Summer 2014: Humanism's Dead End
Author: Daniel Pel
Publish date:
Summary: Humanism's Dead End by Daniel Pel

It took me a while to find the right title for this article. Yet, finally, “Humanism’s Dead End” reflects what has been running through my mind over the last weeks.

It began with a sermon. While I can’t and would not want to judge the motives of the presenter that morning, I came away a bit concerned. I thought to myself that something was missing, or to be more precise, Someone was missing. The sermon contained some good ideas and prescriptions to good and moral living, but there was no mention of the real Source of power to live that new life. Christ was simply left out. The cross was not mentioned. The Gospel was absent.

Humanism’s Influence on the Church

To give him the benefit of the doubt, maybe the presenter thought everyone knew where our strength comes from. However, what concerns me is that Christianity in the 21st century has been heavily influenced by humanism. Humanism thinks it has the solutions for a world spinning out of control. Interpersonal moralistic behavior, while denying the existence and power of God, is humanism’s attempt to solve what we all see has gone wrong. God is just not necessary in humanism’s equation. The basic idea is that we can solve our problems.

Just walk into a bookstore and you will find lots of books about how we can do better, earn more money, lose weight, have a happier marriage, be successful, influence people, and the list goes on. The common thread in these books is that the power to do and be better resides in us. Just unleash your potential! Discover the real you! Find the keys to the abundant life! However, the keys do not include the Gospel in these self-help books.

The church is often influenced by the culture in which it exists. At times the Gospel has been reduced to self-help motivational speeches. Though these types of books and sermons might contain good ideas, they fall short when trust is put in human effort. With all the ingredients for a better life at our fingertips, we still lack the power to change.

Two Opposing Messages

What fascinates me with the Bible is that it is extremely accurate in its diagnosis of humanity. While humanism says, “follow your heart”, the Bible says, “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9). Not a very flattering diagnosis, but an accurate one. If we are truly honest with ourselves, we must admit the Bible’s description of the depravity of the human heart is correct. I guess the inspired words of the apostle Paul capture what we all go through at times:

For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do…For I know that in me (that is in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice (Romans 7:15, 18-19).

We need to come to the point where we acknowledge that something is fundamentally wrong with us. There is a vital power source that is lacking. We try and try and try to change, but all attempts are in vain. Again the words of Paul echo in our minds:

“O wretched man that I am!” (Romans 7:24)

As we gaze into the mirror of our lives, we realize that we cannot be the person we want to be. God’s ideal is, as it were, a million miles away. Yet the question Paul poses next contains the very key to set us free – free from sin, shame, condemnation, and humanism’s dead end. “Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24)

Want the Right Answer? Ask the Right Question.

You see, the question is not “What will deliver me?” or “Where do I find deliverance?” or “When will I find deliverance?” but rather “Who will deliver me?” Deliverance is not in some thing or some place or some time, but rather in some One! Paul does not leave us guessing who this is: “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25)

Humanism has a dead end because the source of power cannot be found in us. We must look beyond ourselves. We need to tap into an external power that comes from the One who created us and knows us better than we know ourselves. Humanism has led us to ask the wrong question: “What will deliver me?” We try to find the answer in all places and through all programs, but in the end the self-help well runs dry.

This is not just a problem we face in the 21st century. Back in the days of the prophet Jeremiah, God pinpointed the problem among His people. “For my people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns – broken cisterns that can hold no water” (Jeremiah 2:13).

It happened then, and it is happening again. This scenario has crystalized in recent history. It did not happen overnight. If we push the rewind button and go back to the mid-1800’s, we identify a worldview that became more and more prominent: Deism – the idea that God exists, but is somewhere far away. To make it simple: He lives upstairs and we are down here. Perhaps He now and then intervenes in human history, but that is it. You get the picture of an old man on a throne in the corner of the universe, now and then pulling the strings and influencing the events of our lives. But for the main part, He just does not seem to care.

Worldviews: The Domino Effect

At the point that Deism was at its height, it gave birth to another worldview: Darwinism. If God is so far away and not really involved with life down here, we might as well find an alternative explanation to the origin of life. The evolutionary theory, popularized by Darwin, spread across the globe. It gave birth to Atheism because now God, who was partially in the picture, can finally be removed all together. How convenient. But once the moral standard Giver is removed, who sets the standard? Yes, you guessed. Humanity does. And so, finally, a new worldview is born: Humanism. Since humans are the most developed species in the universe, all revolves around us. We have become the center of the universe, replacing God, our Creator.

