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Amy is co-host and blogger for both Stand Up for the Truth and Naomi's Table, two ministries that give her the opportunity to write and talk about Jesus all day long. She has written, produced and broadcast in the realm of television and radio news, magazine business journals and marketing materials. She continues her freelance work as a writer and social media consultant.

Secular Humanism vs. "Cosmic" Humanism: Do you know the difference?

Imagine there’s no heaven …no hell below us…above us only sky.  When you grow up hearing things like this, your worldview is built upon what us basically-good humans can achieve by our own will and might.   As one raised in secular humanism, I am thrilled to hear that the particular brand of atheism I learned as an impressionable kid is beginning to fade away. Unfortunately, a new breed of humanism is taking its place in a dramatic way.  And as writer Marsha West points out, “cosmic” secularism is not just for atheists anymore.

Secular Humanism

SECULAR HUMANISM FIZZLES, COSMIC HUMANISM FLOURISHES 

Author: Marsha West         Reprinted via The Christian Post

It may surprise some readers to learn that secular humanism, the anti-religious, anti-supernatural belief system liberal reformers and radicals tried to foist on society has fizzled out. Their anti-God worldview failed to sway us away from our religious beliefs and from our obsession with “hidden knowledge.” Instead of the promised Utopia, “secular humanists created two world wars and the death of 200 million.” They also created a modern culture war, an upheaval over social issues such as abortion, guns and gays and, worst of all, they created moral anarchy.

Worldview Weekend radio host, Brannon Howse, examined the reasons secular humanism (SH) failed to deliver the ideally perfect place, socially, politically and morally and why there has been a shift to spiritual paganism or “spiritualism.” The shift happened because of guilt, says Howse:

Secular humanism denies the soul, the conscience and thus can not address the guilt. Spiritual Paganism is all about removing the guilt. Human reasoning has left an entire generation groping in the dark while spiritualism gives the promise of enlightenment, the revelation of hidden knowledge. Secular humanism has not infiltrated evangelical churches to any real degree but spiritualism is rushing in like a tsunami.” 

Theologically, secular humanists are atheists. Philosophically they are naturalists. Humanists reject the possibility of any supernatural phenomena…human beings have no soul…there is no afterlife…no heaven. As for hell? Oh please.

According to Christiananswers.net, SH is a set of beliefs “through which one interprets all of reality — something like a pair of glasses.”

They say it is also a religious worldview: “Do not let the word ‘secular’ mislead you. The Humanists themselves would agree that they adhere to a religious worldview. According to the Humanist Manifestos I & II: Humanism is ‘a philosophical, religious, and moral point of view.’” 

But not all humanists want to be identified as religious. Why?

Christiananswers.net gives the following reason:

“[T]hey understand that religion is (supposedly) not allowed in American public education. To identify Secular Humanism as a religion would eliminate the Humanists’ main vehicle for the propagation of their faith. And it is a faith, by their own admission. The Humanist Manifestos declare: ‘These affirmations [in the Manifestos] are not a final credo or dogma but an expression of a living and growing faith.’” 

Those who experienced years of spiritual depravation — and guilt — have moved on to Cosmic Humanism (CH). President of Summit Ministries, David Noebel, explains CH thusly:

“The Cosmic Humanist worldview consists of two interrelated spiritual movements. One is known as the New Age Movement (NAM), and the other is neo-paganism, which includes occult practices, Native American spiritism, and Wicca. … This worldview is summed up by Jonathan Adolph: ‘In its broadest sense, New Age thinking can be characterized as a form of utopianism, the desire to create a better society, a ‘New Age’ in which humanity lives in harmony with itself, nature, and the cosmos.’” 

Humanists and neo-pagans are looking for Utopia, it seems. What they have in common is that both worldviews are man-centered and reject the God of the Bible.

