Fundamentally Christian?

 

In yesterday’s edition of the Independent, Tom Hodgkinson wrote a positive and thoughtful review of his experiences at the Occupy London Stock Exchange camp, and came to the conclusion that the Occupy protest was a fundamentally Christian one.

While it is easy to see how one might come to this conclusion, one must ask, does Christianity have the right to hold sole claim to morality in this way? Does any religion, in fact, have this right? Are we really in a society that has become so blinkered by our own cultural preconceptions and stereotypes, that we can no longer tell the difference between religion and morality? A society that believes that people are moral because of who they are, and not because of what they do?

Many people have struggled to put a simple definition or label on what the Occupy movement is all about. The reason for this is because the definition is not simple. There is not a single term that can define the Occupy movement that doesn’t ultimately end up alienating some aspect of the movement. The movement is made up of diverse individuals concerned about a lot of complex issues, which ultimately come back to one simple thing. It’s about people. The Occupy movement is about humanity.

When people like Tom Hodgkinson use phrases like “fundamentally Christian” to describe the Occupy movement, regardless of their intent, they often forget to take into account all the people that are being excluded by such a phrase. What about those of other faiths, such as Muslims, Hindus, and Pagans, amongst the many different diverse faiths that are present in the UK. What about non-religious supporters, be the hard-line Atheists, or simply Humanists or Existentialists?

Evidence shows that there is in fact a diverse cross-section of faith within the Occupy movement, and it is only because of the local issues with St. Paul’s that Anglicanism has reached such high profile within the Occupy London Stock Exchange protest itself. Far from being “fundamentally Christian” or even “fundamentally religious” the focus of the Occupy movement is on something much more meaningful that few people have a hard time arguing with, and therefore are wanting to spend more time trying to hide under as many different labels as they possibly can.

The Occupy protest is a fundamentally moral protest.

 

62 Responses to “Fundamentally Christian?”

  1. Watching the interfaith blessing, and knowing some of those in the interfaith working groups has been lovely. I am an atheist(well..it all seems improbable to me), but the respect and dialogue between faiths and those without religion, is one of nicest parts of occupation.

     
    • Well said Lisa. Richard Dawkins is (claims to be?) a ‘religious atheist’.
      I don’t understand why some of the comments look as if the original post has not been read. It seems to me to say “Fundamentally Christian – No, it’s not”.
      The original newspaper article is certainly positive and suggests the established church(es) and most Christians (a minority in this country) can/should give the occupylsx movement their support.
      Why would some atheists want to attack that?
      Jesus is certainly improbable – perhaps he was an atheist?? – the religious authorities of his time certainly made sure they got rid of him!
      ‘Scientism’ – the idea that Science is all, is possibly the most dangerous ‘-ism’ of our day. The Nazis were very enthusiastic about science, very efficient and deadly.
      “Love one another” – everyone can work together, any religion or none, Gentile, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, atheist – it just isn’t easy, but occupylsx shows that it’s worth trying and it can be done.
      ‘Fundamentally’ was a curious choice of word – ‘fundamentalists’ whether they be Christian, Muslim, Atheist or other are the problem – “I’m right and you’re wrong” – Science is not certainty – it’s the recognition that our present understanding may be incomplete or wrong.

       
    • I’ve no problem with people sitting down at the occupations and discussing religion… I think they’d be wasting their time and there are far far more important issues to discuss, but obviously it is up to them what they talk about.

      However, i have a problem with religion being associated with the movement at all! I had large debates when some folks from the jewish community came out in support for occupy london… To be honest i feel that the movement has brought this on themselves! They called out to all religions to come and join them! Why? What the hell does religion have to do with this movement? It’s muddying the waters just like i said! But instead of people seeing sense they pull out the old racist card!
      Because of certain peoples decisions inviting religion i felt i could no longer support the movement! Some people may find that odd but it’s how i feel.

      So far there has been more in the press about bloody religion than there has the issues! What really gets my goat is that they even took down the anti capitalist signs! When atleast anti capitalism is to do with the flaming issues!

