The aspiration of humanism that morality can be constructed independent of religion is a lie. Such a perspective is based on a high view of the moral capacity of mankind. The assertion is that people are inherently good. Accordingly, if we get conditions to be as advantageous as possible so there are no external factors to destabilise people and their relationships, then all will end happily ever after. The kicking over of Christianity in the West has been seen as a means of releasing human beings from a straight-jacket which has stifled their development. With Christianity gone we can be free to fully develop is the thinking.
Alas the endpoint of this thinking is not found in a utopia, but rather in a dystopia. The heart of the matter is the evaluation of the condition of mankind. The humanist approach denies the reality of original sin and thereby gives an all too optimistic prognosis of mankind. The reality is though that Paul give the correct diagnosis of mankind in Romans 3:9-18
What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. As it is written:
‘There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one.’
‘Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practise deceit.
‘The poison of vipers is on their lips.
‘Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.
‘Their feet are swift to shed blood;
ruin and misery mark their ways,
and the way of peace they do not know.
‘There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Like as when an untended fire is left to is own devices so with mankind. A fire spreads to leave decimated landscape in its wake. So with sin; it also spreads to leave the decimation of humanity in its wake.
Where we would agree with the humanist though, is in saying that the answer is not in a moralistic religious crusade. A determination to uphold morals in society may make for a cleaner moral atmosphere, it does not however, deal with the root cause of mankind’s problems; namely sin. Rather it is the provision of a Saviour who deals with our sins and rescues us from them taht we need. Jesus Christ is the One who comes to be Saviour. He comes to rescue us from our plight. Our sin has set us on a pathway to eternal dystopia. However, He takes all of that judgement at His cross and we can be released into a better life. Moreover, the news is far batter than us just being left in a neutral ambiguity. We instead have a life immersed in Christ. His life is now in our lives and so we can have a new life.
The only bright future for the planet is when righteousness is established in hearts and lives through Christ. To place the hope in humanity is a disaster. We need to look to Christ.