CH is a pantheistic worldview which holds that God is all and all is God (all things are interconnected) including humans, animals, insects, water, rocks, trees, planets, stars and so on. Cosmic humanists believe that humanity is evolving, moving upward toward an age of higher consciousness where we will experience “cosmic unity.” Humans who want to achieve unity with all existing things must get in touch with the “god within.”

Some of their doctrines include: the Divine Mind (“Creating instant manifestation through union of the human and divine mind”), Christ consciousness (“the state of awareness of our true nature, our higher self, and our birthright as children of God”), reincarnation (“rebirth of the soul in one or more successive existences, which may be human, animal, or vegetable”) and karma (a person’s action, either bad or good, determines his or her destiny).

Cosmic humanists “blur the line between physics and metaphysics,” reveals Debra Rae. “To them, all life is energy; composite energy is god; and the promised expectation is ‘life beyond the grave’ by becoming god.”

Throwing off all our cares and woes and becoming god sounds intriguing, doesn’t it?

Not so fast. What this means is that the individual will disappear as a separate person and meld into the “universal oneness.”

Is this the sort of afterlife humans can look forward to? CH is very different from SH in that the secular humanist sees man as the measure of all things and denies the soul whereas the religious humanist sees man as having unlimited human potential because of his “inner divinity.”

“Unity is at the central core of Being,” says one cosmic humanist. So “Let us learn to reflect this greatest Truth in our lives. Let us appreciate the beauty of diversity much as we cultivate the diverse flowers in a garden. Let us not assign God to any one religion, creed, or belief system; for how can the created possibly understand the Creator! Let us come together in love, respect, and share in a humility born of the wisdom that we are a part of everything. Nothing exists independently. Let us grow, let us learn, let us flower and let us bear fruit!” (Online Source)

Let us get real! Let us apply logic! The person who wrote this obviously did not think this through. If God exists, common sense dictates that there can be only one true God. All other gods are counterfeit. So God is either: Jehovah of Judaism; the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) of Christianity; Allah of Islam; a multitude of Hindu gods; the Ultimate Self of Buddhists; Enlightened Humans of Jainism; the Supreme Architect of Deism; Eloheim of Mormonism; the New Cosmic Consciousness of the New Age movement or what New Thought devotees refer to as Infinite Intelligence; the Higher Power of Alcoholics Anonymous. All these religions/groups say that their god is the one true God. How is that possible?

DARWINIAN EVOLUTION

Getting back to my point, those who embrace CH are naturalists, meaning that they are evolutionists. The theory of Darwinian Evolution (DE) holds that life evolved from one common origin over billions of years. DE also holds to what Darwin called “natural selection” or as Herbert Spencer put it “survival of the fittest.” Which means that,

“Any individual organism which succeeds in reproducing itself is ‘fit’ and will contribute to survival of its species, not just the ‘physically fittest’ ones, though some of the population will be better adapted to the circumstances than others. A more accurate characterization of evolution would be ‘survival of the fit enough.’ “

Moreover, to misunderstand or misapply the phrase to simply mean ‘survival of those who are better equipped for surviving’ is rhetorical tautology. What Darwin meant was ‘better adapted for immediate, local environment’ by differential preservation of organisms that are better adapted to live in changing environments. The concept is not tautological as it contains an independent criterion of fitness.” (Online Source )

EVOLVING FROM SLIME INTO GODS

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin said, Evolution is a light illuminating all facts, a curve that all lines must follow. . . . Man discovers that he is nothing else than evolution become conscious of itself.”

Really?

First off, whatever we know about how man became “conscious” and began to think is sheer speculation! Guesswork! Not fact! I don’t hold a biology degree and I’m no expert in any area of science, and I know very little about philosophy, but one thing I do know is that the brain is very complex. It doesn’t take a Ph.D to understand that the brain controls every single bodily function. Which begs the question: Before the brain developed how could any creature draw a breath? Without a fully developed brain, what controlled body temperature…blood pressure…digestion? How did creatures chew their food/swallow…excrete waste…recognize danger? Did the memory evolve? Homo sapiens somehow came to realize that they couldn’t see. So they set about evolving something to see with. And lo, 1 billion years later the eye came into being. So here’s my next question: Did primitive humans have to stay in the swamp to avoid bumping into trees or stepping off a cliff, or did they feel their way around?

