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The greatest love of all

February 27, 2011

Water in the Wilderness Cross sculpture

I awoke in the middle of the night thinking how far from being a Christian I am.

People assume that, because I attend church regularly, that my church is a Christian one, but it isn’t. Last Sunday my pastor called it a “Buddheo-Christian” church, which got a big laugh, but people knew she was joking. We like Jesus – the nice, happy, encouraging Jesus, anyway – but truly we do talk a lot more about Buddhist concepts than traditionally Christian ones.

I grew up without religion. Because of my faith-free background, the Bible has no emotional charge for me. It seems a most curious document and the attachment to it baffles me, really. If you want to make people start talking in circles, ask them “Could you be a Christian without the Bible?” As a non-believer, this is a perfectly reasonable question – since Christians say their God is a personal, communicative God, a book seems to me a poor substitute for this direct knowledge.

I tend to see the stories of Christianity as I do the stories of all religions – as rich, meaningful and fascinating myths. Sorry to any believers out there – I’m not trying to insult your faith, only to explain what goes on in my head.

I heard an interview with Sebastian Junger, who wrote a book on Afghanistan and made the movie “Restrepo.” He talked about how the men in the platoon would all give their lives for one another. Even if they truly can’t stand each other, they would still, without ever hesistating, take a bullet for their fellow soldier.

It seems to me that those men are Christians in the purest form. They may hate someone, but they would give their very life for him because of the bond they have. All that business about “if a man asks for your coat, give him your cloak too” pales in comparison. This is truly the greatest love – big, irrational, all-sacrificing love. How little most of us ever do to approach that mark.

What kind of world would a truly Christian world be? With everyone doing everything to make sure other people stayed alive and healthy and loved? If everyone was put first, no exceptions, where would we all be?

  1. February 28, 2011 07:03

    Secular Humanists?

  2. February 28, 2011 11:30

    My Anthropology of Religion class in college pretty much stripped away any remaining belief in God I had.

    • February 28, 2011 14:23

      So your education has doomed you to burn in a lake of fire.

  3. February 28, 2011 12:25

    A little bit of self-interest is necessary just to keep things moving; otherwise, we’d be like the Looney Tunes gophers forever saying, “after you,” “oh no I insist, after you.” But in the world as it is, people can’t seem to tell the difference between self-interest and selfishness, which is why humans are my least favorite species.

    • February 28, 2011 14:22

      My new band name is Looney Tunes Gophers.

  4. March 1, 2011 17:58

    How lucky. To grow up without religion.

  5. March 7, 2011 14:08

    I have some pretty strong unpleasant feelings about religion as a result of man’s (and woman’s) behavior. I *think* I believe in God, but I’m not so sure I believe in people. So much hypocrisy and bad behavior “in the name of God” (or whomever) when I can’t believe that it was what s/he ever intended. Some of the worst I have encountered are those who have to tell me what “good” Christians (or any other religion) they are. If you (not YOU, Suebob) are truly good, you don’t have to tell me; it will be evident by your actions…which, to me, shouldn’t include condemning everyone and everything that differs from your own beliefs.

    • March 9, 2011 18:20

      Well, that’s why you’re going to hell. 😉

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