      What next? Will you erect a tent church and sinagog, etc? Oh well the thought of the occupy movement was nice, and i wish everyone the best. It’s finished as far as i’m concerned.

       
  2. fair comment but it’s still a good article and a good comment from John Sinclair

     
    • There is no denying that this is a “positive and thoughtful review”, and indeed, the comment by John Sinclair is also very apt. However, the idea that the protest is “fundamentally Christian” when it is part of a global movement is something that needed to be questioned and challenged. It would have been better to say that Christianity is a fundamentally moral religion, and that is why the Anglican faith supports the Occupy movement, which is a fundamentally moral protest. To do otherwise would have been hypocritical of the faith, and misrepresentative of many of the clergy and parishioners that the faith is supposed to represent.

       
  3. Religious ‘morality’ and humanistic ‘ethics’ can sit comfortably side by side. The ethical universalism displayed by the Occupy movement echoes much of Christian teaching – and those of other religions, I suspect, but my only personal knowledge is of Christianity.

     
  4. As a fervent supporter of OccupyLSX and OccupyUK as well as an ex-Christrian, I think what TIm Hodgkinson is struggling to get at is that Christians should be doing everything to support and lift up this movement, because the animating spirit – this thirst for justice – is the same animating spirit of the early Church or other religious movements. When he says that the Occupation are the real Christians, surely he is only saying that the Occupation is reflecting the most excellent standards of morality and humanity he can imagine. They are better Christians than the Christians. Could that be what he meant?

    Of course the movement should not be co-opted or limited by ANY organization, I think everyone agrees on that. Christianity’s theism is limiting, to be sure, but its rules are our heritage and as we go forward it is good that we look to learn the lessons of the part. Christians should be welcome to show their support and stand shoulder to shoulder with the Occupation.

    I don’t know what Hodgkinson actually said or even who he is, but in thinking hard about sustaining the Occupation in the UK I personally think we should take advantage of this strange and fortuitous alliance. The Church has buildings all over the country – our Cathedrals, symbols of hope – we could Occupy them, raise local support, truly transform the UK. For surely we must transform the UK first and successfully before we have much to offer a global movement. And to transform the UK, we should take advantage of the work for social and economic justice that has already be done – regardless of who did it. The Church’s job should be to tame a corrupted government and for that the Church should be the handmaiden of those who would do that work (and they should get out their pocketbooks to pay for it).

    Christians could learn a lot from the Occupiers. Christians in the UK really do have a log in their own smug middle class eyes about morality and markets, they should be welcome to try to keep up.

     
  5. I am a Christian and I resonate with some of the statements I see on here emanating from the movement. Statements that seek to convey compassion for humanity and a heart for reconciliation with no divisions, only human beings, resonate with me very much.

    I must also say though that I also read comments by some who I understand to be part of the movement there in London that make me feel very unwelcome.

    Regardless of this inconsistency, my own view is that Christ is very much at work within the hearts of many who are involved in this movement ~ whether they recognise it or not.

    Rather than using lables, which can alienate so many, I see it as more beneficial to assess something or someone by the fruit. People seem to know instinctively when something is good and when something is bad. When its good we feel safe, loved, protected, understood, cared about, valued etc ~ even in our most vulnerable state. When it is bad, we feel unwelcome, neglected, exploited, violated, excluded, worthless, trampled etc.

    I see something good unfolding through what’s happening. Labels apart.

     
    • Ultimately, I think the point that needs to be remembered is that Christians make up part of the 99%. There is nothing wrong with that at all, although some die-hard left-wing socialists may still adhere to some of the Marxist arguments that religion is “the opiate of the masses.”

