A Line in the Sand: Why Study the Secular Creed?

“It is my work as a Christian, but much more as I am a Watchman, to do my best to discover the fullness of Christ, the emptiness of the creature, and the snares of the great deceiver.”[1] As a Watchman (a pastor) myself, each Sunday I endeavor to do those three things, typically moving in the order that Brooks presents them. The half-dozen teachings of this series have the same aim, yet the order is somewhat reversed. Rather than studying Scripture’s presentation of Christ’s glory and then moving into our emptiness and Satan’s treachery, we will be studying what I believe to be a snare that the great deceiver has laid today. I am calling it the Secular Creed, but it is nothing more than a house sign (one that comes in many variations) that has become increasingly popular as of late. It reads:

In this house, we believe:
Black Lives Matter
Women’s Rights Are Human Rights
No Human Is Illegal
Science Is Real
Love Is Love
Kindness Is Everything

As we shall discuss, behind these seemingly innocent statements lay the traps of our enemy and the emptiness of human philosophy. Nevertheless, I will attempt, in the end, to point beyond this creed’s insufficient morality to the perfection of Christ.

So why study this secular creed? The simple fact that these various house signs begin with the statement, “In this house, we believe…” means that a creedal confession is being made. The declarations that follow are doctrines, dogmas of orthodoxy that are meant to both unify and divide. Creeds can do nothing less. Staking claim in the truth of one statement, necessarily challenges all opposing claims. This is clearly the purpose with our own Apostles’ Creed. When we declare our belief in “God the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth,” we are, by that very article, denying the belief that the universe began by chance, that a multitude of gods were responsible for creation, or that the cosmos itself is eternally existent. To speak the words, “I believe” or “we believe” means drawing a line in the sand in order to deny other beliefs. Thus, the fact that our secular culture is finally providing us with a kind of confessional statement of faith certainly warrants a detailed look at what its beliefs are, at what constitutes orthodoxy in the religion of secularism.

I am calling this study An Appearance of Godliness because, I believe, that is exactly what the statements of the Secular Creed are. Paul warned Timothy of the godlessness that would crop up in the last days. Most are what you might expect: “lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous…” (2 Timothy 3:2-3). And the list keeps going. But the final description has always caught my attention: “having an appearance of godliness, but denying its power” (v. 5). This statement perfectly describes the danger that the Secular Creed poses. It is a form of morality, only without the Lawgiver. It looks godly but denies God.

If that sounds like an overstatement, it is not. This household list of dogmas is an ethical and doctrinal system without any mention of God. It is godly in its appearance, yet it denies the Almighty by His absence. A creed without God is, of course, godless. Indeed, the absence of God is also what makes it a secular creed, for secularism can only, at most, associate itself with deism.[2]

My pattern for approaching each statement will remain fairly simple. First, I will ask what we, as Christians who affirm the ultimate authority of Scripture, are able to affirm. Second, I will ask what we must deny as incompatible with the teaching of God’s Word. Two weeks from today, we will begin by looking at the statement Black Lives Matter.

Finally, allow me to give a brief word to three groups of people who may read the writings that will follow:

To non-Christians, although I am not primarily attempting to persuade you to deny the Secular Creed, I certainly do pray that you would discover the fullness that is only in Christ. I certainly understand the moral appeal of statements like Kindness Is Everything, yet I pray for you to see through such dim shadows to the reality in Christ.

To Christians who would affirm the statements in the Secular Creed, I pray that once we have thought deeply through the implications of these doctrines, your eyes will be open to the multitude of dangers within this worldly ethic.

To Christians who already deny the statements that follow, may these studies confirm more deeply what you already believe, and may they further strengthen you in Christ to stand against the pressures of this evil day that summon us to conform to the pattern of this world.

[1] Thomas Brooks, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices, 15.

[2] Secularism is a purposely material worldview, discounting entirely or at least mostly anything deemed supernatural. Thus, it is most often associated with atheistic or agnostic views of God; however, deism also provides room for secularism, since deists believe that God is not involved in this world that He created.


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