There is no doubt in my mind that there is an enemy at work to bring about the domino effect of worldviews I just described. It has flooded our planet like a tsunami of destruction. It’s no doubt a masterpiece of deception, carefully designed to remove our confidence in our Savior Jesus Christ. And yet I am thrilled to say that it is a masterpiece of deception with a dead end! What can humanism give to the world? Good ideas? A plan of action? Ethical codes of behavior? Perhaps. But no power!

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way out of this dead end road. Ravi Zacharias, the Christian apologist, put it very succinctly: “Unless I understand the Cross, I cannot understand why my commitment to what is right must be precedence over what I prefer.”

Humanism has no moral standard outside of us and therefore, ultimately deals with preferences. The cross reveals that our preferences will not do. The death of Jesus reveals the enormous consequences of rebellion and disobedience against God's holy, unchangeable law, which is the moral standard outside of us. The cross was not just a good idea or merely an expression of self-sacrifice. It was necessary! God’s perfect law had been broken. The only consequence is death and we all fall under this condemnation. We have all sinned (Romans 3:23 and 6:23). There is no strength in us to live up to this law. Jesus came, lived a perfect life of obedience, died and paid the price of sin for us. He rose victorious to impart power to all who believe and trust in Him. “Therefore He is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).

Let these words sink in for a moment. He can save to the uttermost. He has the power to deliver us. If you find yourself in a dead end, there is a way out. Don’t believe the lie that there is another way. It saddens me to see Christians embrace the idea that all paths of spirituality lead to heaven. Before our very eyes we see a growing ecumenical movement bringing religions together. Unity is a word we hear over and over again. But unity without a platform of truth is another dead end. Ecumenism and humanism go hand in hand. There is an attempt to get along, but it involves a compromise of Biblical truth.

So what does it take to get out of the dead end of humanism? It does not take a worldview to repudiate a worldview. It takes men and women committed to God. The life of John the Baptist is such an example. It’s amazing how he suddenly appears on the scene with a Spirit-filled message, calling people to repentance. His call for revival and reformation challenged people to the core of their beings. And yet John had no recognized education, nor any political or religious authority. His authority was solely anchored in the divine call of God.

Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness” (Luke 3:1-2).

Seven great political and religious rulers are listed. Yet none of them were used by God to bring revival and reformation! The word of God came to John. One man. One task. We are only one person away from making a difference in world history. God does not look at positions, political or religious, when choosing His servants. In a world where politics and religion had taken a wrong turn, John stood up, empowered by the One he announced as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).

The Only Solution to Humanism’s Dead End: The True Power Source

Here we are in the end of time. Jesus is soon coming back a second time, as He promised. I truly believe that the world is not waiting for a new definition of Christianity, but for a new demonstration of it! God is looking for a generation of men and women empowered like John the Baptist. This is how Christianity started and this is how it will end. The apostles of the first century were very clear about what they believed. Peter said, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). No other name! Jesus is the only way.

If you are facing humanism’s dead end, it is high time to take a drastic turn into the only way of true power and lasting happiness. It’s the way of the Gospel.

Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the son of the living God (John 6:68-69).

