While listening to a sermon, circa 1950’s, I heard a shocking statement. The preacher said that Christian fundamentalism was just another form of humanism. What! I nearly jumped out of my chair. My first thought was to turn it off. I wasn’t about to listen to blasphemy. However, until that statement I was really being encouraged by the message. So, I decided that I’d listen to his point if for no other reason than to be able to rebut it if it ever came up in a conversation.

I’m glad I listened. His point was that both secular humanism and (some) forms of fundamentalism are both centered on man. Secular humanism says, “We don’t know what happens after death so let’s try to make man’s journey as pleasant as possible.” Fundamentalism says, “This life’s journey is preparation for man’s eternal reward.” Both perspectives are centered on man. Therefore, they both are humanistic.

I have to agree with this perspective. Being a Christian is not at all about “me”; it’s about Christ. A great example of this in seen in Matthew 16:24 (Amplified Bible*) which says, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [[a] cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also].”

There are many other verses that support this core concept. Our job is to forget about ourselves and to cleave steadfastly to Jesus. This does not end when we die. I can’t find anywhere in the Bible where Jesus says to us after we die, “Well, now that that’s over with, you can go live your own life.”

What I do see in scripture, concerning Christ’s perspective of man, is actually quite remarkable. In 2nd Timothy 2:12 it says that we shall “reign with Him”. So, we have a royal title. And, in Galatians 4:6 (Amplified Bible*) it says, “And because you [really] are [His] sons, God has sent the [[a] Holy] Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba (Father)! Father!” Therefore, we also have a family title.

However, the highest title one can have in God’s kingdom is “servant”. In Mark 10:44 (Amplified Bible*) it says, “And whoever wishes to be most important and first in rank among you must be slave of all.” Also, we see where it says in Revelation 22:3 (New International Version**),” No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.”

The Christian life is not about blessings here in this life or rewards after we die. It’s not about “opportunities” and “ministries” and “titles”. Blessings and rewards are wonderful and are given by God. God is good, loving and gracious to us. Our hope is grounded in His grace, His love and His redeeming power.

However, if we strive for these things, if these things are our focus then we’re missing the whole point, we’ve taken our eyes off the goal and we have slipped into humanism (i.e. what’s in it for me). Ephesians 2:8 (Amplified Bible*) says,”For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved ([a] delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God;”

*Amplified Bible (AMP) Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation