Jesus, a Humanist?!

I track another forum for a game that I sometimes play, and a comment was made that Jesus was almost certainly a humanist. Well, I did a little digging around, just to make sure that I actually knew what I was talking about, and found several definitions of humanism. And once again, I think it’s safe to say that Jesus was most certainly not a humanist. The basic definition of humanism posits that it is a rational philosophy that is free of supernaturalism where the basic values of life are determined from common human experience and culture alone. (That’s the really watered-down version.) See, the trouble with saying that Jesus was a humanist is that He doesn’t fit this definition in the slightest. Everything about Jesus was supernatural, from his birth to his earthly works and ministry right up to his death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. Furthermore, the values that He preached weren’t derived from human experience but from Godly dictates. At the most basic level, the difference between Jesus and the humanist philosophy is that Jesus was most focused on things in Heaven and in relation to the Father, and humanists are most focused on things on the earth and in relation to their fellow man.

I think that making this distinction is very important because of the differing emphases. Humanists believe in the power of Man to better themselves and the world, while Jesus (and hence all Christians) believed only in the power of God to save Men from themselves and to ultimately one day renew the whole of the universe for His pleasure.

3 thoughts on “Jesus, a Humanist?!”

  1. The idea of humanism that comes into my mind when I think about what it SHOULD mean is the main definition that does exist for feminism – basically that all people are different but equal and should be afforded equal rights, etc.  I think Jesus was all about Love and… Love… and probably wouldn’t want labels.  I apprecate the WWJD stuff, I guess, but I don’t think Jesus would wear a stupid armband with his name on it.  Maybe I’m being cynical. 
    I have a strange family, and my uncle in particular is interesting and sad and needs a little personal experience of God to help him believe again.  ::sigh:: Keep it up, Schnauff.

  2. It’s very possible that the term ‘humanism’, like so many others in the English language, gets nuanced slightly differently depending on who is speaking at a given moment in time. It sounds to me like Kelanor (the poster on the other forum from whom the comment originated) defines humanism a bit differently than I do, who defines it differently than you, all of whom may (probably?) define it slightly differently than the humanist philosophy movement. (And from what I’ve read, they in that movement don’t even have complete agreement on the exact definition of the term.)And yes, Jesus was about love. But He was also about justice and about living true to the only God and about building his Church. I also agree that He probably wouldn’t want labels, per se, though he did use a few of His own — “These are my disciples,” “These are my children,” “These are my sheep,” ‘hypocrites,’ etc. But I think your point was more in regard to labels that divide the Body, and I’m sure Christ was never about that (though He often did separate out those who were never committed in the first place, e.g. the scribe who asked about the law, the man who asked to first go and bury his father, etc.). I think He would just as soon cast away those who would hurt the body, at least until they repented and were willing to follow, than to allow them to ‘follow’ Him under some misguided attempt at experiencing something miraculous for its own sake.

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