Science Deceptions
Media Deceptions
Spiritual Deceptions
A Basis for Conflict
Is there evidence for Creation science? How does it compare to evolution? The following articles give insight in to these questions and more.
Conforming Under Pressure Evolution Is Not Science—It's Religion How Can We See Stars That Are Billions Of Light Years Away? Creation and Evolution: Is Compromise Possible? Understanding the Creation Week Geocentricity: It's Time to Face the Facts The Rise of Evolutionary Thinking Earth's History: Conflicting Paradigms Lamarck Proposes Natural Selection Where did the Universe Come From? Evidence for a Young Universe Age Of The Earth Is Carbon-Dating Accurate? Flood Chronology
Evidence in Stone
Can we understand the age of the earth by the rocks? What theory does the evidence support?
Soft Rock Evidence for Rapid Washout
The Fossil Record
What does the fossil record show us? Is it all random or a defined science that we can understand? Where does evolution fit? Uncover mysteries in the history of the Earth.
Evolutionary Sequences Order in the Fossil Record Evolution of the Horse Explosive Evolution Fossils prove a Flood Fossil Footprints Dinosaurs and the Flood Petrified Trees The Biblical Flood Reasons For Extinction Fossil Reefs The Post-Flood World Human Evolution
Genes of Genesis
As we study the genome, the molecule, and the atom, we see a vast network of intricate systems beyond our understanding. Were these systems really formed by chance?
Why So Many Species - Glossary Is the Gastraea Hypothesis Viable? Mechanisms For Variation Built-in Variation in the Gene Pool Answering Questions "Species" versus "Kind" Molecules That Began Life Creating Life in a Test Tube? Post-Flood Distribution Natural Selection Reproductive Exchange Natural Selection as a Creative Force Transposable Elements Recombination of Chromosomes The Evidence of Things Not Seen Ernst Haeckel's Theories Dinosaur Extinction and Global Catastrophe Jesus Christ—All Things Become New Variation and Classification Evolution: Miracle of Miracles Why So Many Species? Is The Grand Canyon Proof of Noah's Flood? Spiders and the Creative Genius of God Things That Negate Evolution: Snake Legs Wrong Assumptions in C-14 Dating Methods Rapid Cave Formation The Australian Problem Synesthesia: Mystery of God’s Creation
Creation to Restoration
How did this world change from the perfection depicted in Genesis to a world full of thorns, thistles, parasites, and death? If God made everything perfect, how could it have all been so changed?
A Good World Gone Bad An Imperfect Planet Evidence For Design Evidence For Transformation Rapid Transformation Clean and Unclean: The History of the Human Diet The Dawn Chorus and Life Forces
Archaeology and the Bible
Archaeology and prophecy have proven the Bible to be true. But what's so special about the Bible that makes it a point of so much controversy?
Archaeology Confirms the Bible Tyre and the Bible Petra and the Bible Egypt and the Bible Babylon and the Bible The Lost Books of the Bible
Crossing Musical Boundaries
Music is a powerful emotional motivator that crosses cultural and language barriers. Its message can be understood by every culture and people across the planet.
The Philosophers Talk Music Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Christianity The Pursuit of Pleasure Music and Worship The Beat Whose Music? The Rave Can You Feel the Music? The Bible and Rock Music: Are they Compatible? The Last Great Contest – Worship The Ear Classical Music Therapy Music and the Frontal Lobe From the Horse's Mouth: The Rock Industry Condemns Itself
Hollywood and the Movies
What is the system of worship found most often in our society? Does it glorify God?
Hollywood's History Gnostic Themes in the Movies Hollywood and Gnosticism
Brain Closed—Please Come Again
Research has shown that our sensitivity to stimuli reduces itself yearly by about 1%. Is your brain hibernating?
The Dangers of Television
Beware of the television's abilities to hypnotize, alter moods, and even cause depression.
Violence and Video Games
Like music and movies, video games are addictive and can cause behavioral problems.
The Origins of Halloween
What is the origin behind this popular festival celebrated every October 31?
Introduction to the Reformation
What started the Protestant Reformation? Was the Reformation a success? Does it still matter today?
The Pope Claims to be God on Earth
Read proof that throughout the Roman Church's history, the Papacy has often claimed that the Pope is divine.
The Bloody History of Papal Rome - A Timeline
The oppression of Protestants is widespread and consistent throughout history.
The Bloody History of Papal Rome - Quotes
It was once written in America's oldest Catholic newspaper, the Boston Pilot, that "No good government can exist without religion, and there can be no religion without an Inquisition, which is wisely designed for the promotion and protection of the true faith.”

Read several authors' thoughts on papal Rome's history.
Catholic Councils
What happened at the Council of Trent? The First Vatican Council The Second Vatican Council
The Jesuits
Learn what people throughout history have had to say on the reputation, history, and political nature of the Jesuit Order.
An Introduction to the Jesuits Jesuits and the Hippie Movement Ignatius of Loyola and Martin Luther "Caring" and a New Morality Ignatius' Spiritual Exercises Ignatius Loyola and Spiritual Formation Protestantism Destroyed The Jesuit Superior General
Cross and Crown
This book "Cross and Crown" is a powerful and thrilling recital of the most romantic and dramatic incidents in history to be found on record, told in the simplest, most graphic, and entertaining form.
The Aggressive Intentions of the Papacy
The historian Ranke says this about Protestant-Catholic relations: "In the year 1617, everything betokened a decisive conflict between them. The Catholic party appears to have felt itself the superior. At all events it was the first to take up arms."

