Category Archives: Humanity

Humanity – has but one purpose

A man recently died in San Diego County.  His motto for life was “Be Happy.”  A lady also recently died.  She believed her purpose in life was to feel good about herself and help others feel good about themselves.  An old song said, “Smile when your heart is breaking.  Smile even though it’s aching.”  U-T, 8/10/16

All of the above can be good if tempered with reality.  Undisciplined, however, they ruin, not build human lives.  What, after all, is our purpose on earth?  And where do we find the answer?

Christians look past all human suggestions straight to the only 66 absolutely true books in history.  And when we do, we find no place where the Bible says that humans live to feel good about themselves.  Or to make others feel good about themselves.  Nor do we find it teaching “just be happy.”  And nowhere to “smile, whatever.”

The Bible instead posits God Almighty—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—as the One Person to whom we should be reconciled.  At peace with him through Christ, we tolerate ourselves, whether just now gloomy as Hamlet or gleeful as an Olympic Gold Medalist.  We live comfortably while experiencing privation; and safely while facing danger.

II Corinthians 5:5 says that God made us to find eternal life in Christ.  Why would we settle for feeling good about ourselves?  In II Thessalonians 4:13 the Apostle Paul allows that we grieve when loved ones die, see Acts 8:2, but not “like the rest of men, who have no hope.”  Christianity—unlike Stoicism, which forbids sorrow, and unlike some Puritans who considered weeping for the dead as un-Christian—admits the full-range of human feelings, but harnesses all to the purpose for which God made us.

Let others settle for lesser goals in life to avoid admitting that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself II Corinthians 5:18-19.  Christians are neither amused nor misled by such worthless humanism, however much disguised in religious terms.  No, we pay the price God demands—accepting his presence in Christ—to find the SURE purpose for life, not an EASY one.  The sure one, that never gets insecure; not an easy one which, in the end, forfeits our self—the very thing we can least afford and most of all want to keep.

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Humanity – a despair common to all

Little Laura Ingalls had reached the end of her endurance.  That Friday night, after dutifully washing the dishes, she brought her books to the table and opened her history book.  Then it happened.  Emotion suddenly ebullient, she rose, pushed her chair from the table, “slammed” her book shut and threw it on the table.  Fairly screaming, she announced she didn’t care any more, she didn’t want to study, or learn or teach school…she wanted to leave, to play, to go West….

Surprisingly, while both parents sat shocked, her father responded more leniently.  Taking her clue from him, her mother offered consolation, not rebuke.  They had never seen their studious, obedient daughter reduced to near-sobbing hysteria.

Fortunately for her, the other daughters, and many in the town, her father initiated a weekly Literary Society.  That change gave Laura a new patience for the ongoing drudgery of pioneer life.  Little Town on the Prairie, 211-212

Change is sometimes needed:  to break the spell of apparent doom in life, to open new possibilities, to reveal new hope.  The weekly literary society surfaced it for Laura.  Moving to a different locale does it for others.  Removing one’s self mentally from daily effort until a renewed vision appears does it for still  others.

The last change is the most challenging.  For, when life or career leaves us in the same location, doing the same work; when it’s our inescapable duty; when we have no alternative; when it’s all we want to do with our life, the only way to escape the drudgery and despair of repetition without result is to change our ATTITUDE!  Same task, new approach!

While the hardest person to conquer is self, circumstances can be equally formidable.  Only persistent, dogged, resilient faith in our GOOD GOD inspires the change in attitude that recruits renewed energy in his work.

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Humanity – humanists can see the genius of but…

Even atheists and skeptics understand the difference in humanity from all the beasts of the field and birds of the air.  They see hope in our future by the human “reverence for life”, by a “zeal for learning Nature’s secrets”, by the “willingness to sacrifice for progress”, etc., etc., etc.

They believe these characteristics are “inherent in our species.”  They believe a “biologically determined” factor that “is the human spirit” motivates us.  That spirit as clearly identifies us as mortals as genes our eye color or length of fingers and toes.  They even believe it’s as predictable as the sun’s rising and setting.

How then can they so casually turn to senseless humanism by pleading ignorance of our origin.  Is it God or chance?  Will it be discovered in the future through scientific research and experiment?  Will increasing knowledge of our world and ourselves finally reveal the truth about ourselves?  The Doctors, Introduction, xx

Intellectual brilliance blinded by humanism:  the curse of the 21st century.  They see the order that exists demanding a BUILDER; the complexity demanding a MIND; the predictability demanding an ARRANGER; the design demanding a DESIGNER.  But they have no idea WHO could be the builder, the mind, the arranger, the designer!  They believe that WE, the mortals who benefitted from all the above, somehow derived all that makes us a distinctive creation.

