The greatest love of all
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?