One last question: Wouldn’t organs have to evolve at precisely the same time for the body to be able to function? I mean, think about it. If all our vital organs fail to operate in harmony, our bodies shut down and die! Yet we’re supposed to believe that Homo sapiens managed to evolve into modern man sporting all our pretty amazing bells and whistles!

We’re also supposed to believe that the next stage in the evolutionary process is for Homo sapiens to “evolve into the New Age by realizing their godhood.” To reach this new pinnacle, “Cosmic Humanists use a wide variety of occult means in their effort to attain this higher consciousness, resulting in a movement described as metaphysical or paranormal.” (Online source)

The means they use to attain a higher consciousness include meditation, visualization and hallucinogenic drugs. Some become junkies hooked on a spiritual high. These methods are the “sacraments” of the New Age religion and are practiced to experience “interconnectedness of all things.”

So those who wish to evolve to the next step in human evolution must dive into the occult. Those of us who prefer not to take the plunge will simply remain unenlightened humanoids. Sort of like Neanderthals, but with less hair.

HUMANITY AND THE EARTH

“Enlightened” consciousness researcher and spiritual visionary John White believes that humanity and the earth have the makings of a promising future together. But there will be change. “The form of human being that will be here to participate is a primate of a very different order than the human as we know it today. He calls it Homo noeticus — the next step in human evolution.” (Online source)

White and Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell founded the Institute of Noetic Sciences in Northern California. According to the IONS website:

“‘Noetic’ comes from the ancient Greek nous, for which there is no exact equivalent in English. It refers to ‘inner knowing,’ a kind of intuitive consciousness — direct and immediate access to knowledge beyond what is available to our normal senses and the power of reason.” 

Under the heading: What are ‘Noetic Sciences’? it says,

“Noetic sciences are explorations into the nature and potentials of consciousness using multiple ways of knowing — including intuition, feeling, reason, and the senses. Noetic sciences explore the ‘inner cosmos’ of the mind (consciousness, soul, spirit) and how it relates to the ‘outer cosmos’ of the physical world.” (Online source)

COSMIC HUMANISM AND CHRISTIANITY

As I stated earlier, the CH believes in the god within and the divinity of man. What is hard to fathom is that a large number of what were once evangelicals have thrown off traditional Christianity and adopted CH’s pantheistic (pagan) worldview.

The serious Christian simply cannot ignore this subject any longer. The Bible admonishes us to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (I Peter 3:15). This includes being ready to have a meaningful, informed dialogue with those who have been drawn into the lie of CH by Satanic forces.

Even though the older generation has dropped the ball it’s not too late to shift gears, says David Noebel:

“Society will flourish in the light of truth only when the emphasis shifts back to a Christian perspective. This dramatic shift in emphasis can be brought about through the leadership of thousands of informed, confident Christian students who think deeply and broadly from a well-honed biblical worldview and emerge as leaders in education, business, science, and government.”

© Marsha West

The Christian perspective:

Genesis 1:1, 27 (Creation)

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

John 1:1–3 (Jesus — the Word — is the Creator)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

John 14:6 (Jesus is the only path to God)

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Acts 4:10–12 (Salvation in Christ alone)

Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Colossians 1:15–20 (Jesus’ credentials)

Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

Hebrews 9:27 (No reincarnation)

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.

1 John 1:7–10 (The Bible’s teaching on sin)

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

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2 Responses to “Secular Humanism vs. "Cosmic" Humanism: Do you know the difference?”

