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Doing Life Together

I was listening to HLN the other day as I was driving home from work and heard a show about Harvard University’s humanist chaplain. I went to Harvard’s chaplaincy page and found this description, “The Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard is dedicated to building, educating, and nurturing a diverse community of Humanists, agnostics, atheists, and the non-religious at Harvard and beyond.”

The list of religious chaplains on Harvard’s page included many, but I was a bit stunned that humanism was listed as a religion. I was taught (consistent with the dictionary) that humanism is a philosophy, without theism. Chaplains are persons called by God. And this humanistic “chaplain” admitted their goal was to eliminate God from the picture. But at Harvard, humanism is listed along side all the religions.

The “chaplain” went on to explain that the focus is to help people to be good without God. But in that conversation was also the belief that religion harms people.

Harvard is the oldest university founded in America (1636). It was founded with the purpose to educate clergy and perpetuate education from a Christian perspective. It’s shield bears the Latin motto that means “truth.”

And interestingly, this contemporary move to help people be good without God is the oldest sin first established in the Garden of Eden. When Adam and Eve ate the fruit, they believed they could be good without God. This is the definition of pride. It is, as C.S. Lewis points out,  a complete anti-God state of mind.

With pride, one rejects God’s Word and His goodness. This rejection leads to the belief that goodness is attainable without God. That we are inherently good, the root of humanism. Humanism is a growing reliance on self, a dependence on one’s strength and wisdom.

Pride is about self-sufficiency, self-importance and self-exaltation. C.S. Lewis calls pride a “spiritual cancer. It eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment or eve common sense.” And God removed his creation from the garden because of it. So if you want to be good without God, then form an organization or a club, but don’t call it religion, especially if you believe religion is harmful and your goal is to remove God from the picture.

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