A few weeks ago, I was eating with one of my best friends, Dusty. Dusty is an amazing guy. Dusty and I see things similarly a lot, that’s why he is so amazing. In all honesty, he is one of the most caring and selfless people I know. Dusty is the vocalist for a heavy band called Of Salt & Swine. Dusty has tattoos all over his arm, he has almost completed a full arm sleeve. He has one and a half-inch holes in his ears. Basically, Dusty is a sex symbol for his crowd. Gorgeous and intimidating.
When we finally get our food, in comes a family, Grandparents and all, properly dressed, hair styled, the whole shebang. When we sit down, we notice that the whole family, three generations of this family was staring Dusty down, with profound hatred and contempt. Before they started eating, I noticed them say a family prayer. For the rest of our meal, we couldn’t escape our meal without a member of that family looking at him with disgust.
The truth of Dusty’s and my relationship is that we have very different lifestyles. If you saw me, you’d think I belonged with that family, not with Dusty. I shop at the Gap and American Apparel. Dusty wears hoodies and shirts from bands that he likes and has toured with. I am extremely introverted, I prefer to spend most of my time alone. Dusty is the life of the party. I have no tattoos and piercings, Dusty has a lot of them. I am going to school for Theology/Philosophy, Dusty spends his time in the van and the studio with four other sweaty guys.
There are people in my life who ask me why I spend time with people, like Dusty. The truth of the situation is that maybe Dusty needs me, but, I need Dusty way more. Dusty has played an integral part of my salvation story. Dusty, saves me from the dogmas and religious conditioning I was raised with. Some Christians might label Dusty as “the least of these”, as Jesus would say, but, in our relationship its me, who is the least of these. Although, Dusty can’t stand walking in a Church, his consistent love and care, has been poured out from him, like very few I have met in “the church”. Every day, I thank God profusely for Dusty, for his Christ like attributes he contributes to our relationship. Dusty, may not always profess the name of Christ, but, in our relationship, he can be very Christ-like. Dusty, is a loving human being.
Humanism, has always found a negative outlook on by the Church. Yet it has been humanism, that has fought for the rights of women, the rights for African-American’s and the rights for Homosexuals. We could sit here and argue about the effects of humanism on religion and society, or, we could recognize that it was Jesus who came to fight for the rights of “the least of these”. Jesus would have been standing next to Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi, Caesar Chavez and Susan B. Anthony.
If Humanism, in this element continues to be neglected by the Church, then my prayer must become “Jesus, Save Me From Your People”. When we fail to see the needs of others, and, fail to see the needs of ourselves needing them, then we fail to see Jesus.
So the next time you’re at Church, and, are arguing about belief. About, whether or not God is a Calvinist or an Arminian (neither are true, God is an Open Theist), or, whether, God is coming back Pre or Post Tribulation (God is an Amillenialist, Kirk Cameron lied to you), we must begin to ask the question, What is Jesus doing? When do we ever see Jesus arguing about belief with anyone? Jesus came to heal the sick, be with the needy and set the captives free. Do we want to maintain this Capitalistic Nationalistic Status quo, or, can we be with the sick? The needy? And, set the captives free.