Promoters of the Humanist Ideal
1. From Genesis 4:3-5 we see that Abel was a keeper of the sheep while Cain was a tiller of the ground so it would seem quite reasonable for Cain to have brought a grain or fruit offering but this displeased the Lord. From Genesis 3:21 where God made coats of skin for Adam and Eve, it is clear that an animal must have been sacrificed with blood shed to do so. Although unstated in this context, God had given instructions for the sin offering with shed blood thus Cain's unbloody offering was fundamentally unacceptable.
2. The names of the Greek philosophers living in the classical period, 3rd to 4th centuries BC, are familiar to most people and, while none of them could have been Christians, many had a belief in a non-material spirit world while others were atheist materialists. According to their writings, they have been divided into left-wing and right wing depending upon their belief system. Leucippus, Protagorus, Democritas, Epicurus and the Roman poet, Lucretius, were all materialists thus had no belief in anything not of a material nature. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle in his earlier years all believed in an afterlife. Aristotle eventually succumbed to materialism in his latter years. Plato (427-347 BC) wrote extensively on the reincarnation of souls and to some extent influenced Church thinking on the destiny of the soul. Plato is known for his utopian work The Republic in which he argued that for the perfect government we should select the wisest men of the land under a philosopher king and pay them well to rule over us. This has been the humanist dream ever since and Republican governments have been introduced with every socialist revolution. The problem is that a Republic is a one-party system subject to unbridled corruption. Aristotle (394-322 BC) was Plato's disciple and argued that all our knowledge of the world about us comes through our 5 senses: hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting and touching. The painting by Jan Van Bylert is called The Five Senses and we may be reminded that every one of our senses can be deceived but there is a sixth sense by which truth may be known; it is called God's revelation.
3. From 1 Corinthians 2:6-7 and 3:18-20 it will be seen that there are two kinds of wisdom and they are 180 degrees apart. Man's wisdom is received through his intellect and God's wisdom is received from the Holy Spirit. It has always been those with God's wisdom who have suffered persecution from those with man's wisdom; this has been the root cause of human conflict throughout history. Galatians 4:28-30 makes it clear that those who receive God's wisdom will be persecuted by those who rely on man's wisdom. Acts chapter 17, Paul at Athens, tells of his two-fold opposition: Epicurians who were the materialists and Stoics who were the pantheists. These belief systems today are Atheism and the New Age philosophy.
4. France in the 14th century. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) combined the writings of Aristotle with the Scriptures to produce his Sumna Theologia. This was not accepted by the Church at the time of Aquinas but was later by the Council of Trent (1545-1563). This is the foundation for what we know today as the Roman Catholic Church.
5. The Age of Enlightenment. Galileo (1564-1642) upset the Church of the day by pointing out publicly what the Church had long known to be true. The public view of the cosmos was thus turned from earth-centered to sun-centered. The discovery in England of the circulation of the blood by Dr. William Harvey (1578-1657), the advances in physiology in France by René Descartes (1596-1650) and the work of Alessandro Volta (1745-1827) in Italy who discovered that the nervous system operated by electrical impulses all led to the belief that living things, including man, were mere machines consisting of plumbing, a pump and electrical circuits.
6. Ever since the 11-12th century Crusades there had been wars of religion in Europe: 1561-1577 the Huguenots (French Protestants) were persecuted; in 1568 the Protestants revolted against the pope in the Netherlands; 1618-1648 was the Thirty Years War in Germany where the Protestants revolted against the pope etc, etc. All this bloodshed in the name of religion gave cause for a group of humanist intellectuals in England led by Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) to lay the foundation for the introduction of republican governments as described by Plato. Recognizing that this had to be done secretly to avoid trouble from Church authorities, the idealists infiltrated the Freemason's lodges. Thus, the Masonic brotherhood, at first Protestant Christian, was formally organized in 1717 and networked around the world through the old British Empire. Francis Bacon had written his New Atlantis promoting Plato's utopian theme but he died before this work was finished; nevertheless, it was published posthumously in 1627 and spells out the Masonic organization and its objectives. The closely allied Royal Society was founded in 1662 to provide "the wisest men" as rulers in the hoped-for, one-world, Republic.