  1. Matthew LeMay #

    Amy: "So God is either: Jehovah of Judaism; the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) of Christianity; Allah of Islam; a multitude of Hindu gods; the Ultimate Self of Buddhists; Enlightened Humans of Jainism; the Supreme Architect of Deism; Eloheim of Mormonism; the New Cosmic Consciousness of the New Age movement or what New Thought devotees refer to as Infinite Intelligence; the Higher Power of Alcoholics Anonymous.

    "All these religions/groups say that their god is the one true God. How is that possible?"

    You are wrong on that point. Buddhism, Hinduism, Deism and many forms of Christianity and some other religions do not claim to have an exclusive understanding of the truth of God. They all acknowledge inherently that our intellectual formulations of God are inherently limited, and that the Ultimate God transcends relative distinctions.

    In Hinduism, the reason there are "many" Gods is because different groups and sects have merged over time, realizing they were worshiping the same Ultimate God, but that God displays different appearances and temporal manifestations to guide beings in a way that they can understand and relate to. That is why Hinduism has had a notoriously easy time relating to Universalism–because it is already a largely universalist religion!

    Buddhism even more so! Buddhism can be seen as a basically Universalist religion from the very start. Buddhists do not claim to have exclusive access to the "correct" God; they see all paths as *potential* paths to union with higher awareness, and ultimately with God, if they are implemented with profound faith, morality, compassion and awareness. That, they say, depends on you and your choices!

    Deists and Freemasons believe that the Grand Architect has manifested in various ways according to the understanding and aptitude of those who have sought to understand His Mysteries.

    Whether you agree with these views or not, you have to see the central point that these faiths do not inherently have a problem with Universalism. Literalists and academics are very good at making subtle distinctions between the many views, and there is relative, worldly importance to that, but all of these religions acknowledge that intellect can only bring you do the door, while faith beyond intellect must walk through it.

    So you can parse the words as finely as you want, but you may find yourself just becoming more nearsighted. Truth includes but transcends intellectualism and requires genuine faith and genuine experience to water the seed of Knowledge.

    Throughout history, there have also been a *ton* of Christian Universalist movements, which go back to the earliest days of the Church. (More forthcoming on this topic.)

    Jesus Christ's Official Church on Earth is known as the "One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church." "Catholic" means Universal. That is the ideal of the Church, and while relationships with other religions have not always been perfect, the overall view has been that Jesus Christ fulfills, completes and perfects our understanding of the Truth, which was *partially* understood by the ancient Jews, Pagans, etc.

    According to Orthodoxy, you actually have to do the work of becoming like Christ to fulfill that Truth within yourself. The grace that Jesus died to give us is of course "free" and it does indeed purify our sins, but most importantly it is the Seed of Theosis, which is our Ultimate calling as Christians. Yes, we are to "become God," but in a very different way from that proposed by the New Age and certain popular modern cults. The path is old and well-trodden, we are lucky to have it so clearly available to us today.

    Of course, different groups at different times in history have had different ways of formulating their understanding of God and have therefore given rise to vast number of theologies over the planet.

    The same is true *within* Christianity. By your logic of "only one thing can be true," then there can also only be one correct school of Christianity. So which is it? You go around using Orthodox standards to call others heretics, not realizing that your own theology is heretical if you applied the same standards.

    It is not inherently contradictory to say that there is a deeper truth to God which transcends all these different "views." A "view" arises from an individual's or group's experience of God, but it cannot, by definition, encompass the full truth of God.

    God transcends all views.

    However, I do not disagree with everything you have said. Certainly, Secular Humanism has always been a misguided philosophy and has lead to Atheism and Nihilism. "Cosmic Humanism" is still imperfect, but it is certainly a large step beyond Secularism. It is a triumph of the human need to find God over the degenerate obsession with materialism that has plagued our century. Maybe the next step they can take is to put God back at the center of the Doctrine, rather than mere humanity!

    April 13, 2012 at 7:10 AM Reply
    • Matthew, you realize I am not the author, correct? I will ask Marsha West if she has time to reply.

      April 13, 2012 at 7:47 AM Reply

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