about an absolute truth? Did it exist?
Opposing the humanist view of the world, that all things are relative, Jesus said, the truth, was absolute. It was not according to one’s own views, but rather, was extremely narrow.
And it was Him.
By making this statement, He offended many who desired to be holistic or existentialistic.
When Jesus said, I am the truth; He did not just mean that His teachings were true. This statement declared that if there ever existed anything that was true, He embodied it as a person. He was the truth. And those who found the truth (being Him), found the meaning of life.
This meant that anybody who desired to have a meaningful life on earth, or desired to receive eternal life, had to come to, and through, Jesus Christ. He cut off every other religion and philosophical view of truth when He said, I am the truth.
And as I said, many people having embraced relativism today are doing so to be inclusive of all religions, people’s cultures, backgrounds, viewpoints, LGBTQ community, and so forth, that the lines are no longer just blurred, but have been totally erased.
And any attempts to stand up for truth, one is viewed as intolerant, ignorant, backward, aged, and unlearned.
But the truth has never changed.
If some things have been a sin since the creation of man, therefore, even today, they are still sin.
The truth, thus, is absolute.
20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, And prudent in their own sight!
22 Woe to men mighty at drinking wine, Woe to men valiant for mixing intoxicating drink,
23 Who justify the wicked for a bribe, And take away justice from the righteous man!
24 Therefore, as the fire devours the stubble, And the flame consumes the chaff, So their root will be as rottenness, And their blossom will ascend like dust; Because they have rejected the law of the Lord of hosts, And despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.
Jesus too, did not at all imply that those who did not agree with Him as being the embodiment of absolute truth, that is, those who followed other religions or lived lives that came short of this moral standard were unworthy.
Rather, He extended a branch of forgiveness, grace, and mercy; inviting all who were willing to receive Him, not by coercion, but by free will. He invited everyone who like me, tried to be the lord of their lives (that is, having the view that I am right, you are right, no one is wrong really.)
Though, He did definitely indicate that every single person who ever lived or would ever live was in a sense dead without Him. He said, He was the giver of life and without Him, there was no life.
35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
36 But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe.
37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.
40 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
47 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.
48 I am the bread of life.
He also promised the Holy Spirit to all who would receive Him (Whom He sent to the world after His death, resurrection, and ascension).
The Holy Spirit would bare witness of Him, and through conviction of sin, righteousness, and judgement give all God’s children the power to live a life everyday that upheld this moral standard. And we would all be perfected and be like Him at His coming.
And no, these are not fables or fairy tales!
God’s laws are engraved in all our hearts, whether we follow Christ or not. He has inscribed a moral code in our DNA so that when violated, our consciences convict us. And this conviction makes us cry out, seeking to be forgiven and to find restitution; which only Jesus can grant freely.
But we must humble ourselves and repent of evil, seek peace with aggrieved persons, and ask God’s forgiveness.
A continuous violation of God’s laws ultimately deadens the conscience and as a result, one is not able to hear that still small voice of God, calling him to repentance and encouraging him to uphold His laws. This in turn, leads to deadly evils, not just to self, but also the society as a whole.
And are we not seeing this in the news every single day? Man striving to eject God and His laws out of his life, in order to live a life only accountable to himself?
God’s laws are not inhibiting. In fact, they grant us more freedom than we could ever imagine.
Paul talked about his freedom in Christ saying, “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” 1 Corinthians 6:12
People tend to think that God is too uptight, limiting their “fun”, wanting them to spend their lives wearing long clothing, singing hymnals, and being overly righteous that even others can tell how pious they are.
Yet, if only we knew that God’s laws are not about limiting our freedom but granting us that freedom.
I think we acquire an extremely poor perception of God as we grow up, possibly drawing our conclusions from how older generations have related with Him, as we imagine Him to be some sort of strict grandfather figure who never wants us to even look at that forbidden fruit.
Yet, that forbidden fruit shows us the greatest extent of a loving father, whereby, He desires to relate with His children not by coercion, but by free will. Letting us choose for ourselves whether to obey or disobey Him, having lovingly warned us of the consequences of eating of the fruit.
That to me, is love.
Extremely contrary to the one who rules this world and how he treats those who have made an allegiance with him.
The laws of this world, (which are the laws of satan), are the ones that enslave us, coerce us, leave us destroyed and wounded. The devil desires that we stay enslaved through coercions, pharisaical religious piety, relativism, atheism, ecumenism, existentialism and many other deceptions he is able to use. He tries to convince mankind that following Jesus is religious and makes one look like Jack the dull boy who never likes to come out and play.
But let me tell you what true freedom is;
True freedom is being enticed by the lusts of this world, and having the power to say no. Making the choice that your life will not be a slave to this world and the things of this world, but to God; who offers love, friendship, and forgiveness freely on the cross.
Therefore, as people who love God and choose to live for God, we must stand for truth and speak the truth, even if it costs us friendships, family, money, world accolades and popularity. We must stand up for Jesus Christ, who is the truth for ever more.
We cannot afford to rule God out of our schools, our communities, our nations, and our individual lives. Because the end-result is catastrophic and a decayed society. And history has been extremely generous to remind us of this, when men who have had no moral guide or compass have disregarded human life and committed atrocities by the droves without any conscience or remorse.
Jesus said, the thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. But I come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.