The news over the last few weeks of September was full of events with potentially major implications: the Pope’s visit to the US, Russia’s involvement in Syria, developments at the UN including the promotion of the Palestinian issue and even the last of the series of “blood” moons. But, here in Australia, two prominent news items during the first few days of October drew my attention and struck me as particularly significant. They were an anti-abortion “activist” from America denied entry to Australia while the other centred on all the hype surrounding the Australian Rules football finals.
So why does the denial of an anti-abortion “activist” to enter Australia strike me as significant? The answer is simply that Australia is supposed to be a democratic country where freedom of expression is valued. In this case the politically correct machine sprang into operation to deny the activist entry. On TV an MP from Labour’s ranks explained that the authorities had been alerted to deny the man entry because a mature and sensible debate on the issue of abortion has been held and she more or less implied that, not only was the matter settled, but further discussion or other points of view, were not in the country’s interest. A similar situation arose a few months back when someone from the US wanted to put forward an argument against some of the mandatory vaccinations given to babies and young children. In that instance the medical fraternity sprang into action and the person was denied entry to Australia.
What about the Australian footy finals? Certainly in the state of Victoria, where the game was invented, there was a great build up to the finals with other news virtually taking a back seat. There was even the ridiculous and unnecessary action by the state government in declaring Friday 2nd, the day before the game, a public holiday! Apart from disrupting business, one wonders how it was supposed to benefit the players or fans for the game the next day – let alone the whole state of Victoria!
These two events are undoubtedly a product of current humanistic thinking and its offshoot, political correctness.
What is humanism and where did it originate? My Little Oxford Dictionary answers the first part of the question by explaining that humanism is a “non-religious philosophy based on liberal human values”. I agree with the explanation that it is a philosophy based on liberal human values but challenge the idea that it is non-religious since it is clearly anti-God, especially our Judeo/Christian God, and has a “religious” life of its own. As to the second part of the question, we find that the origins of humanism, as we see it practised in the modern world today, can easily be traced back to the thoughts and practices of ancient Greece. So let us briefly look at some of the ideas put forward by those ancient philosophers and look at how their society behaved to see if any of it applies to us today. We will not only see that there are direct similarities between the two but will also get an idea of the future direction modern society is likely to take.
Firstly, the Greeks idolised the human mind. For instance, Aristotle’s concept of God was a perfect mind contemplating itself, because nothing less was worthy of its contemplation. Out of this the philosophy of rationalism developed: everything is rational but also relative so there is no absolute truth and man can do it his way. In order to enable people to function freely and without conflict the Greek philosophers came up with the idea of “democracy”. Today we see democracy promoted as the answer to a nation’s problems. It has been said of democracy that it is a bad system but is the best we have! Unfortunately modern democracy has developed further into the idea of a “collective will” which brokers no other points of view. It is also one controlled and manipulated by a few: as we see happening already. All of this of course opens the way for the appearance of a global dictator.
Next, and in addition to rationalism, was the emphasis on athletic contests, especially their games in Olympia, from which the modern Olympic Games are derived. The Greeks idolised athletic ability. I hardly need to point out the similarities we have today with the huge emphasis on sport: the most widely watched TV programmes are sports events, many of which are direct international events.
When it came to morality, the ancient Greeks were a pretty dissolute lot. The Greeks did not hold marriage in high regard. The relationship between a man and a woman was regarded as inferior to a homosexual relationship between two men which was seen to be more intellectually fulfilling. Even their art forms usually favoured the male body, often naked. Worse still, the Greek gods showed little in the way of moral guidance, displaying the basest of mankind’s failings: lust, immorality, vindictiveness, deception and more. And so mankind was left free to do his own thing and aspire to be his own god!
It is evident that ancient Greek thinking and practices have had an enormous influence on our society today and are everywhere evident in it where we see:
- An open and deliberate rejection of God’s righteous and moral laws.
- Carried to its ultimate conclusion humanism will believe anything but the truth.
- The exultation of man will make way for the Antichrist, whose name is the number of man (Rev 13:18), who proclaims himself as God.
- He (Antichrist) will have dominion over all who refuse the love of truth.
- For this reason God will send them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie.
In this situation, as Christians, we are outnumbered and seemingly unable to halt the breakdown of moral values in our society but we do have one mighty weapon; prayer. It is indeed a difficult time, often depressing, but we can take heart that we have God to turn to. There is no doubt that the situation is going to become considerably worse, and quickly, but I believe that we can come out victorious, not through our own strength but with God’s help and by remaining faithful to Him always seeking truth.
Chris, from our fellowship, has an interest in Bible prophecy and from time to time will share his views with us on current events and Bible prophecy.