The intellectually-endowed humanists will themselves NOT TO SEE the reality of God Almighty.  They won’t let themselves think that HE is the source of all that makes us superior by being made in HIS image, not our own!

Using all the terms that point to a Creator, they refuse to admit HE created.  That’s the disgusting dishonesty of atheism.  No fool is a greater fool than the fool who will not accept the existence of Immortal God Psalm 14:1.

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Humanity – our purpose is NOT related to animals

A Duke University computer researcher has discovered that the lowly male mouse knows a thing or two about mating. It’s been known for 50 years that mice use high vocalizations in communicating, starting when “pups” call for mommy.  It’s now determined that males sing louder, complex sounds when smelling a female’s urine—that’s good to know—and softer, simpler sounds when in sight of the proposed conquest.  Researchers think the latter song reserves energy for the inevitable chase and courtship.  San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/6/15

This is more information than we need.  We wouldn’t be intellectually impoverished if we didn’t know it.  We aren’t intellectually enriched by knowing it.  But such research keeps those who do such things out of unemployment lines.

Christians can learn important lessons from the story.  First, all we ever discover about animal mating techniques, calls, and reproduction is that a Very Wise Creator provided for every creature in his world.  Of course, this is wickedly rejected by ninnies who prefer mindless evolution to Intelligent Design.

Second, no information from the animal kingdom brings us even incrementally closer to knowing humanity’s purpose on earth; or humanity’s destiny beyond death.

Third, we can learn nothing about our interpersonal relationships from the animals.  A researcher in the sexual habits of rhesus monkeys suggested we could learn about our own sexuality from them.  Really?  What?  Indiscriminate sex?  Child-abuse sex?  Public sex?  Evolutionists never stop being silly, even stupid.  They are as delusional about human sexuality as Obama about Iran’s honesty.

Fourth, Almighty God has given sufficient evidence of his care for the creatures.  That done, he has given extraordinary evidence of his overwhelming love for US…HUMANS…CROWNS OF CREATION…by creating us in his image as his surrogates on earth.  We will only understand our specific purpose by reading the WORD he wrote to instruct, guide, and enlighten us.  Only humanity can ever know the delight of listening to God speak.  To do so we need only to…Open our Bible.  Read.  Listen.  Obey.

Humanity – only Christ has a permanent solution to our condition

The movie CHARLY starred Cliff Robertson and Claire Bloom.  Released in 1968, it featured a severely retarded man whom scientists used in a brain-tampering experiment.  To their original disappointment, no change occurred.  Then, to their surprise, quantum improvements turned the erstwhile moron into a world-class intellectual.

To their ultimate disappointment, the improvement was temporary, symbolized by a white mouse called Algernon.  At the awards ceremony celebrating Charly’s achievement, he discovered Algernon dead in his cage—and realized the implications:  the improvement he experienced wouldn’t last.  Charley inevitably reverted to the moron he had previously been.

The movie has spiritual applications.  One, improving humanity’s intellect won’t reveal our true nature.  That comes only from God.  Two, we can ameliorate every condition humanity faces, but that won’t resolve the problem of our sin, which continues to produce the horrifying disfigurement of the race.

Three, whatever our intellectual, social or economic advances, humanity remains spiritually insane—as Jesus said in Luke 15:17.  Only by turning to God do we come to our senses; do we regain our right mind; are we restored to our original, God-given nature.  Nebuchadnezzar learned that when retrieved from his mental insanity by recognizing God Daniel 4:34.  Every other apparent cure leads to more guilt, depression, conflict, etc.

Four, whatever other progression humanity makes, we remain spiritual idiots without the knowledge of God.  The commonest human with specific Bible knowledge about God in Christ excels in WISDOM the blighted, brightest intellectual who has only KNOWLEDGE gained in the Humanities.

Five, unlike Charly, we can have a permanent, ever-increasing growth in Christ-likeness once in Christ.  At the end, he rejected a marriage proposed from Bloom because he knew he would soon revert to idiocy.  Through grace we instead advance into the new creation God envisions, and never again retreat into the old, corrupt, depraved self.  Baptism creates the divide between the two conditions.

Six, without Christ’s forgiveness, we’ll always find life the maze Charly faced before the operation, to which he reverted once he knew the operation was temporary.  Only Christ can take us DIRECTLY, SAFELY, CONTINUOUSLY through life to eternal joy.  We know the way because we know Jesus, who IS the way.

Humanity – we’ve become something different

He flew into a nameless Alaskan Valley to study, photograph and record the beauties in tundra and wildlife.  He took ample provisions, weapons and film.  He went in the Spring, to allow ample time for his work.  It promised to be an idyllic encounter of man with nature.  San Diego Union, 12/19/1982

It turned out differently.  When a state trooper cut open the tent the following February he found the body emaciated by starvation and dead from a self-inflicted bullet.  To make it worse, the disaster had been caused by a mix-up, lack of foresight and inadequate signals to would-be rescuers who had flown over the previous fall.  It had begun one way, but ended another.

