31 August 2016

On Atheists

Greetings Dear Reader,

For those of you who claim to be this there is not forthcoming rant.  I am not going to attack you or condemn you.  That is not my place.  Rather, I wish to ask my fellow Christ followers to see your example and follow it.

My friend Russ shared a story that answers a question I have wanted to address for some time.  Why did God create Atheists?

Here is the story he shared:

There is a famous story told in Chassidic literature that addresses this very question. The Master teaches the student that God created everything in the world to be appreciated, since everything is here to teach us a lesson.

One clever student asks “What lesson can we learn from atheists? Why did God create them?”

The Master responds “God created atheists to teach us the most important lesson of them all – the lesson of true compassion. You see, when an atheist performs and act of charity, visits someone who is sick, helps someone in need, and cares for the world, he is not doing so because of some religious teaching. He does not believe that god commanded him to perform this act. In fact, he does not believe in God at all, so his acts are based on an inner sense of morality. And look at the kindness he can bestow upon others simply because he feels it to be right.”

“This means,” the Master continued “that when someone reaches out to you for help, you should never say ‘I pray that God will help you.’ Instead for the moment, you should become an atheist, imagine that there is no God who can help, and say 'I will help you.’”
ETA source: Tales of Hasidim Vol. 2 by Mar

Even Maslow makes it clear that the highest form of development is doing right for the sake of doing right.  It is in doing things for the sake of the needs of others that we become more like Christ.   I cannot have any motive other than love for my neighbor in helping my neighbor or I am selling something.

It is a beautiful dichotomy.  I am compelled to obey God in loving others because I believe in him.  I must love others as if he does not exist so that my motivation is love for others.  I cannot love others in my own strength because I am fallen but God gives us the grace to love others even if we do not believe in him.

As Christ followers we must return to the place where in Christ we find everything.  We need to see the lessons of following in every situation.  We need to remember that there are no secular issues.  I must see those who do not believe but yet love others as my example of how to love unconditionally; even if the condition I wish is to show Christ to others. 

If I do not love others in this way I risk creating a barrier out of my motivation.  I want everyone to see Christ for who he is.  They cannot if I feel I need to buy their view of him with anything.  So to those of you Dear Reader who do not believe in God, I thank you for your example of unconditional love in a world that sorely needs it.

The Basin and the Towel – Michael Card 

And the call is to community

In an upstairs room, a parable
Is just about to come alive
And while they bicker about who's best
With a painful glance, He'll silently rise

Their Savior Servant must show them how
Through the will of the water
And the tenderness of the towel

And the call is to community
The impoverished power that sets the soul free
In humility, to take the vow
That day after day we must take up the basin and the towel

In any ordinary place
On any ordinary day
The parable can live again
When one will kneel and one will yield

Our Saviour Servant must show us how
Through the will of the water
And the tenderness of the towel

The space between ourselves sometimes
Is more than the distance between the stars
By the fragile bridge of the Servant's bow
We take up the basin and the towel

And the call is to community
The impoverished power that sets the soul free
In humility, to take the vow
That day after day we must take up the basin

And the call is to community
The impoverished power that sets the soul free
In humility, to take the vow
That day after day we must take up the basin
That day after day we must take up the basin
That day after day we must take up the basin and the towel
Take up the basin and the towel, basin and towel

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”

(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

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