We find worship in the Bible where we would hardly expect it. The story of Gideon is one such place.
Recently I pointed out that “doing good to others” cannot be the definition of good. Today I will ask:
1) What is the good for others?
2) Does an action need to be good for someone else in order to be good?
First, what is the good for others? The two best candidates are “whatever pleases them” and “whatever leads to their flourishing.”
I went looking for Christian fans of Ayn Rand. Here are the results of my search.
If your interests are similar to mine, these lists could save you a lot of time. My search answers the question:
Is belief in Jesus compatible with conservative or libertarian political ideas?
I found only a handful of Christians who were enthusiastic about Rand’s ideas. You can find us here.
I’ve noticed many Christian writers denouncing Rand and any attempt at a political coalition between the Tea Party conservatives and the fans or devotees of Rand.
My guess is that most Christians (even most Christian leaders or pastors) have not heard of Rand. Of those who have heard of her, I think 95% have strong dislike of her, but only rarely is their opinion formed from actually reading her.
Meanwhile, mainstream Christianity is moving toward more overt socialism/collectivism politically.
But social media has allowed the Tea Party or libertarian Christians to gain somewhat of an audience. Though the base is still small, there are many more Christians thinking clearly about liberty and rights today than at any time in the past century.
As a Christian Rand fan myself, I hope to speak to Christians about the need to take Rand’s ideas seriously. Though Christians will not agree with all the answers Rand offered, we will be better off when we begin to ask the questions she asked.
In a post several months ago, I wrote, “Our mission requires self-denial, but we cannot make self-denial be the mission.”
What do you think about this idea?
A friend commented wisely, saying he doesn’t believe American Christians place too much emphasis on self-denial. We pay lip service to self-denial, but we tend to struggle with self-indulgence.
I agree with his points completely. Surprisingly though, I believe the solution to American self-indulgence is not less Individualism, but more.
Christians often denounce “selfishness,” but the Bible shows rational self-interest as our main reason to follow God. Whether we look to the Old or New Testament, to believers, or to the God whom they serve, we see self-interest. We should check our understanding of the concept of “self-interest.” Those who denounce self-interest say we should follow Jesus because of who he is, but not because of what he can do for us. Is that what the Bible says?
God the Father is self-interested:
He does all that he pleases.