That’s the story of humanity.  Created to be one way, we’ve become something else altogether.  Made to live righteously, we’ve sunk into depravity.  Made to praise God, we glorify self.  Made to use the present life to prepare for our future state, we make this life the sum of our existence.

How has it happened that we ascribe to creation a dominance that’s ours alone, and to the beasts an identity we alone possess?  How could we have ever fallen from being little lower than angels to becoming, in our own mind, but little above nature and its creatures, even to thinking we have no right to hunt animals that threaten our lives or our own neighborhoods?

Welcome, America, to a world where human alienation from God has skewed our every possible perspective and decision!  God didn’t create us to be stupid, but human stupidity in politics, economics, values and relationships is a corollary of our refusal to find our origin and destiny in God.  He created with one intention; by ignoring and defying him we have become something altogether different.  Until we return and say to God, “Our God; we repent; please forgive through Christ’s worthiness,” we’ll have more of what is presently driving us to distraction and, if not corrected, will lead us directly into Hell.

Humanity – Christ is our only benefactor

In 1987 I wrote an article about the first California condor hatched in captivity.  At a time when only 23 of the monster carrion-eaters existed in the California wilds, wildlife biologists hailed it as a seminal event.  To personalize the chick, they gave it a name and, because they intended to release it into the wilds, and didn’t want it to mistake humans with its own kind, handlers fed it through a condor-beak puppet.

The breeding programs have been successful and the condors have benefitted.  Bi-national agreements between Mexico and California promise to continue the trend.  The biologists carefully identify compatible genetics before matching the male and female.  In addition to 400 condors world-wide, another 250 wait in breeding centers to be released.

At the time I noted a parallel between the individual care given the ugly little thing and Christ’s concern for each person.  The difference then, and now, was adaptability:  the condor chick flourished under the care given it and humanity hasn’t flourished spiritually under God’s personal benefaction.

The reason for our failure is simple:  while God in Christ alone can feed us, love us, save us, resurrect us, and all the other good things we want from life, unsaved sinners keep looking to other sources.  We’re like the American troops who entered Naples in October, 1943.  They expected wildly enthusiastic crowds screaming their welcome.  But hardly a person appeared along the parade route, and few in Garibaldi Square when they arrived.  They later learned that thousands had massed a mile away, in Plaza Plebiscito, since conquerors were traditionally received there.  The GI’s simply went to the wrong place.   (Gavin, On To Berlin, pp. 72-73)

So long as we seek our identity in philosophy, theology, medicine, politics or technology, we’ll continue to wonder, “If God cares, why doesn’t he help?”  “If he’s concerned, why do problems in humanity mount, not diminish?”  “Why, given all numerous brilliant moral people working to alleviate our tragedies, do they accelerate?”  “Why does each generation walk deeper into a moral maze from which we cannot find an exit?”

Yet, an exit exists, and in blazing letters above that door we read:  “Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth, the Life.  He alone provides for this life and for eternal life.”    Stand beneath that sign and be blessed.  For, if we fail to receive Christ’s grace, it’s because we’re standing elsewhere.

Humanity – a shared humanity is the only factor in crisis

Lt. Colonel Henry Clay Jr. died in the battle of Buena Vista, Mexico, 1847.  The son of Henry Clay Sr. had been wounded when Mexican soldiers overran his position and he stayed behind as rear guard while his men fled for cover.  While on the ground Mexican soldiers bayoneted him to death.

Clay Sr. had already lost six daughters to the grave and two other sons to mental breakdowns.  Yet, the Democratic paper Union  reported the death of the young Clay without comment; and President Polk didn’t consider it important to even mention the death in his Diary.  Country of Vast Design, 355-355.

The common humanity all Whigs and Democrats experienced should have surfaced sympathy when any of them suffered war casualties.  Remember Gene Klein, owner of the San Diego Chargers, and Al Davis, owner of the Oakland Raiders?  They fought bitter court battles.  Yet, when Davis’ wife had serious health problems, and faced the possibility of death, Klein wired or wrote Davis, “Al, if there’s anything I can do….”

Our humanity diminishes the differences between us by the common problems, crises, illnesses and deaths we all experience.  Misfortune suffered by a political enemy, a business competitor, a religious disputant, should surface sympathy, not boasting.  Remember Solomon’s warning about an enemy’s misfortunes Proverbs 24:17-18.  More importantly, remember Christ’s words in Matthew 5:43-48 and Paul’s admonition in Romans 12:17-21.

We can trust God to exact a fair revenge against all wickedness.  Can he trust us to be as merciful to our foes as he is fair to us all, and gracious to all seeking his forgiveness?