7. Further attack on revealed truth given to believers came from England. Philosopher, Thomas Hobbs (1588-1679), rationalized away every New Testament miracle in his book Leviathan published in 1651. This book is still required reading for liberal arts courses today. Isaac Newton, a brilliant physicist and bible scholar although not necessarily a Christian, turned the universe into a giant "clockwork" mechanism. His Principia Mathematica (1687) had the effect of removing God further from His creation. Thomas Robert Malthus (1766-1834) mathematician, pointed out that due to the difference in the rates of increase of population on the one hand (geometric increase: 2,4,8, etc) and that of arable land to support that population on the other (arithmetic increase: 1,2,3, etc), warned that England and eventually the world itself, would be overpopulated. He made all this very clear in his Essay on Population published in 1798, long before there had been any census to determine actual figures.
8. Ever since the invention of the printing press in 1448, the writings of the Greeks had been published posing a pagan threat to Christianity. However, with the discovery of Greek antiquities in the eighteenth century, there were now images to supplement those writings. Until this time, art had been dominated by Christian themes but now scenes from Greek and Roman mythology began to appear. Later, the architectural style of buildings took on a Greek appearance.
9. France was dominated by the Catholic Church and while it exercised a certain paternalism upon the people, there was also much evident corruption. Jean J. Rousseau (1712-1778), the French philosopher wrote a number of works that laid the foundation for modern socialism. His essay Discourse sur les Arts et Sciences (1750) argued that "primitive" people live in a state of innocence and are thus superior to the civilized state. He attacked private property in his Discours sur l'origine et les fondements de l'inegalite parmi les hommes (1755) and in his work, Emile, ou Traite de l'education (1762) claimed that children are inherently pure and if raised apart from others and allowed to experiment will become ideal citizens uncorrupted by society. This flatly denies the Fall of Man, nevertheless, this has greatly influenced modern educational methods. Interestingly, Rouseau left all five of his illegitimate children on the steps of the Paris foundling hospital!
10. America in 1776 saw humanist idealists such as Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) attempt to introduce Plato's republic to their new colony far away from the religious bigotry of Europe. Fellow Freemason, Thomas Paine (1737-1809), was brought over from England by Franklin to write his 47-page pamphlet Common Sense (1776) and incite the expatriate population to revolt against the motherland and King George III. Seizing an opportunity, the fledgling colony broke away to become the Federalist States in 1776. The intention was to elect the wisest men etc. but there were too many Christians who pointed out that with a one-party system this would invite corruption — there must be an opposition party for checks and balances. Thus was formed the Democratic Party while the Federalist Party changed its name to the Republican and both Parties have since moved steadily to the left. Plato's republic did not get a successful start in America. Note however, the Great Seal of America designed in 1778 with its Latin inscription: Annuit Coeptis novus ordo seculorum MDCCLXXVI ... In this year began the new world order, 1776. This design was placed on the back of the US dollar bill in 1933 by Franklin Delano Rooseveldt (1882-1945), who was himself a 32nd degree Freemason. The use of the pyramid is typically Masonic and we recall Psalm 118:22 "The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone." The black capstone for the Cheops pyramid is in the Egyptian museum in Cario. The Masonic "capstone" is the final order(s), beyond the 33rd degree, that is, all-seeing but is itself unseen. The Christian capstone is Jesus who will Himself supply light to the heavenly city (Rev. 21:22).
11. The French Revolution of 1789. This was engineered by the same idealists behind the American Revolution 13 years earlier. It was far more successful in that the churches were closed, the priests de-frocked and the Bibles publicly burned. France went from a corrupt Roman Catholicism to Atheism overnight. Within a year it became a pantheistic state where the empty churches were turned over to nature worship. A popular dancing girl was installed as the Goddess of Reason upon the high altar of Notre Dame Cathedral. The French Declaration of the Justice of Man reads very much like the American Constitution except that there is no reference to God. Note the all-seeing eye symbolism on this document. France was completely dechristianized and has never since recovered. It was the Revolution that introduced the metric system while every socialist revolution since 1789 has been based upon the ideals of a republic. Communist governments demonstrate how corrupt a State can become under the rule of "wise men."
12. At the age of 26 the genius, Georges Cuvier (1769-1832) was elected head of all scientific endeavor in Paris and introduced the idea of multiple local floods to account for the 29 strata he observed beneath the streets of Paris. His Essay on the Theory of the Earth was published in 1797 and cast great doubt upon the Genesis account of one Flood having been responsible for the earth's multiple strata. Among the geologists, this led to the belief that the earth was millions of years old while this in turn laid the foundation for Darwin's theory of evolution in 1859. This has been the greatest attack upon Christianity. Thus, the wisdom of man has supplanted the wisdom of God and for this reason God has sent us strong delusion that the unbelievers would be blinded to the truth. (1 Thessalonians 2:10-12).
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