This article highlights quotes from historical and Catholic sources proving the Papacy's aggressive nature.
Christianity and Violence
Would the world be a safer place without Christian fundamentalism?
Stories of the Reformation
Dive into history to uncover the remarkable stories of faith and passion in early Protestantism.
An Italian mystic. A minister to a British king. An Augustine monk. A Swiss farmer's boy. What do these men have in common? They were used by God in powerful ways to bring about the Protestant Reformation. Enter into the lives of these ordinary people with extraordinary stories.
Inspiration for these articles comes from Gideon and Hilda Hagstoz' Heroes of the Reformation
Philipp Melanchthon John Laski Jerome of Prague John Wycliffe Louis De Berquin Gaspard De Coligny
Religious Doublespeak
Language can be used to communicate both truth and lies. Learn about the religious doublespeak being used to pull the wool over the eyes of the world.
Hegelian Thinking and World Politics
Hegelian dialectic thinking is applied in many situations in world politics. Often the ordinary people are used as pawns in the game of Hegelian psychology played by those who pull the strings of world control.
The Great Controversy
Read this classic work by Ellen G. White.
The Destruction of Jerusalem Persecution in the First Centuries An Era of Spiritual Darkness The Waldenses John Wycliffe Huss and Jerome Luther's Separation From Rome Luther Before the Diet The Swiss Reformer Progress of Reform in Germany Protest of the Princes The French Reformation The Netherlands and Scandinavia Later English Reformers The Bible and the French Revolution The Pilgrim Fathers Heralds of the Morning An American Reformer Light Through Darkness A Great Religious Awakening A Warning Rejected Prophecies Fulfilled What is the Sanctuary? In the Holy of Holies God's Law Immutable A Work of Reform Modern Revivals Facing Life's Record The Origin of Evil Enmity Between Man and Satan Agency of Evil Spirits Snares of Satan The First Great Deception Can Our Dead Speak to Us? Liberty of Conscience Threatened The Impending Conflict The Scriptures a Safeguard The Final Warning The Time of Trouble God's People Delivered Desolation of the Earth The Controversy Ended
Who is Jesus?
Is Jesus really who He says He is?
Did Jesus Ever Exist? Was Jesus the Messiah? Is What Christianity Teaches True? The Godhead and the One True God Movement Is Jesus God? Jesus: The Mercy Seat Why Did Jesus Have To Die? Six Purposes for Christ's Life and Death on Earth What Day Did Jesus Die? The 70-Week Prophecy Jesus, the Recycled Redeemer Names of Christ in Revelation
How will Christ return, and what will it mean for His people?
The First Beast—Comparing Daniel 7 and Revelation 13 Revelation Identifies End-Time Babylon The Second Beast of Revelation 13 Identifying the Antichrist The Final Confederacy Walking Through Daniel The Seven Plagues Walking through Revelation
Religious Trends
What are the trends in the religious world today? Sun Worship, The UN and the One World Religion, Eastern Mysticism and Spiritism... Just what do all these things mean in light of Bible prophecy?
Babylonian Religion Sun Worship The Charismatic Movement Politics and the Papacy Paganism and Mary Wealth Redistribution Spiritism throughout Religions Catholic Pentecostalism Unity at All Cost? Sustainability Pentecostalism The Charismatic Movement and Spiritual Gifts Paganism and Christmas Manifesting the Charismatic Spirit The New Age Movement Paganism in our Culture The United Nations' Global Government The History of Tongues Secret Societies Revival and the "Power of God" Signs and Wonders What’s So Bad about Spiritual Formation? Zionism
Most people can understand the reasoning behind nine of the Ten Commandments—don't kill, don't lie, don't steal. But what about the Sabbath Commandment? Why would God give such a law? Why should we follow it?
What is the Seventh-Day Sabbath? Creation and the Sabbath The Weekly Cycle Why Sunday? Sabbath FAQ
The Second Coming of Christ
How will Christ return, and what will it mean for His people?
Signs of The Second Coming of Christ The Second Coming of Christ Viewpoints How Christ will Return What will Happen to God's People? What will Happen to the Rejecters of God? Will there be a Secret Rapture? The Millennium of Peace
The Bible
Can the Bible be trusted to provide answers to our questions? Does it contain truth? Learn about the evidence that proves the Bible's authenticity.
Archaeology Confirms the Bible Choosing the Books of the Bible Studying Scripture Scripture is Inspired by God Testing the Gospel of Thomas Testing the Gospel of Judas The Spirit in Scripture The Lost Books of the Bible The Gospel Story Spiritual Gifts
Christian Living: Sin and Salvation
Consider the crucial points of the Christian life.
Christian Living Good God, Bad World. Why? God's Plan to Eradicate Sin Salvation By Faith The Ceremonial Feasts Pointed to Christ
Is there more to death than the fact that it is the opposite of life? What are the false doctrines involving the immortality of the soul?
Death: Understanding the Terminology A Biblical Understanding of Death The Resurrection of Lazarus Spiritism Hell and Purgatory An Immediate Afterlife? The Parable of Lazarus