A Reason for Faith: Onward Christian Egoist
Adherents of Ayn Rand and followers of Jesus Christ must set aside differences to secure individual rights.
February 28, 2013 - 7:25 am
As considered in this series, Rand’s standard of value was life. She recognized that each individual either acts in service of his own life, survives by feeding on the life of his neighbor, or withers and dies. Regardless of whatever method Professor Prothero uses to discern “authentic Christianity,” the apostle Paul made it clear that individuals are responsible for their own lives. 2 Thessalonians 3:6-10:
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from every believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, nor did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”
That apostolic rule is conveniently forgotten by a religious Left which seeks to cast Christ as a socialist. The Bible has very little to say about civil government, its focus being an emphatic invitation to the kingdom of God. It certainly does not call for Christians to initiate force and pass it off as charity.
Sacrifice is the wedge used by the Left to drive Christians and Objectivists apart. Prothero demonstrates the tactic, presenting Rand’s aversion to sacrifice as fundamentally anti-Christian. It hardly fosters understanding when Objectivists echo this sentiment. Objectivists and Christians are not necessarily talking about the same thing, despite using the same word. As previously explored, much of what the mainstream Judeo-Christian culture considers sacrifice qualifies as rational self-interest in Objectivism. Our armed forces serve to maintain a free world in which they intend to live and pursue happiness. They do not seek to die for someone else. Yet their service is commonly regarded as sacrifice. Regardless of such semantics, both Christians and Objectivists value action taken in service of life.