The Beginning of Faith
Christianity is not the only religion in the world that starts with origins. While Genesis begins the Bible with the words "In the beginning ...", Humanist Manifesto I also begins its affirmation of faith with the humanist version of origins.
Humanist Manifesto I was adopted in 1933. The document's introductory paragraphs explain that the signers feel that Christianity is outmoded. They write that the time has come, in their opinion, to establish a new religion. In closing their introduction to their statement of belief for their new religion, they write, "To establish such a religion is a major necessity of the present.... We therefore affirm the following…"
Fifteen affirmations follow; the first five – fully one-third – deal with origins. Genesis starts with a Creator creating all things. The humanist affirmations begin by saying, "Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created." The four following affirmations go on to affirm faith in evolutionary processes that finally produced humans.
We learn from Humanist Manifesto I that Secular Humanism is, by its own claims, not just another religion. It actively seeks to be in competition with Christianity. But the most important lesson we can draw from this is that religion must begin with origins to explain what human beings are. This means that the correct view of origins is essential to Christianity. If we are to remain Christian, God's account of our beginnings in Genesis must be taken seriously!