Posts Tagged ‘Rumi’

Loving Atheist Friends

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

I work with a lot of folks who are trying to reconnect with faith, having given it up for dead, others who never had it and now are finding it, and those who remain atheist yet really love the community aspects of NewChurch LIVE and involve themselves for that reason.  I love the mix.

Rumi’s quote that there is a field beyond right and wrong and “I will meet you there”  carries a great deal of wisdom.  I think we do faith a disservice by making it solely about “belief.”  Always incredible, as a Swedenborgian, to consider that the biggest threat before us is not atheism but believers who keep their faith as a “head only” thing, aka “faith alone.”

What does this mean to me?  Justice – my best understanding is that justice is the divine design and our job is to find those areas that have fallen out of that design and bring them back into congruity with it.  (almost direct quotes)  Yet faith, as I experience it, gets boiled down to questions of gender and sexuality.  I witness huge amounts of energy expended debating homosexuality, the role of sex etc…..   Not that these are unimportant topics to discuss but the bulk – as in 99.99% of Jesus’ message is somewhere else – and that 99.99% is not about “belief.”   (Example … what is the #1 command in the bible according to the # of times it is said?  “Fear not” – speaking to the dangers of fear and the chaos it creates.  When was the last time you heard that topic on a talk show?)

That somewhere else was what Rumi spoke of.  It is the appeal  of Dali Lama.  For me, it is where Swedenborg was pointing as well – to the deepest core of Christian messages which is taking care of each other – something far greater than belief, something that Jesus, even if one just holds Him as an amazing human sans any divinity, lived.

That is the common ground around which great things can be built.  Our world cries out, I think, for really looking at topics like Justice.  The atheist perspective is critical in that regard.  As one author put it, atheists help people (and have helped me) to get clear on the god not to believe in.   Compassionate belief centered on consequential faith may add something to the atheist perspective as well.