      The Occupy movement is about unionising the people, together, to achieve simple goals in a global movement. It’s not limited to one nation, one religion, or one agenda. It is an inclusive rather than divisive movement, although certain groups seem to be intent on trying to form divisions within it. There’s many people that are working very hard to sow dissent and slow down the growth of the fastest movement on the planet. We mustn’t let simple, meaningless factors come between members of the movement at any point. Does it really matter if one person believes in God and another person doesn’t, as long as they are doing the same thing? As long as we are all following the same goals, does it really matter what we believe in?

       
  6. As an atheist, I’m a bit dismayed that the movement has become entangled with ‘people of faith’.

    Can you not leave them to go back to ‘mumbling to magic sky people’ while you focus on sorting out ‘real world’ issues?

     
    • One small question.

      Who is it running most of the homeless night shelters in London, and who is it throwing silly prejudice around?

       
      • I fully confess to a prejudice against religion, and I don’t dispute that they have a compassionate component & do good works for which I congratulate them.
        Never the less, all religious organisations are tainted & essentially a bit… deranged.
        All I’m saying is that I feel the movement is in danger of getting in with the wrong crowd. We need a logical humanist approach to this crisis. You know, grown ups, who don’t have imaginary friends.
        – Whenever I hear ‘what would Jesus do’ it makes my heart sink.

         
        • A logical humanist approach, Peter? Humanity is a species built on stories and knowledge, on patterns and faith, and sharing and teamwork. The logic of science isn’t all that different from faith – it just serves a different purpose, and now humanity is using it for the wrong purpose. It’s a bit like using a spanner to knock a nail into a bit of wood when a hammer is better for the job. There’s many debates over whether hammers are better than spanners, but ultimately, it depends upon the job you are doing at the time. Both are tools. The same goes with science/logic and faith. Both are tools, and both have a place in society. People like having things to believe in – as this gives them a sense of purpose. We, as humans, ultimately make faith, and we have reached a point where we have even turned science into a faith. Many people disagree with this, especially Atheists, but the simple fact is that Atheists are not atheist at all – they are Anti-Theist. The problem with being anti-anything is that is is antagonistic in nature, and defined solely by the fact that it is a very strong aversion to something. It is defined by what it isn’t, rather than what it is. It’s a bit like trying to define the colour ‘blue’ as ‘anti-red’ – it sets up a very false dualism that is unproductive and ultimately destructive. If you are for logic, then the logical answer when dealing with theism is, and for the time being will continue to be, that there is simply not enough evidence to come to a logical conclusion about the nature of God or faith. Anything more is not objective logical reasoning, it is subjective human rationalisation based on the personal prejudices of the subject making the conclusion.

           
          • I’m afraid you lost me when you said ‘science isn’t all that different from faith’, it is very different. Period.

            Atheist or anti-theist, whatever. I don’t think that people who believe in ‘made up stuff’ to make them feel better deserve automatic respect & reverence. I think they should be given a wide berth.

            I didn’t come on here to troll or hijack the thread into a debate on atheism vs religion, there are more important things to be discussed here.

            I whole heartedly support the movement, but the title of this thread & the involvement of religious groups in the debate has sent alarm bells ringing.

            People are quite capable of being ‘good without god’ & I find the notion that christians or whoever have a monopoly on morality quite offensive.

             
          • Good ‘stuff’
            Da’ Vane and Peterm
            Thanks.

             
          • Are Buddhists atheists?

             
          • Dear Promotor Fidei,

            Is this some sort of trick question ? or

            Do you ask this question in the belief that the good people commenting in this site have the answers everyone is looking for ? πŸ˜‰

             
          • “Is this some sort of trick question ?”

            Yes, it’s a trick question. Well spotted.

             
      • “Who is it running most of the homeless night shelters in London, and who is it throwing silly prejudice around?”

        Who is it running hedge funds and arms companies? Christians.
        Who is it in Government cutting services and giving tax breaks to corporations? Christians.

