Antiquarian Anabaptist

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

Humanism as the established religion

It appears to have began long ago with Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), the patron saint of Roman Catholic theologians.  He studied Greek, Arabic and Hebrew philosophers and incorporated some of their thinking into Christian theology.  His major innovation was the idea that God and truth are not solely revealed by the Bible, but that man by his intellect can come to an understanding of truth by studying nature.  This may seem like a small thing, but it attributes to man a spiritual life and understanding that is apart from his relationship to God.

Five hundred years later, German philosophers Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) took up this theme.  Both professed Christianity, but completely separated faith and reason.  Truth is knowable only by reason.  God cannot be known, His existence cannot be proved or disproved, yet it is useful for the sake of morals to believe in God.  Kant called this Enlightenment, taking as his motto the Latin term Sapere Aude (Dare to Know).

There followed a string of German theologians: Johann Augustus Eberhard (1739 – 1809): Friedrich Schlieiermacher (1768-1834); Adolf von Harnack (1850 – 1930) and others, who rejected the authenticity of Biblical texts and redefined faith in ways that left out any thought of a transcendent God with a personal interest in His children.  Walter Rauschenbusch (1861 – 1918) and Charles Sheldon (1857 – 1946) brought these teachings into mainstream American Protestantism by means of the Social Gospel.

During this time, the teachings of Kant and Hegel became the official doctrine of universities around the world, opening the way for a search for a solution to the problems of mankind bereft of a spiritual nature.  The teachings of Marx, Freud and Darwin opened myriad possibilities for dealing with the needs of mankind.  Karl Marx took the teachings of the German theologians and taught a doctrine similar to the Social Gospel, but stripped of all religious language.

John Dewey (1859 – 1952) is regarded as the father of the public school movement in the USA.  He believed that democracy could only be achieved with a fully formed public opinion.  He saw the schools as the means for indoctrinating the humanism of the universities into the minds of the common people.

Over the course of the 20th century, the social gospel eroded the foundation and credibility of many Christian denominations and the public schools gradually indoctrinated generation after generation with a humanistic world view.

The indoctrination went gradually at first, but as schools were consolidated, in the name of efficiency, parents became less connected with what was happening in the schools.  To further this disconnect, there were propaganda campaigns extolling the virtues of the public schools and subtly conditioning parents to believe that they were not capable of properly teaching and training their children.  One of the most successful aspects of this propaganda was to convince parents that children would be social misfits if they did not go to school with other children their own age.

So now we have arrived at the situation of the current day, where humanism is the official doctrine guiding our society.  Chapels teaching this doctrine are found in every town of any size.  They are called schools.  In the larger cities we find complexes of massive temples to humanism, called universities.

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.  (2 Corinthians 6:17-18).

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