A reader writes:
In comparing non-fundamentalist Christians with agnostics, your reader makes a couple of assertions that he can't support, and that, frankly, illustrate an annoying "Christian" pride that many of the faithful, fundamentalist or not, can't seem to shake.
First, who says agnostics "do not seem to care about the source of the mystery?" I would love to know what this universe, and our place in it, is all about. I'm sure there's an answer. I just don't think Jesus has anything to do with it. Though I could be wrong.
Second, while your reader has a lot to say about Christian humility, he, exhibits little of it himself. Not only does he know that I'm not serious about the essence of this mystery we all share, but he knows he'll see God's face. That is hubris, not humility.
I think your reader's characterization of agnostics is wrong. When I was in high school, I had to explain my agnosticism to another Andrew who was a buddy of mine and a Christian. The best I could come up with was, "I don't perceive God in the world around me." I think for some, possibly for most agnostics, agnosticism is no more an evasion of God or the divine than total colourblindness is an evasion of rainbows. It's a more fundamental lack of the experiences that faith in god or belief in the divine is built upon.
When I first read the post, the author came across as arrogant in the extreme, particularly in his conclusions. Considering it again, however, it's understandable, because for a deeply religious person, the idea that there are people who have no experience of God must not be an easy thing to process. It must be rather like saying, "There are people who will never experience love or joy or comfort". I can see it being far easier to handle people willfully rejecting God, than people who live their lives cut off from it.
I may be entirely wrong about the thought process, but it seems to be why a rather sharp battle line is drawn between believers and unbelievers. For far too many on both sides, there's simply no other explanation countenanced than "they must be willfully delusional."
I’m a paid singer in the choir of a local Catholic church. Our pastor is an wonderful and wise old fellow Irishman. When I brought this up, he just said “If you’re humble, and really want to find out, we say that God will find you”.
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