         
        • If you hold that it is Christianity (or, more broadly, religion) which makes people manage hedge funds, trade arms and generally behave in a reprehensible manner I suggest it would be unlikely that you could simultaneously hold a very high view of the founder of the religion. On the other hand, you might argue that it is not Christianity per se which engenders this type of behaviour (one might in any case point to innumerable examples of non-Christians behaving in precisely the same way), but rather a certain segment of Christian believers falling, in this case, very short of the Christian ideal. Moreover, given that Jesus himself predicted that even his closest disciple (Simon Peter) would deny him three times, most Christians, I would suggest, might be inclined to see such behaviour in somewhat more nuanced terms than mere ‘rank hypocrisy’.

          So what is your answer to the now famous question: “What would Jesus do?”

           
    • Real world issues, like Apartheid, nuclear arms? St Paul’s has a history of radical engagement that lazy anti-religion Guardian journalists have failed to research.

      http://www.canoncollins.org.uk/CanonCollinsStory.php

       
      • All negated by blessing the Lord Mayor every year.

         
  7. Who wrote this? Why doesn’t it say?

     
    • It does say – OccupyLSX wrote this. Why do you ask?

       
      • I too wonder who wrote this. The aswer “occupylsx” is nonsense. Clearly this was not written by the occupation as a whole.

        This is an opinion piece by an individual being presented as an occupation statement.

        Is this what democracy looks like?

         
      • I ask because transparency’s important, and sorely lacking on this site.

        So, are you saying it was written at a General Assembly, or approved by one? When?

         
      • Are you seriously claiming that you write on behalf of all of OccupyLSX, without consulting them? So you’re the leader?

         
  8. The Occupy protest is a fundamentally nwo elite’s teaching installation, just preparation for new elite system

     
  9. Oh the Farmer and the Cowman can be friends
    Yes the Farmer and the Cowman can be friends
    One man likes to push a plow
    The other likes to chase a cow
    but that’s no reason why they can’t be friends.

    Territory folk should stick together,
    Territory folk should all be pals.

    Look, if this movement is going to work to reform government and economic systems, then people are going to have to set aside their differences to make it happen. Citizenship has a moral component and the market has a moral component and no matter where your morality comes from, you should have a seat at the table to talk about it. So just look past our differences and focus on our commonality. Please.

     
    • There’s a reason no-one says “We are the 100%”.

      Visit the real world, have a look outside your bubble.

       
      • I AM the 100%
        there is nothing else.
        .
        1 man went 2 mow went 2 mow a meadow.,.. .

         
  10. Peterm, the title of the thread comes from the fact that the whole point being questioned is whether or not the movement in fundamentally Christian or not, as interpreted by someone else’s article. It’s a shame when people see the word ‘Christian’ and their hatred and prejudice of religion is so extreme that they have to send alarm bells ringing.

    Science and religion are different, just as a hammer and a spanner are different, but they can be used the same way. Failure to understand the subjective nature of humanity and it’s issues is part of the problem, and this is a big issue which society faces. There is no “They are different. Period.” answer that is going to ever be satisfactory. That’s just ignorance – and goes against the very basis of logic that you claimed to espouse.

    You see religion as “made up things” – but, in truth, ultimately so is Science. Both Science and Religion are “made up” of these “things” called words to which we have assigned meanings. Science has been described as “lies to children” as a means to help us learn about the world and pass on knowledge to future generations, and in that context, it makes it no less effective a learning tool than the idea that thunder comes from an angry god in the sky. We, as a species, learn cause and effect through direct observation and then assign meaning to them in the form of some kind of narrative. There are different types of narratives in the world for different reasons. But they exist so that we may make sense of our lives and pass our lessons on to others so that they may learn from them. They are all types just simply types of knowledge, useful in the right context if you know how to use them.

    If people want to believe in religion, let them. Let faith be a comfort to those who need it, because there are many things to have faith in, and if faith in religion, and faith in God allows for a more moral society, then that is a good thing. I, personally, have more faith in people and humanity, whereas, it seems most anti-theists have their faith in stars and rocks. Carl Sagan himself said that if the was a God, science has probably found it already, but many people wouldn’t get spiritual satisfaction from praying to the laws of physics. That just one insight into the fact that even if we were capable of finding evidence of God, we don’t even know what we are looking for, so how can we possibly prove God does or doesn’t exist?

