As I said in my last post (How the Rose Opened), my nephew and niece unsubscribed to my blog after reading in my April 18 post: I don’t believe Jesus arose from the dead.
I contacted each to find out if what I believed changed our relationship. Not at all, each said. I still love you the same no matter what you believe. You’ll always be my favorite uncle!
They may be fundamentalists, but they know what matters. I’m proud of them. And told them so.
I’m not sure labels such as fundamentalist, theist, atheist, deist, pantheist, animist, environmentalist, secularist, or humanist are helpful. I don’t care what you call yourself or what you say you believe. Turn off the audio. Let me watch the video.
After all, you can don a tuxedo and still be a slob. You can wear an alb, a yarmulke, a turban, a hijab, a hemp shirt, or moccasins and still be an SOB.
Actions speak louder than words.
I like a lot of what Jesus said, especially this: They’ll know you are my disciples by your love. So much for reciting creeds, citing Bible verses, fingering rosaries, and going to church. Shut up and love one another. (Sign me up!)
Years ago at a wedding reception, a man sat down beside me. I really enjoyed the wedding ceremony, he told me. I liked your homily. I didn’t hear you mention God once, but you did mention love a lot. If I weren’t an atheist, I’d attend your church.
I understand, I said. But I want you to know you’d be welcomed. More than a few atheists are part of the congregation already. I myself am an agnostic.
You’re an agnostic?!
Yes. That simply means “one who’s uncertain and open to learning more.” I really don’t know much. I’m still learning. And actually, I think agnosticism is more honest and humble than atheism. I mean, are you absolutely certain there is no God? Have you looked everywhere? Behind every tree? Under every leaf?
I left the table to refill my stein. When I returned, my new friend had his back to me and was speaking to his wife. I’m not an atheist any longer, he told her proudly. I’m an agnostic.
In 40 years of ministry, I’m pretty sure he was my sole convert.
I only hope his conversion made him more loving and kind.
See Paula’s photo “Bluebell Forest” on the home page. Posted April 18