Secular Sam

September 30, 2012

Secular Sam

            Don’t ask what Sam’s last name is because he is just a fictitious character to help you understand what secularism is and the ugly results of secular thinking.

The dictionary definition of secularism is “indifference to or exclusion of religion.  In reality, it is an attempt to erase all thought of God from the minds of men.

Sam can remember having made a profession of receiving Christ as his Savior when he was around 6 years old.  It was after his mother showed him some verses from the open Bible.  She explained to him what it meant to be saved and led him in a prayer.  For Sam, it was just an intellectual exercise without a change of heart.  In church he often heard them talk about being saved, but he thought, “I have already done that.”

Sam continued to attend church through his teenage years because it was a family routine.  He was a part of the church youth group, and often accompanied them when they went to singspirations and other activities.

Sam was hardly aware of it, but his mind was being molded by the education he was receiving in school.  In science class he learned that the earth was created millions of years ago through a process called evolution.  In Sunday School he had been taught that the earth was created by God.  The text books were convincing and his teachers didn’t have any doubts about it.  He concluded that the text books must be right.

As time went on Sam’s mind was more and more occupied with secular thoughts.  His friends almost never talked about spiritual things.  When they weren’t studying, their talk was about computer games and athletic events.  That was of interest to Sam too.  He convinced his father that the family needed a computer because it would make a significant contribution to his and his sibling’s education.  As soon as they had one, Sam made sure he got the latest computer games installed on it.

Sam’s mother found it increasingly more difficult to teach him the social skills she knew he needed to relate well with the family and the outside world.  Sam found it difficult to make sacrifices for his younger brothers and sisters and share his things with them.  He especially hated it when his mother asked him to change his baby brother’s dirty diapers.  At school there were rules that had to be obeyed, but   the courses   taught  almost nothing about the proper way to relate to others.  Since God is left out of the curriculum in secular schools, they most likely won’t teach any moral absolutes.  They let everyone choose his own values.

Sam’s parents were increasingly concerned about his secular mind.  He wasn’t failing in school, but he wasn’t at the top of his class either.  He showed less and less interest in spiritual things.  In family worship his father often ask him to read a Bible portion or lead in prayer.  It was obvious that he had little desire to do it.

When Sam graduated from high school he dropped out of church and left God out of his life.  He lived for material things.  His uncle found him a job in a factory driving a fork lift.  He liked the job and soon became proficient at it.  He was excited about the things he could buy with the money he was making.

It wasn’t long before Sam met Jane and fell in love with her.  They were both elated with the excitement of romance.  Things went quite well the first 3-4 months after the wedding.  Then they began to bicker about how to spend their money.  Jane was working at a check out counter in a store.  They both had an income and couldn’t agree on who should pay what bills.  Things went from bad to worse.  After two years of marriage Jane packed up her things and left.  The divorce left Sam devastated and bitter.  He felt like he didn’t get his fair share out of his marriage.  Of course, he never asked himself if he had contributed his fair share.

Sam gave some thought to a second marriage, but he was plagued with the fear that he would be the loser again.  He was frustrated because he didn’t have the knowledge or skills for a job advancement.  After work he went home to an empty house.  After cooking himself a simple meal he sat down to play computer games.  His life was empty and his heart was filled with bitterness.  Sometimes he even thought about suicide.

Sam’s experience is typical of that of the majority who fall into the trap of secularism.  Secularism leads people in a pursuit of personal pleasure and prosperity.  It appears to be a legitimate motive for living, but in the end it leads to an empty life.  It’s like the mountain climber who, after years of sacrifice and developing muscle strength and skills, finally manages to scaleMount Everest.  As he stands there on the lofty heights of the mountain looking down at the world below he asks himself, “Now what is there for me?”  All there is left for him is to glory in what he has done.  I have read that Napoleon wept when he realized that there were no more worlds for him to conquer.  Maybe he had some advantage over all the rest who feel defeated because they never acquire all the material things they want, and never experience all the personal pleasure life has to offer.

Jesus said in Matthew 4:4 “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”  Secularism says Jesus was wrong.  Who is right?  We need to take an honest look at the facts.  Jesus never promised a life without trials.  He said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation” (John 16:33). Trials are a part of life.  The good news is that those who surrender their lives to God and obey him never come to a place where they stand in shame and disgrace because they have made a lot of foolish mistakes.  They have the promise of victory.  I John 4:4-5 says “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.  For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.   Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”  I have never known a genuine obedient Christian whose life ended in disgrace.  I have known any number of people whose life ended that way because they followed the self serving path of secularism.

Yes, you can live your life without God, but you can’t live a happy, fruitful, successful life without God.  The Westminster Catechism asks the question, “What is the chief end of man?”  The answer is “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.”

From Secular Sam we should learn that what the writer of the book of Ecclesiastes said is true.  “Vanity of vanity, all is vanity.”  Parents need to realize that secular schools may obliterate their children’s faith in God.  “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death”  (Proverbs 14:12).  Beware!  Secularism is one of those ways.

If I had occasion to find Secular Sam where we left him, my advice to him would be to tell him that he needs to humbly ask God to forgive his sin and make him a child of his.  I would like to open the Bible and show him the words of Jesus where he asks the question, “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36).  I’d like to tell him, “Sam, you need a reason for living that goes far beyond your own little world.  You need to do what Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth.”  If you become a child of God he will give you a love for those around you and teach you how to have the right relationship with them.”

If you are caught in the trap of a secular mind there is hope for you.  Don’t wait until you reach the point of desperation.  Do what I told Sam to do and God will give you “Life more abundantly” (John 10:10).

 

Our E-mail address is rusandmargaretgeorge@windstream.net

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