    Hijacking the thread or not, the God Conundrum is probably one of the more interesting debates of human existence once you get past the normal point blank “God doesn’t exist.” “God does exist.” debate. Not one for the movement perhaps, but the capability for it to be discussed in a logical manner is something that should be viable within the Movement. Religion almost certainly shouldn’t be a divisive factor by any means. If you can’t accept and deal with challenges against your own faith (or any other aspect of your self-identity) in an intelligent manner, then you shouldn’t challenge others on those aspects either.

     
    • DeVane, I’m aware of what the title of the thread means, and it implies that morality is a quality that somehow belongs to christians or people of faith. My objection is that faith is irrelevant to morality, as there are plenty of people with no faith who are moral and no big surprise, vice versa.

      Science and religion are not in anyway equatable. If your unlucky enough to fall ill or get busted up and end up in hospital, its not magic sky man thats going to make you better… that’ll be science based medicine. And next time you want to fly from London to New York or wherever, the power of prayer will get exactly no part of the way.

      I don’t hate on religious people, I just don’t think they’re relevant. I think they fall into two camps; they either REALLY believe it, in which case they’re a bit potty. Or they don’t truly believe it and are just playing along, which is worse as that means they’re either dishonest or sheep.

      Either way, they’re entirely free to do what they like.

      What I do object to is religious groups having a say in any aspect of my life, especially in regard to the teaching of my children.
      Furthermore, if this movement is going to in any way work towards forming a sustainable form of society based on fairness & equitable distribution of capital, I think we should be looking forwards, not backwards to bronze age mysticism, or getting entangled with those that choose to peddle it.

      Now tell me about the hammers and spanners again?

       
      • You forgot to take into account the very important question mark in the title, which means that it is questioning the very implication that you are stating is implied. In short, you are taking offence by assuming something that article is actually trying to present the opposite of, because you appear to have failed to realise that the thread is is questioning response to someone else’s commentary.

        Science and religion aren’t in any way equal is a logical falsehood – as you would have to prove that there is no means in which the two are even similar. Two things can be said to be equal to a given extent if they share qualities within a defined category, and this is the fundamental basis of equality. Without this principle, there can be no equality, and one of the most fundamental basic principles of the scientific method – observation categorisation – is no longer valid proof.

        You can compare faith healing to modern medicine – once again, this is an example of using the wrong tools for the job. But, then again, it’s not medicine that removes the dissonance and the resulting stress that people feel when they lack purpose in their life, leading to depression. Once again, the wrong tools for the job.

        Now, you may object to religion, and that’s fine. But bear in mind that it’s just your prejudice that is reacting here – there is nothing reasonable or rational happening. You have made your mind up and provided the answers before the question, and now justify your position. Nobody here has said that you have to be Christian. Nobody here is peddling religion to your children. Those who peddle it are just as bad as those who peddle against it. It’s intolerance on both sides.

        It’s hammers and spanners, both calling the others a useless bunch of tools.

         
        • Bring it on!

          Firstly, my reaction was neither to the article referenced nor the original post – whether it had a question mark or not, but to the fact that ever since the Occupy movement pitched up outside St Pauls the debate and coverage as been hijacked by the ‘ongoing dialogue’ with the church. They’re irrelevant and seem to get a seat at the table by default, which in my view they don’t deserve for their manifest complicity in the current system. I wish they’d put their bloody tents up somewhere else!

          I clearly stated that I am prejudiced against religion and I’m not going to apologise for it to anybody. That doesn’t mean my mind is closed or I’m ignorant or I’m a ‘bad person’.

          I don’t think I implied that anybody here was peddling religion to my children, but in their school, they certainly are – like telling them god made the earth in 7 days (did he really?) and that jesus rose from the dead – ooookay. And letting the local vicar come in whenever he likes and say whatever random rubbish comes into his fevered mind.

