There is an odd disconnect between believers and non-believers. There are some believers who look at non-believers and see them all as incapable of doing any good, while non-believers look at believers in the same way! This proves to me that we have a lot more in common than we think.
At times, we treat each other as if the other is evil. No matter what your theology is, I believe we are all capable of good. I believe this because as I look at the people who love me and encourage me, I see that a good number of them are non-believers. In fact, some of my biggest supporters are atheists!
As much as Christians would like to believe that atheists and non-believers are out to destroy religion, that is only true of a select few radical people. Most of my non-believing friends support me in all my faith-based endeavors. They wish me well, give me loving words, and even send money my way to further God’s Kingdom.
Just recently, Pope Francis gave a speech saying that believers and non-believers need to come together in doing good. There is so much truth behind this. Too often do we isolate the activities of one another, when in reality, we could make a greater impact if we come together and act for good. Our definition of good might be different, but the general consensus, if I’m not mistaken, is that working for good is understood to be for the betterment of society.
When we spend too much time focusing on the line that divides us, we end up trying to oppress the activities of the other, even when they’re working towards a positive result as well. We need to be willing to cross the line and work together in endeavors that promote good.
As a believer, my hope is that as a non-believer and I work together for a common good, I can turn to him or her and say, “The goodness you are fighting for is one reason why I believe there is a God.” Though I want the other to be saved through the Gospel, I believe we can work together for a common good, and then in that, I can share the Father’s love.
We all share a common capacity for good despite whatever religious conviction we might have. So instead of bickering at each other, we need to see the common goodness we are striving for and start working together to live that out.
We are not by default set against each other due to our religious tradition or absence there of. This is what was so shocking about what Jesus said in Mark 9:40: “For the one who is not against us is for us.” We are working for the good of each other and our society. May we be shocked by that truth as we move forward together in our society.
Disclaimer: Notice that I am not saying any theological or doctrinal statement. I am simply saying we can work for good together. Please use this opportunity to not turn the discussion into a religious debate on theology. Thanks!