When was the last time you heard someone say, “what in the world are you waiting for?” Deep down in the substrata of this little question lay the essence of all the problems that plague the Church and the world.
This phrase is a test of our allegiance. Is there something that anchors you to this world? Is there something you’re waiting for? I’m not concerned with the world right now; of course they’re waiting for something: more money, hit the lotto, hit their boss, a new house, a new car, a new computer, the latest action game, a girlfriend, a boyfriend, to change the world, or the world change them, Friday, payday, another day, any day, as long as it isn’t to-day? When they stop waiting for something, they’re probably pretty much at the end of their rope or the end of their life. Life for the world is mostly about waiting for something. Those people are linked to the world in a very materialistic way, waiting for it, the world, to deliver.
But, what about you, Christian man, Christian woman? I’m sorry, if you were found among those in the list above, would you please step to the other side of the aisle. When I say “you” I mean all of you who say you are not waiting for anything in this world, and that includes a paycheck. Now, let’s narrow the field a little further, by introducing another question, “why do you do the things you do?” This question needs to be asked because of the great delusion that has engulfed the Church. Have you sensed that something has crept into the lives of everyday Christians that doesn’t belong there, like an alien presence? Even writing this article can be a deception, thinking all-the-while that I am waging this important front line battle against Church corruption, when in reality it may be that, deep down, I’m just waiting for something. We have to force ourselves to face the facts. It is conceivable that I’m waiting to hit some home run piece that will win me a little recognition and applause, and it is conceivable that what you are doing, and waiting for, is something for your own glory, and not the Lord’s at all.
Let me be more direct. I’m talking about “humanism.” It is the trick that the flesh plays on us when we think we are doing something for the Lord. I know some of you are thinking, “I don’t have to read any further, because I don’t accept the philosophy of humanism.” The humanism I speak of is not that credo that some sign onto because it meshes so easily and conveniently with their worldview. It is not that way of life that we consciously agreed to as a consenting adult, but rather, it’s that template that was stamped into our nature because we are children of Adam and created in his likeness. It is not something extra that we brought into our life, but it is something that was there from the beginning, something we are commanded to get out of our lives. The Humanist Manifesto is basically justification, by the world, for humans to be and act like, humans. Whom do they justify this to, Christians, no, to themselves, to override that inner voice of conscience, that is saying that what they are doing is wrong? They certainly don’t have to justify it to Christians or anyone else; pray-tell, they need no justification, they couldn’t do otherwise.
Christians are not “Secular Humanist,” but they do have a human nature, and another nature, a Christ nature. Paul warned two thousand years ago of the compelling force that this “humanistic” nature would exert on our flesh. So, today we find that we are confronted with not only Secular Humanism but Christian humanism, in all of its self sanctifying glory, but it is humanism, all the same, it is still the rule and reign of Satan, through the desires of the flesh, lifted to an even higher position and enthroned in Christ’s stead. It is humanism alive and well within the Church. It is humanism clothed with the thin veneer of Christian words and symbols. Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom and individualism are compatible with the practice of Christianity and a natural part of its doctrine. It is a philosophical union of Christian and humanist principles. Christian humanist writings began to surface as early as the 2nd century, with the writings of Justin Martyr (100–165). While far from radical, Justin suggested a value in the achievements of Classical culture in his Apology. Christian humanism saw an explosion in the Renaissance, produced by an increased faith in the capabilities of man, combined with a firm and habitual devotion to Christianity. A grain of sand here, and a grain of sand there, has resulted in the mountain of humanism that exists in the Church today and threatens to crush the head of Christ and His body under the massive weight of organized, worldly, Christian worship. What does mere secular humanism have over Christian humanism? Mere humanism might value earthly existence as something worthy in itself, whereas Christian humanism would value such existence, so long as it was combined with the Christian faith and the door remain open for even greater blessings in eternity. Now Christianity had seemingly come to perfection with an abundance of worldly favor, and protection, and the afterlife too.
To make the discovery of “what in the world you are waiting for,” and “why you do what you do,” is to make the distinction between what is really Christian and what is Christian Humanism, and this is where the real test of whom or what you serve is found, and what kind of faith you have.
First of all we must come to the conclusion that there is no difference between the two types of humanism, but they are both the same, only with slightly different justifications, one for the earth only and the other for the earth plus eternity. But, they both have for their root the end that man will be served, not God. It only ends up that the Christian humanist tends to be somewhat more greedy and less honest, in his desire to, “get more out of life,” and a little self satisfaction, and to extend it forward for an indefinite period of time. Being a humanist with either a capital “H” or a small “h” makes no difference they are both symbolized, either officially or unofficially, by the “happy human” because the humanist, Christian or otherwise, believes that the chief end of man is his own happiness, and therein lies the truth of what it is you are waiting for and whom you serve.
We all have deep roots in the world, and time and again we are told to put off this world, and it’s freedom, and it’s desire, and it’s riches, and it’s illusions, and it’s “happiness,” and to bring forth fruit for the Kingdom, fruit that is not of this world. If the fruit that we are producing is the fruit of this world, then we need to know that the, “axe lies at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t bring forth good fruit is cut down, and cast into the fire” (Matt. 3:10). There is an old silly saying that has much wisdom hidden within, and it goes like this, “if it looks like a duck, and it walks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.” What we see in the Church today “looks like a duck,” if you get my drift. All the programs, marketing, personality profiling, people managing, money managing, architecture, bigness, and success, etc., etc., etc., look like the world. So why are we fooled? Because it makes us “happy,” and we want to be happy, don’t we, and that is what we are waiting for, and that is what identifies us with the world and not with Christ. The things of this world are not good fruit, but they do make us happy, in the here-and-now, so it must be what Jesus wants for us, right. My friends, Christian humanism is the kiss of death. We have been tricked by the master of tricksters himself and will discover that our “American (humanistic) Dream” is really a nightmare, and how shall we escape? The escape is not through the doorway of humanism, of any kind. Don’t you know that Satan is the king of humanism and all the promises of this world, and he says they’re worth the wait? Compared to what Jesus offers, while we’re walking through this world, humanism appears to be a real bargain. Is it any surprise that there will only be a remnant left, “As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out . . . ” Amos 3:12.