          Once again, my point is that you can be moral and ethical without faith, thats all.

          Now if you want to spend another half and hour writing some more incomprehensible meaningless metaphysical tosh, be my guest.

           
          • Why do you have to be so rude?
            Are your children in a school where they teach God made the world in 7 days? – move them to another school or complain. I’ve never experienced that in 50 years involvement in Education (I’ve not been to America!).
            Modern physics (cosmology) is at least as much ‘metaphysical tosh’ as any religion – actually, it’s pretty close to the ancient Hindu account of the cosmos in the Rg Veda!

             
          • Peter,
            I feel your frustration,
            However, the battle was good while it lasted.
            Thanks again, both of you.

             
          • Trevor,
            No need to butt in here, Peter and Da’ Vane were going great guns !

             
  11. We have a piece by Tom Hodgkinson in this Wednesday’s issue of The Occupied Times relating Christianity and the movement, but not in the same way as his Independent piece.

    While I agree – as a non-believer- that the movement is not fundamentally Christian, (whose Christianity anyway? I’ve never met two Christians for which it is the same) and that Christianity itself contains almost as many immoral, as moral lessons, I also think it is problematic to have comment pieces like this which clearly do not represent the views of everyone within the movement appear along official lines.

    This piece would have been better put out in the OT, where debate and opinion is welcomed and ‘official’ voices are absent. There should be no media ‘vanguard’.

     
  12. Well Tom, I agree generally with your observations of the Occupy movement in general and Occupy lsx in particular. I have spent about half of my time and nights at the camp for the last three weeks. The other part is spent keeping my work as a self-employed photographer going. I fully support and promote the movements aims, processes and commitment to Consensus. I am a rational Atheist who has spent the last three weeks working very hard alongside people of all faiths and none. We have our differences – we work hard to understand one another and to solve the problems in front of us. The Occupy movement is fundamentally a moral and ethical endeavour to understand the world’s problems, and to intelligently work out moral, ethical and humane solutions. There may be overlaps with some religions, but that does not make the Occupy movement a religious one. I am sure that you did not mean that, Tom. Peace and strength, Ben

     
    • Good on you Ben,
      Thank you for your efforts.

       
  13. The OccupyLSX twitterer said this should be thought of “as a leader”, I suspect that was because they are the author of the article, and would themselves like to be thought of “as a leader”, they’re certainly acting like one.

     
  14. Aquinas also argued that usury sets up an inequality, because money cannot produce more money.

    Usury is the banks income – the interest payments. I thought that might be a good point to start. Usury is roundly condemned in the Bible, and greed, oppression of the poor, and self-worship are held with the same charge as murder and adultery.

    That, I believe, is why Tom says “Occupy is fundamentally a Christian movement.”

    I do not believe he is saying that Occupy is only Christian, or even should be, but that he believes that you guys are doing what the Church should have been doing all along, but wasn’t.

     
  15. Thanks, Mark of Faith! That sums up my argument well. Maybe though it’s true that ‘fundamentally Christian’ was not the right phrase to choose, and I think the author of the original post is making the good point that this an inclusive debate.

    I was trying to make a comparison between the ethics of Occupy – which we could perhaps broadly define as including compassion, charity, love, justice, dialogue, brotherhood, respect and an attack on tyranny, slavery and usury – and those of Christianity, or more specifically, medieval Christianity, before it got all puritanical. The Christianity I am talking about is radical and liberating, the Christianity of Aquinas, William Blake, William Cobbett, Dr Johnson and the great anarchist Christian Tolstoy – not the Christianity of Calvin and Luther and the 17th century Puritans. Or, God forbid, Bush et al. Clearly I was not saying that Occupy excludes non-Christians. Its strength is its non-partisanship. It would be nice to think that a good atheist like Bertrand Russell would have been down there with the megaphone, was he still with us. It’s a real forum, like Athens in 300 BC!

     
    • Thank you Tom for the clarification.

       
      • Sitting on the steps at a General Assembly has a very Athenian Democracy feel.

