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. —2 Corinthians 10:3-5
Young David was undeterred by the huge champion Goliath. Unlike
his fellow Israelites, he did not compare Goliath’s size and strength with his
own. He compared the strength of Goliath with his God. This comparison gave
David the courage to fight for the reputation of God.
The world of biblical parenting is full of modern day
Goliaths. The 21st century thinks it has little need of God. Many
attempt to redefine Christianity. Oprah Winfrey recently stated that she has
come to see her Christian faith as a faith of feeling rather than believing.
Experience and feeling are to be trusted; belief and objective truth are to be abandoned.
Humanism is a particular set of beliefs that, at its core,
is violently opposed to Christianity. These beliefs are spelled out in a set of
three proclamations known as the Humanist
Manifesto. You can check out these documents for yourself here. The first of these
documents was written in 1933. It contained 15 assertions. Here are two of
Fifth: Humanism asserts that the
nature of the universe depicted by modern science makes unacceptable any
supernatural or cosmic guarantees of human values…
Sixth: We are convinced that the
time has passed for theism, deism, modernism, and the several varieties of
Notice that the standards set by God in the Bible are deemed
unacceptable because the time for theism (a belief in God) has passed. The
impact of these beliefs has been slow but steady. Now, 75 years after the
signing of this document, most people in our society have embraced these tenets,
whether they realize it or not.
Significantly, John Dewey, the influential American educator,
was a signer on this first manifesto. Dewey’s impact on educational philosophy
is undeniable. As the ultimate pragmatist, he was not so much concerned with
absolute objective truth as he was with the discovery of where our experiences
would lead us. As Dewey’s vision has played out over the last 100 years, experiencing something has become more
important than believing something.
This is exactly what the apostle Paul warned about:
See to it that no one takes you
captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human
tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. —Colossians 2:8
So, what does this mean for parents who desire to raise
their children for the glory of God?
First, be aware that
this influence exists. When you see the impact of humanism, such as in the Californian
Supreme Court ruling which raises gay marriage to the level of heterosexual
marriage, point it out to your children. While we must be outraged at such
behavior of men, we must not follow the world in the way we are outraged. Paul
tells Timothy to gently instruct those who oppose him. Christians must be
dominated by compassion and grace towards those who oppose us. Paul says that
we do not wage warfare as the world does. We use different weapons—the more
powerful weapons of the Spirit.
What humanist Goliaths do you face?
The California ruling is but one example. Sometimes humanists Goliaths
present themselves in subtle, well meaning forms. Here
is an example that may be closer to home: fairness. Fairness is a
concept that flows more from humanism than from
biblical thought. The American Heritage
Dictionary defines fairness as “free from favoritism, self-interest, or
preference in judgment.” On the surface this sounds great. What could be better
than fairness? Actually, the obedience and joy of sacrificial service to others
for God’s glory is far better, even though such sacrifice often involves
“unfairness.” Christ on the cross was
not demonstrating fairness, but
Mommy, Caitlyn has been playing with the new doll and won’t let me play
at all. It’s my turn.
Caitlyn, Jessica is right. It is not fair for you to have the doll so
much of the time. From now on you can each have the doll for 15 minutes at a
time. Use the timer so that you know when to switch. You must learn to be fair.
Think about this exchange and what is missing from Mom’s
instruction. Look at Matthew 20:1-16 for the biblical perspective. I’ll get
back to this in an upcoming post.
In future posts we will take a closer look at some of the
Goliaths of humanism and how we should respond to them. In the meantime, feel
free to weigh in with your observations.