Christianity and Secular Humanism Essay
A religion is a belief in the supernatural that defines how one lives. Christianity revolves around a God, as the creator of the universe, and who gives purpose in all living things.
Christian God puts a price on sin (evil, wrongdoings), which are stated in the Christians sacred text – the Bible. Because of the sin in the world God sent his son, Jesus Christ to earth to die for the salvation of mankind. This salvation comes in the form of afterlife – salvation, going to heaven and being with God, the opposite being hell, for the punishment of sin. Along with God the Father and the son, there is a third figure in the Holy trinity which is the Holy Spirit that came after Jesus’s resurrection to live within believers.
Christian’s acknowledge God as their creator and aim to live their lives in worship of him and according to Jesus’s teachings. There are many diffirent branches in Christianity such as Catholicism. Baptist, Pentecostal etc. “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” – Romans 11:36
“Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” – Matthew 5:42-45
Secular world view: Secular Humanism “The doctrine emphasizing a person’s capacity for self-realization through reason; rejects religion and the supernatural.” — Webster’s Dictionary A world view is set of ideas and beliefs through which an individual interpret and interacts with the world. Secular means Secular humanists “wish to encourage wherever possible the growth of moral awareness.” (Paul Kurtz – A Secular Humanist Declaration).
They believe in human values without religion or a God, and that human values should be committed to the well being of humans and should be based on ethical reasoning rather than supernatural sources. They believe supernatural beings and realms were made up by humans. It is atheism (or agnosticism) that goes further by challenging people to develop their own values that should be evaluated by their immediate/world consequences, and not just conforming to existing ideas of right and wrong influenced by religion.
Secular Humanism also incorporates a naturalistic philosophy, and a cosmic outlook rooted in science. This means they believe human beings are part of nature, subjects of evolution and are capable of living a fulfilling and meaningful life without a God, but with self and moral awareness. It is a body of principles as secularhumanism.org describes it – “suitable for orienting a complete human life.”
Is there a higher being?
A Christian’s View:
Christians believe in a higher being in the form of an omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent God. They firmly believe that God exists. To Christians; God is the creator of the world, universe, and everything and everyone inside it. He is the source of all purpose in life, and is in control of people’s destinies (a.k.a God’s will) whether they are a believer or not. He is the reason for rainbows to natural disasters and whether people get a raise or they get sick. God is personally involved with people lives and can give them faith/strength/blessings to do things.
God can try and communicate with people through signs and wonders, and He gives believers power to do miracles in His name. At the same time God punishes wrong doings, and evil. The punishment for sin, and not repenting is an eternal death in Hell. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything.
Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands.
God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being’. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ Acts 17:24-28 As previously mentioned, Christians believe there are three figures in “God the Higher Being”. There is God, the Father, then there’s Jesus, His son – The Messiah. He came to save mankind from sin.
As before Jesus, sin separated mankind from God because God is so pure. Jesus, by dying, made it possible for man to be with God by paying the price for all sin. The third figure being the Holy Spirit; came after Jesus to live within believers. The Holy Spirit is meant to be a personal councillor/helper in faith for believers. “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.”
John 20.30-31 (Jesus said…) “And I will pray the Father and He will give you another Helper that He may abide with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14.16-17 Christians submit to the will of God with obedience as worship to Him, and in the hope to be with Him in the afterlife (in heaven).
Christians also believe in the fight between God and Satan, the fight between good and evil which exists in the world. Evidence of God is recorded in the Holy Bible, which is made of up of 66 books and letters that testify to Him, describe His character, commandments, and stories of His interaction with humans over history.
Because God is the source of all purpose and meaning; the whole point of the Christian faith is to have a relationship with God. Christians affirm their faith in Him by praying to Him, reading the Bible (His Word), going to church to worship Him, living according to His commandments and spreading the gospel.
God is the source of morality for Christians and is at the centre of their lives and decisions. “It is about the greatness of God, not the significance of man. God made man small and the universe big to say something about himself.”— John Piper This will come to contradict the secular humanist belief that man is the measure of all, as this quote depicts how Christians believe that God created the universe, and He is too big for man to fully understand.