Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My religious agenda

I have been thinking a bit about this topic - What is it that drives me? What do I think is important? Where do I want to make a difference? Some people might not think that all of the following fit into the category of a religious agenda - for me they do. My own understanding of religion, of God, of my own role and place in the world is invariably defined at least as broadly as these areas.

You might also think that they become predictable at some point - perhaps by listing them I allow myself to be fitted neatly into some kind of predefined box - politically correct? left-wing? liberal? post-modern? I guess that's possible, though for me each one is personal and not part of an adopted package from some other person or group. So, in no particular order:
  • Social justice: righting the scales of an inequitable society. Caring for the poor and disadvantaged.
  • Environmental sustainability: looking after the planet and the rest of creation with which we share it. Not putting profits before future generations.
  • An inclusive, non-discriminatory church which openly welcomes all people regardless of race, ability, gender or sexual orientation.
  • A commitment to inter-faith dialogue - in the 21st century, in a social context that accepts a plurality of faiths, including secular humanism, this can no longer be ignored.

There are probably more, but this is a reasonable start. Will look to expand on these in future blogs...


Anonymous said...

Putting my fundamentalist Salvo cap on, here is what I think about your points -

Social Justice - that's OK, and it fits with our Salvo traditions. As long as we after we clothe and feed them we get to tell them that they are hell bound sinners.

Environmental Sustainability - Not important, because Jesus is arriving any day now to save the true believers.

Inclusive and Non-Discriminatory - most of that sounds alright, except of course for the homosexuals. They are allowed to visit the church, but they can't become soldiers, adherents or anything else until they renounce and are cured of their homosexuality.

Interfaith Dialogue - Absolutely, as long as they know that they are wrong and we are right. Keep telling them about John 14:6.

Now taking off that hat and putting on my secular humanist wannabe hat, my Christian leaning towards agnostic leaning towards atheist hat, and my still trying to exist in Christianity community hat, I say these are all perfect ideals that can enhance the lives of us all now and into the future.

But I'm wondering if the church is more of a hinderance than a help in achieving these things? Are we better off trying to make the world a better place outside of the confines of Christianity? Those in the church talk along the lines of loving others because Christ loves us, but do we really need that as reason to do good? Can't we just love and care for others because it is the right thing to do? Is Christianity an unnecessary distraction?

JDK said...

Hi Anon - you've outlined the issues well and I'll be trying to address some of them in future posts. Maybe you need a new hat?

Regards, JDK

Anonymous said...

Anonymous mentions "Environmental Sustainability - Not important, because Jesus is arriving any day now to save the true believers." So the fundamentalist viewpoint is that we can stuff up God's creation as much as we like as it doesn't matter. Thats an insult to God, and poor stewardship on our part.