To identify what it is that you’re waiting for it is necessary to know what it is the world offers that is different from the offer of Christ. Today it is the job of the new Christian to find out the truth of the Christ nature on his/her own. The pulpit has failed to instruct believers on the proper Christ life. It is easy to see the life of the world, it surrounds us, it engulfs us, and it very likely is having a great influence in your daily walk.
There is a very good allegory by John Bunyan that describes the difference and the situation of Christian Humanism that plagues the Church today. I’m sure that nearly all Christians have read The Pilgrim’s Progress. John Bunyan knows whereof he speaks and has an uncanny insight into the human condition of all men and the struggle peculiar to Christians. In the following piece, from his book, Christian, the main character, is on a quest to reach the “Celestial City” and carries a terrible burden on his back that he longs to be rid of. Along the way he encounters many worldly characters, but two of these characters illustrate very nicely the attitude of today’s new crop of Christians, “Formalist” and “Hypocrisy.” These two came tumbling over the wall, as an entrance to the “Straight Way,” and born in the city of “Vain-Glory,” were going for Praise to Mount Zion when “Christian” encounters them and asked them concerning their entrance into the “Way,” and tells them that “he that cometh not in by the door, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber?” John 10:1.
FORM. AND HYP. They said, that to go to the gate for entrance was by all their countrymen counted too far about; and that therefore their usual way was to make a short cut of it, and to climb over the wall, as they had done.
CHR. But will it not be counted a trespass against the Lord of the city whither we are bound, thus to violate his revealed will?
FORM. AND HYP. They told him, that as for that, he needed not to trouble his head thereabout: for what they did they had custom for, and could produce, if need were, testimony that would witness it for more than a thousand years.
CHR. But, said Christian, will you stand a trial at law?
FORM. AND HYP. They told him, that custom, it being of so long standing as above a thousand years, would doubtless now be admitted as a thing legal by an impartial judge: and besides, said they, if we get into the way, what matter is it which way we get in? If we are in, we are in: thou art but in the way, who, as we perceive, came in at the gate; and we also are in the way, that came tumbling over the wall: wherein now is thy condition better than ours?
This is the offer of the world, and this is also the present day offering of the Church. But this is not the end of the story.
CHR. I walk by the rule of my Master: you walk by the rude working of your fancies. You are counted thieves already by the Lord of the way: therefore I doubt you will not be found true men at the end of the way. You come in by yourselves without his direction, and shall go out by yourselves without his mercy.
To this they made him but little answer; only they bid him look to himself. Then I saw that they went on, every man in his way, without much conference one with another, save that these two men told Christian, that as to laws and ordinances, they doubted not but that they should as conscientiously do them as he. Therefore, said they, we see not wherein thou differest from us, but by the coat that is on thy back, which was, as we understand, given thee by some of thy neighbors, to hide the shame of thy nakedness.
Today is the day of expedient Christianity. No need to mess with all that death and struggling stuff, that is all for the past, not for today. Today we are free to enter the “Way” however we see fit. The main thing is to get in, isn’t it? It doesn’t matter how you get there, as long as you get there. It is really not necessary to get defensive or intolerant, that all belongs to the old Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism of the past. Aren’t we all emerging, and seekers along life’s way? God doesn’t want us all bruised and battered when we get there, does He? World P.E.A.C.E. is more Pliable, more expedient, more “humane.” We needn’t go stumbling and tumbling over walls, we will build doorways, large and adequate, and plentiful and accommodating, we could even remove whole sections of wall or build elevators, and make the wall “handicap” accessible. There is absolutely no reason why everyone could not have equal access with the new relaxed, user-friendly, UN and OSHA approved safety standards. Yes, we will team up with the world and pull in the same direction, we will truly be a people united, to beat the restrictiveness of an archaic God who says it has to be His way or the highway; we will take the highway, and what a nice highway it will be.
Humanism is both the scourge of the age, and the drug of choice for today’s man and woman. You don’t have to look far to see the all-encompassing nature and effects of humanism in any aspect of life, and clearly it has captured the Church. Before you can recognize humanism in the Church, you must be able to recognize it in yourself. It is there, it is all around us, and unavoidable, but it must be detected. In all of my efforts to expose this nasty plague to the consciences of those who represent our Lord in these last days, there has not been one in a hundred who have openly acknowledged the seriousness of the problem in the Body of Christ, not even to mention their own lives. In most cases it has been vigorously denied or thrown back at me as one who has a vendetta against a particular person or the Church in general. I have no vendetta but I do have a calling, a calling to speak truth and to walk in that light. Truth is the one thing that will bring the healing we need so desperately, with our eyes focused hard on that One who was lifted up for us. Jesus is Truth, and He is healing, and He is truly Human and truly Spirit, and our only hope of escape and rescue is to cling to that rope of Faith, of Who He really is, and what He represents.
Many who are battling on the front lines of truth are beginning to be wounded. The tides are turning and real casualties will result. Be careful of how you entered into the “Way” and that you are not a common thief or robber. Be careful that it isn’t you, in your human nature, who will be on the wrong side, that you find yourself turning against truth instead of proclaiming truth. Examine yourself closely that you are not found to be only, at the end, a mere… “Human.”