Quest for Truth 128 Secular, What in the World is it?

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After reading a brief devotional series a few months earlier, based on the now released book: The Secret Battle Of Ideas About God, Keith takes his own look at one worldview mentioned in it. By the way, we don’t get any kick backs, ,or support from this product. But we think it’s well worth checking out.

In his book, Dr. Jeff Myers defines 5 worldview’s in conflict with Christianity. Briefly, they are:

  • Secularism. Life is about control.
    • We can use our intelligence to harness evolution and make life turn out the way we want.
    • Demands only what we think best serves us during our lifetimes.
  • Marxism. Life is about capital.
    • Proposes that the bad condition of the poor, is due to exploitation by the rich.
    • Demands a forcible overthrow of all existing social structures: government, the economy, religion, and family.
  • Postmodernism. Life is about context.
    • There is no absolute truth, only the relative truth we experience ourselves.
    • We create our own reality. What’s right for you may not be right for me, and vise versa.
    • The tricks of religion and science to rule our lives need to be exposed.
  • New spirituality. Life is about consciousness.
    • At the core of reality is a higher consciousness, a force that some people call “god.”
    • Spirituality isn’t just a thing; it is the only thing.
    • Recommends spiritual practices that make people feel at one with the universe.
  • Islam. Life is about conquering.
    • Humanity has a need to unite around sincere worship of one God: Allah,
    • Considering itself to be the one true religion, Islam teaches that we all are born Muslim. Disbelief must be conquered through jihad.

From Amazon: About the Author

Over the last twenty years, Dr. Jeff Myers has become one of America’s most respected authorities on Christian worldview, apologetics, and youth leadership development. He is the author of several books and the president of Summit Ministries.
In his appearances on the FOX News channel and on various TV programs, Dr. Myers offers humor and insight from a Christian worldview. He holds a doctor of philosophy degree and teaches leadership courses through College Plus and Belhaven University. Dr. Myers and his family live in Colorado.

Political

Secular Worldview, from National Secular Society

Characterized by 2 traits.

  1. Separation of church and state protects both religious and non-religious people.
  2. All people groups are equal in civil rights matters. While protecting religion, protects a citizens freedom from religion.
  • Believes in equal access to public services.
  • Protects free speech.
  • Neither theist or atheist, instead, considers itself to be a framework for democratic government.

Comments: As a political ideal, it sounds good, and neutral, but there’s a lot not touched on with this simple overview. It has worked well enough in the USA for most of its history, but only when government stays out of religious affairs, and relies on religious institutions to be the standard of morality. If it truly is a fair system to all sides , religious groups would not be pressured to cave in to cultural shifts.

Definition

Miriam Webster Definition of secularism

indifference to or rejection or exclusion of religion and religious considerations

Practice

From an article on ask.com

The author of this answer seems to hold to a religious viewpoint, but makes the claims:

  • Secularism believes that man does not need God.
  • Strives towards total elimination of religion from society , making morality worldly and unspiritual.
  • Secular humanism claims No objective or absolute truth of right and wrong.
  • Man is the measure of all things. Man determines right and wrong, based on the culture, not God. No man can determine what morality is, what is considered good changes with the culture.
  • The secular person is tolerant of diversity, but is intolerant of those who claim morality based on God and the Bible.
  • There are no limits, no values, no real standards. If it feels good, do it.
  • Marriage is disparaged, morality mocked, and human life is devalued.
  • Religion is a relic of the past.

The author ends with a word of warning to churches regarding how secularism affects those in the congregation, and how it corrupts the dynamic of sound bible teaching. Members are accommodated, not disciplined.

Comments: Again, the definition of keeping church and state separate, as well as the basic definition are repeated. However, some practical agendas that secularism promotes are described. Not to allow religion, but to move to get rid of it. If no one can define a moral code, then how can governments do it? If the individual is the source of their own morals, and decide to not associate with any group who sets a moral standard, then how can any person or group set a standard? Dangerous ground. Churches… you have the right to stick to the standard of the Bible. It’s fine to judge or discipline those within the church using biblical standards. Leave the rest for God to deal with.

More Concepts

Secularism – Wikipedia

Secularism truth claim. Doesn’t dispute the truth in Christianity, but claims other legitimate sources of truth can be found outside it. Life truths that can be proven by life experience.

Hard secularism. Faith is not legitimate, because there is no rational basis.
Soft secularism. Absolute truth is unattainable, therefor skepticism and tolerance should be the over riding values in scientific, religious, or moral discussion.

Secular government, besides the idea of separation of church and state, moves away from laws based directly on scripture, and no official state religion. Eliminates discrimination based on religion. It also keeps government from tampering in religious matters.

Abortion, contraception, same sex marriage, and sex education are of interest to the secularist.

