Okay so we are Young Anabaptist Radicals–but that doesn’t mean that we are in agreement on the basics. I’m not talking about the basics of what is “young” “Anabaptist” or “radical”. These terms have been discussed. I mean the basics of what is significant–what is the good, what is truth, what is moral, what is justice, what is our hope, and how do we know any of these things? And what is the minimum that we expect others to agree with us in order to discuss any of these things? Some of the disagreements we have originate in differing opinions on these matters, and we often go to loggerheads in our discussions because we think others think as we do. Folknotions brought up this issue in Katie’s “Tired” post, and I thought that perhaps instead of assuming where we are all coming from, perhaps we should explore it.
So, this is my recommendation: If you can, put your basic worldview down in a paragraph or two, so we can know where you are coming from when we discuss things. If it is significant in your life, then talk about Jesus and/or Scripture, but the most important thing is that you talk about the foundation of your beliefs and morality, not what you think others want to hear.
If we do this, then we must agree to listen, not to argue. This is not a forum to even disagree with other people’s point of view, but to try to understand. This is the only way people will be safe to communicate their own worldview. Questions to help us understand are perfectly acceptable, but not a hint or an argument or a “holier than thou” attitude, okay?
I am going to start, so that way there’s a point of reference for everyone else.
What I Believe
Life is chaotic, futile and without clear meaning. There is no clear morality or truth that stands out in the living of life, and almost everything we attempt to do is filled with weakness and frustration. However, there is one event that seems to have some historical evidence and is radical enough to provide a direction to life: the resurrection of Jesus.
If Jesus was resurrected from the dead, then I draw a number of conclusions from this:
a. There is a God who rules the universe and has the ability to do as He wishes.
b. Jesus is approved by God to be the ruler of the world and is the one through whom we can truly understand God and His desires.
c. God grants a utopia to whoever suffers unjustly and relies on God for deliverance (in Hebrew called “the anawim”)
d. The best life is to be of the anawim–the oppressed–living a life pleasing to God according to that which Jesus displayed and taught.
e. To live this life is to reject the chaos and injustice of what is often called “the good life” and to enter fully into the imitation of Jesus.
Okay, that’s mine! Go ahead and ask questions for clarification and PLEASE, give us a summary of your philosophy of life.
It’s too bad that no one’s responded to your post yet. As I try to think of my own response, I realize that it feels like a pretty big order to lay out my world view in a paragraph or two. It takes a bit more energy then the average comment. This may be what’s holding people back.
As for me, I think my Nonconformity to the Powers sums up a good chunk of my world view, though probably not everything.
Like Tim said, this is maybe more of a challenging order for others than for you. This might suffice as my “paragraph”:
Releasing all aspects of individuality which I might claim as my own or as my “self”, I’m left with nothing, and find only the presence of the Divine, nothing else, in existence. Life is then only wonder, and gratitude.
I am an Objectivist Christian. I see the use of force as the primary evil which men commit against one another, and it is most heinous when the law is perverted to permit this use of force by some on others. I believe that unregenerate humans only perform charity out of guilt or via the direct manipulation of God. Therefore, regenerate humans are the only ones who can be held responsible for practicing charity. Thus, care for the least of these is the full and exclusive responsibility of the church.