Bible Reading: Acts 4:12
There is salvation in no one else! There is no other name in all of heaven for people to call on to save them. Acts 4:12
Ridge and several friends from his youth group had just finished performing mime in a park pavilion of a large city. During a chat with a nice-looking couple, Ridge explained that the whole point of the mime was to help people know that they need Jesus.
“So that’s what you kids are here for,” the woman responded. “Well, we don’t need Jesus to solve our problems. We just need to come together. People are the real solution to the troubles facing the world.”
Ridge just bumped into a way of looking at the world that opposes the Bible, Christians, and the church. It’s an idea that’s called secular humanism. It says that human beings are so superpowerful that we can solve all the problems of our planet.
At first that sounds smart. After all, we aren’t looking to the dolphins, whales, baby seals, or endangered microscopic insects to save the world. And all of us—Christians and non-Christians alike—can work in ways that help people. But can we as humans really solve all of the world’s problems all by ourselves?
Perhaps you have spotted that this plan leaves God out. There are folks who argue that God can’t save the world, because he doesn’t exist.
But solving our problems by ourselves is a fantasy that misses some major facts. Human history is jam-packed with examples that show we can’t solve our own problems. Just think of people and groups like Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, the Khmer Rouge, Idi Amin, the KKK, and Osama bin Laden!
Some people think that the only hope we have of a better world is dumping all religions and trusting human brainpower to bring peace and happiness to the world. (When you hear about people working to remove any mention of God from school or public life—like the Pledge of Allegiance—this is the thinking that drives them. They take the idea of “separation of church and state” to an extreme.)
The apostle Peter stood and proclaimed that Jesus—not humankind—is the world’s only hope for salvation. Of all the people on earth—including all of us working together—only Jesus has the power to save.
Of course, as humans we need to do our part to erase war and famine, to fight disease and injustice. But in the end, we can’t rescue ourselves. We need Jesus!
TALK: Say it in your own words: What’s wrong with thinking people can solve all the planet’s problems?
PRAY: God, guard our mind from ever thinking that we can live without you.
ACT: Explain what you learned about secular humanism to a friend—and explain our real hope as well!