On neutrality, the secular person feels they are the keeper of civil rights than the religious ideal of society:

Being secular means they refuse to commit to a belief in a supernatural deity. Or the role of mankind in it. If anything they are pluralistic. Not homogenous when regarding religion. They see themselves as tolerant of religious diversity.

Problem solving is done rationally, examining the facts. On a government scale, declares no aim, but guides the individual to their own aims. The secular person sees themselves as a society without a common image, and no common ideal of behavior.

Further more, they claim to have respect for individuals, and the group they are a part. They claim to consider equality of all people, and are free to realize their own excellence. They feel they break down the barriers of class or caste.

Comment: There is a lot of restating the idea of equality for all, respect for each individual, and group. However, if a group (religion for example) claims its set of moral code, pressure is put on to silence it. Where’s the respect there?

Much is left in the trust of government, a large form of group identity, yet no claim is made to support it, identify with it, or otherwise be loyal, to it as a common identity. Unless it offers public support, which is a demand, and expectation.

Secular people may or may not have religious belief, but they just don’T know what god to trust inn, or whether they even believe in a god at all. And they don’t want to hear about the God of the Bible, they’d rather make up their own god, or life discipline.

The Philosophic View

As found on Psychology Today

Our earlier definition is restated as: Having no belief in supernatural beings or gods. Having no worship practices or holidays. Not identifying with any deity or worship customs.

Secularism strives to maintain a naturalistic worldview, where everything has a natural, scientific explanation.

Belief of intangible things is in the realm of matters like love, friendship, or a good education, or other life experiences.

All we know, or hope to become is limited to our lifespan. There is nothing that comes after.

If the secular person shares in religious events, or holidays, it’s more out of custom or the food, or family traditions, or anything other than supernatural belief.

The secular person finds community in the people groups they belong to: Nation, ethnic, occupational, clubs, or others.

They might be spiritual, or agnostic,, but just not hold to any belief in supernatural things. Not necessarily atheist.

Comments: The notion of not believing in the supernatural realm is repeated, and defined in a practical way when it comes to social matters.

It’s still confusing that on one hand identifying with groups seems shunned, yet secular people identify with them as community. Political agendas rock the boat, and in trying to do so, a hypocritical system is set forth that is just as bad as any finger pointing that people do with Christian religions.

Word to Christians: Some people just don’t get it, or understand the concept of the supernatural. You’re called to tell the gospel message, leave it up to God to soften the soil of the heart to get it ready for the seed of the gospel to grow.

Live a life that demonstrates the ethical, Christian worldview, not one that encourages pushback. There are times to shake the dust off your feet. There are times to not cast your pearls before swine. There is always a time for prayer. Be a friend first, and show kindness where ever you go.

An Age Old Problem

The word Secular first came into use around the 1850’s, but it goes at least as far back as the 1600’s, as written about in John Bunyan’s book, the Pilgrim’s Progress. Keith shares a clip from Youtube in the show, but you can watch the entire presentation of an animated video of the Pilgrim’s Progress on Youtube by clicking here.

In brief, Christian is in despair over his burden of sin, and as he sets out on his journey to the Celestial City, he is mocked by those who don’t understand his need. After an encounter in the Slough of Despond, he meets Mr Worldly Wiseman. The man is the embodiment of secular ideals, and states the obvious. “Drop your burden, and enjoy life, your wife, and your children! Why do you want to follow that book, and the advice of Mr Evangelist? That’s a hard road, it’s full of difficulties, dangers, and beasts.”

In epilog to the clip, Christian makes the wrong decision, but is soon set straight, and his many ordeals have just begun.

One key difference in the clash between Secular and Christian viewpoints since John Bunyan’s time is, to the Worldly Wiseman, Christianity was yet another life discipline, and he tried to force his world view. Christian didn’t try to force his belief, but was easily swayed by the secular view. The matter of the christian walk is one that was known to both sides, but the decision to set out on the road to God is one that only the individual can make.

I think everyone understands that concept of an individual choice. The modern secular person says, “I know it, but leave me alone, and don’t drag me down your dangerous road.” The modern Christian is still often influenced by worldliness, then gets a black eye over being a hypocrite. And just because he caved into social pressure.

Or if he, either individually, or collectively as a church, tries to drag others down that dangerous road of discipline, they are surprised at the push back. The point being that our secular friends don’t want any law imposed on them that overtly smacks of a religious ideal. (Separation of church and state.)

Through most of Christian’s journey, he had traveling companions. Some believed, most didn’t, they came and went as they pleased, but the one notable thing that Christian did was that he shared the gospel message of salvation. His ordeal on the path was plenty to face without imposing any more than that. He makes very few references to laws, or legalities. And he makes a lot of reference to prayer. Travelers face their fate in relation to their own morality, and whether they have accepted the gospel message.

Should we be concerned for others? Of course, But a page from John Bunyan might still be the way to go, Tell the gospel, welcome the traveling companions, hold to the truth of the Christian worldview, and face life’s road together.

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