Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Christian Humanist

For no particularly good reason, I've recently been considering how I should label myself when it comes to 'religious' beliefs. I think (for now) I've settled on the phrase:

Christian Humanist

You see, claiming to be merely 'Christian' no longer means anything in our society. If you declare yourself to be a Christian, people either expect you to be:
  1. exactly like them, or
  2. in some way inferior to them, or
  3. a bit weird, but not interesting enough to find out more...
But fundamentally, people often don't think it has anything to do with how you live and has little to do with following the teachings and example of anyone called Christ.

By adding another label to it, particularly one that is often seen as an opposite stance (especially when prefixed with 'secular'), it will hopefully raise questions and provoke conversations.

And, of course, I believe that in many respects, Jesus himself was a humanist:

Luke 14v18-19 (my slight variation on the NIV translation; the original Greek has no mention of 'preaching' to the poor, its an interpolation)
"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to be good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to release the oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."
If that's not humanist, I don't know what is...

1 comment:

Mike Arthur said...

Nice one Ricky.

I find "Christian" to be enough. Normally people then ask if I'm Protestant or Catholic (clearly the Orthodox church sucks at PR) to which I reply neither but I go to a Episcopalian church (for now).