Saturday, May 31, 2014

Part 2 of "The Atheists who are Better at Christianity..."

I've been thinking over what I wrote last week, regarding what I'm looking for and the people that I see. I'm realizing that there very well could be clarification.

There is a goal that I am working toward and I must admit that it has been informed by my Christian upbringing. It is an ideal that was set forth by Christ at the Last Supper. He said simply "Love each other." It is a simple thing that proves to be very difficult to live into, which is why I call it an ideal, rather than a mandate.

In my last post, I said that "I am trying to find the people who are willing to be honest. I am trying to find the people who will whole heartedly show who they are..." What I believe is that honest people, whole hearted people, will naturally make efforts to enter into relationship with others. And once they've entered into relationship with others, the whole hearted ones will offer support and compassion and generally demonstrate a concern for the well being of the person with whom they are now related. In this, I see the ideal that Christ gave.

So I say that I am looking for people who are willing to be honest and whole hearted. I think that gathering these people together can become a force for good change; that the world could become a more humane place and less violent. However, here is where I must add the clarification that I don't think I stated explicitly in my last post: I don't care what has informed someone's drive to enter into loving relationship with others in the world. 

I admit that my sense of this drive has been informed by the stories of Christ, handed down through my religious tradition. But as whole hearted and honest people gather together, I will not refuse to work with another whole hearted person just because their sense of this was informed by secular humanist principals, or by Buddhist tradition, or formed in reaction to atrocities that the person has seen. I will not refuse to work with someone just because their path leading up to this point is different than mine. If I am to work with someone, all I demand is that this person has a concern for others and that they take action as a result of that concern.

So what makes me sad or angry is when I encounter people who set things up to the exclusion of others. It's like saying "We're going to do this good thing, but you can't help us do good because you haven't been a part of our club, so therefor you're bad and you can't do good." That's a really small minded, depressing thing to hear. I think that good is an objective value of something, so the objective Goodness of something is there, no matter the reasons why someone is doing it.

This is intended to be a short blog (which I don't know whether I've accomplished) because I only sought to clarify what I wrote last week (also not sure whether I've accomplished that). My point is that, as I seek to live in the light of the Risen Christ, I feel that that drives me to seek and serve others. And as I do that, I feel that it is important to join with others who are also seeking to serve, regardless of whether or not they are Christians. Goodness is good, regardless of who is doing it. And I think the world just needs more Goodness.