Is this a post about a devious plot by politicians to separate us us from our children? No. Massive conspiracies are possible. Most of us can point to coordinated efforts by politicians and the news media to perpetuate some lie so that they set up, maintain or expand some sort of program designed to rip us off. We just don’t always agree who is lying.
So how does our government separate us from our children? This is not an easy thing to explain. If it was, then we would not put up with it. However, once someone points out what our government is doing, most people should be able to see the problem, if they want to do so.
Secular values sound okay, don’t they, but what exactly are secular values? The term secular is an adjective. In this case secular is an adjective that modifies the term values. The term secular modifies the term values so that secular values refer only to temporal or worldly values, values that have nothing to do with God. Instead of being revealed by God, we derive secular values from human reason.
The secular mind is better equipped than religion to reach reasoned and compassionate judgments. That was the argument of Ian McEwan at the Oxford Literary Festival this week. It should not be controversial. Religious belief resolves no moral problem and yields no knowledge. On the contrary, much suffering is caused by people who believe they know the will of God and have a duty to enforce it. (from here (secularism.org.uk))
The focus on man leads to the expression secular humanism, “a philosophy that usually rejects supernaturalism and stresses an individual’s dignity and worth and capacity for self-realization through reason” (from here).
Why do the secularists think their belief in man makes their belief superior? Let’s consider several quotes. First, what do secularists think is so great about human reason?
“Reason is the faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by man’s senses.” — Ayn Rand
“On the other hand, shake off all the fears & servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.” — Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Peter Carr (from here (reasonvsfaith.com))
What do secularists think is wrong with religion?
‘Faith’ designates blind acceptance of a certain ideational content, acceptance induced by feeling in the absence of evidence or proof.” — Leonard Peikoff (from here (reasonvsfaith.com))
Is there a problem with these quotes? Yes. They all begin with a misunderstanding of the nature of “faith.” The “faith” of some people may be blind, but Christian faith is not.
Faith, in the sense in which I am here using the word, is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods.” ― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (from here (goodreads.com))
We become Christians because of reason, not in spite of reason. On occasion, human beings do say they believe things just because they want to believe them. We do that to excuse behavior that does not rationally make any sense otherwise. However, faith as the Bible defines it requires experience. That is because Christianity is about forming a relationship with God, not merely a religion.
Classically, true knowledge of God necessarily entails the experiential. A man knows his wife well not just because he can rattle off a series of facts about her (even a stranger can do that), but because he’s deeply acquainted with her person on a day to day basis. Yet even so, there have been periods in the history of the church when true knowledge of God has given way to mere information about Him–a dead scholasticism of sorts. (from here (str.org))
The object is to become rightly related to God, to know God, not just to follow a set of religious rules. That cannot be accomplished with blind faith.
What is the difference between reasoning based upon faith in man and reasoning based upon faith in God? The secularist relies upon himself, his own point of view. The Christian strives to see himself and creation as God sees him, as God sees Creation. The difference is humility.
Humility is the attitude of the Christian that teaches us not to ” . . . think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment . . . ” (Rom. 12:3). It teaches us to prefer others over ourselves (Rom. 12:10). It is knowing our true position before God. It is not self-abasement or demeaning one’s self. “God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble,” (James 4:6). Humility is necessary to be a disciple of Jesus (Matt. 18:3-4). The humility of Jesus is described in Philippians 2:5-8, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death–even death on a cross!” (NIV). (from here (carm.org))
Why is humility so important? Christians believe wisdom is of God, not man (see The Wisdom of God (biblegateway.com)). Unless we become the servants of God, not men, we cannot form a right relationship with God. When we idolize man, if we put man –ourselves — before God. Then we cannot be reconciled with God and have peace with Him.
1 Corinthians 3:18-23 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise.19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness before God. For it is written, “He is the one who catches the wise in their craftiness”;20 and again, “The Lord knows the reasonings of the wise, that they are useless.” 21 So then let no one boast in men. For all things belong to you, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or things present or things to come; all things belong to you, 23 and you belong to Christ; and Christ belongs to God.
Because we have put government in charge of our schools, we have secularized the education of our children. Therefore, by default the government has taught our children secular values instead of Christian values. So it is that with each succeeding generation we have become more and more like the Pagans who crucified Jesus.
- What Does “Secular” Mean? (psychologytoday.com)
- How secular family values stack up (latimes.com)
- How Do Christian Ethics Differ. (reference.com)
- Humanism vs. Christianity: The Greatest Battle Of Our Times (thebible.net)
- Christian? or Secular Humanist? (aboundingjoy.com)
- The terrifying tilt of the youth vote (washingtontimes.com)
- America’s Most Important Battleground: Christian vs. Secular Education (chalcedon.edu)
- The case for a secular education system (michaelnugent.com)
- What Makes Christian Education Distinct (christianitytoday.com)
- General Secular Education (recoveringfromreligion.org)