         
        • Because it’s men doing most of the talking?

           
        • It is one of the features of Occupy that I am particularly drawn to: the use of dialogous (if that’s a word) democracy, (i.e. the original Greek Agora model) rather than a once every few years mark on a piece of paper that then transfers the democratic debate to someone you may well have never met.

           
  16. Wondering whether the article referenced and, following on from that, any of the above comments would have existed if the London Stock Exchange had been built anywhere but where it actually is. This would have resulted in the camp not being situated under the shadow of St Paul’s…just a thought and hope that makes sense as a bit knackered πŸ™‚

     
    • It is what it is though, and has raised some valid points as a result. Much is being exposed (even in unexpected places) and being brought out for public scrutiny. None of it is superfluous as far as I can see.

       
      • Yes Mandy,
        Too many of us have followed like sheep the current version of democracy thats been handed down to us, corrupted and tainted by ‘money men’, with our EYES (and ears) WIDE SHUT.
        They do this by drip feeding us just enough crumbs of wealth to keep us quiet, whilst they horde the bulk of wealth.

        We need to keep asking questions and demanding changes that will create a fair distribution of wealth, so we can all feel contented with our lot.

         
  17. Precisely the point-Thank you!

     
  18. my fundamental principle is what’s best for all, all life considered
    there is no choice in that
    the word “moral” creates polarity
    where there is none specifically

     
    • I think that a “just” society has to be overarched by forgiveness. Being realistic, people are going to fail to live upto the moral standards imposed ~ but forgiveness is what will hold it together.

       
      • I can agree SELF FORGIVENESS is effective though understand to forgive another is to give them permission to continue doing that which you have forgiven them for.
        As I said the word “moral” creates unnecessary issues itself, though to then provide a justification for failure on top of that is asking for ‘trouble’.
        Thank you

         
  19. This may put the cat amongst the pigeons, but in terms of morality, here’s something it says in the bible:

    3Even if I dole out all that I have [to the poor in providing] food, and if I surrender my body to be burned or in order that I may glory, but have not love (God’s love in me), I gain nothing.

    4Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.

    5It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].

    6It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

    7Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

    8Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].

    (from 1 Corinthians 13 – Amplified version)

     
    • From this perspective, I would say that the movement is not “Fundamentally Christian” ~ and yet I DO see Christ at work in individuals in, and through, it.

      Labels are not always helpful though. We use labels to define our perspective of reality. As an example, I have had dealings with an individual who I caught sight of God in, and yet they said that they don’t believe in God themselves. Hmm, so I’m seeing God in someone who doesn’t even believe in him. So, in that I’m using labels to define something that I recognise as real. Even in the bible, many names are used in relation to Christ and his nature ~ Wisdom being one of them, for example.

      Reality is reality ~ regardless of the labels we use and the route we take to get there.

      Christianity is the route through which I am realising reality. Many falsities of my preconceived thinking have been, and still are being, debunked on the way to realising reality though. Only The Truth will remain when everything else has been stripped away.

       
  20. I think the Christian comment is valid, because I wrote a similar comparison on the Guardian talk board. And also because you are protesting outside a Christian cathedral.

    The Church has not followed the teachings of Jesus (if he existed) for many centuries. Perhaps your protest on the doorstep of the Church(in olden days the last refuge from violence) might make those in the Church to wonder what it is really like to follow some of the teachings of its founder (allegedly).

    You are doing many similar things to what Jesus is portrayed as doing in the Gospels: protesting (money changers), criticizing injustice of the elites (scribes and Pharisees), and teaching about the social justice of loving thy neighbour as thyself.

    These teachings aren’t, of course, limited to one religion, as many others have very similar things (Buddhism) to say. There are a lot of good teachings in the Christian story, it would look better for the Church, and better PR, if they started practising what they preach.

    Hold on in there oh ye Good Samaritans at the Camp in London. πŸ™‚ Wish I was there and not stuck in Spain.

     

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