How is your week going? Good, I hope.
Do you have a label? Or do you find, like David when they dressed him in Saul’s armor, “Hey, this doesn’t quite fit-take it off?” I have said I’m a Christian Freethinker, but I got yelled at for that, “Christians can’t be freethinkers, freethinkers are atheists, like me.” Well, gee, if you’re an atheist, why are you an expert on what Christians are allowed to think?
Then I said I may be a Christian Humanist, but I got yelled at for that, too. Seems humanists are atheists, they think humans are the highest thing in the universe. I don’t think that, but I do think God really loves humans, that we are his children. Erasmus of Rotterdam was a Christian humanist, so don’t tell me that’s not a thing I can be.
I see it all over the New Testament. God thinks very highly of us, each one of us and it doesn’t matter what sex, socio-economic status or age we are. He does not value us for our contribution to society, he values us because we exist. It’s called Imago Dei, in the “image of God.” It doesn’t mean the spitting image, it means we are chips off the old block, we have a divine seed in us and human life is sacred.
But is that elevating humans too high? Jesus said he will judge us on how we treat each other, because that is how we are treating him. “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Oh, ouch.
This is the cure for man’s inhumanity to man. There can be no compromise on the sacredness of human life. Every single instance of cruelty, genocide and war crimes has first rejected the sacredness of human life, elevated some “ism” or utilitarian valuation above human life and designated some people as “useless eaters” enemies of the state” or “non-producers” and therefore expendable.
The USA, which many claim is a Christian nation, falls miserably short of Christ’s challenge on this. Rich or poor, black, brown, white, old, young, sinners (especially sinners!) God says he loves each one and commands us to do the same if we are his children.
Or not-we are a free moral agents-but then we have to take off the Christian label, because it’s all about love.
If a man say, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar. For he that loves not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
To which I can only answer with my most frequent prayer, “Lord, help me.”