Humanism and Jesus

I am reading an article on humanism in the Vermillion.  The Vermillion is a newspaper that is a part of the University of Louisiana, Lafayette.  I see the students are writing articles about Jesus and about hell, about sex and the big bang.  They are exploring and in some ways it is not fair to pick out an article on humanism in a school newspaper. The author of this article on humanism really explored one point related to humanism.  That point pushed back at “religion” so I thought it worth exploring.  Humanism has taken a back seat these days to atheism.  Some believe these are the same.  They are very close.

The author quotes Kurt Vonnegut.  He wrote: “Being a humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of rewards or punishment after you are dead.”

That statement is so telling.  That statement pushes against “religion” of course but for so long religion is equated to Jesus in America by so many.  If not Jesus then Judaism.

Jesus nor Judaism ever proposed that you live the way you live because of some expectation in an afterlife.   Mr Vonnegut is not focused on an afterlife so he is living for the here and now.   I have news for many:  Jesus followers and Jews do not live in a way motivated by some expectation of what is going to happen in an afterlife.

Jesus gave His life so that we could have a grand life NOW.  Jesus’ gift to humanity has to do with THIS life.  He is all about quality of life on this earth NOW!  The afterlife will take care of itself.  I follow Him first because He is worthy of being followed.  The added bonus is that in following Him because He is worthy, I get what I need for right now.  Life, right now, is enhanced by what He offers us.  Jesus wants you to live a quality life right now in that He promised that this life can be rich and meaningful.

Jesus brings what is the best in this life.  His focus is that–what you and I need now to make life rich in the present.

But humanists apparently believe that Jesus followers are about rule keeping or some such because it gets them a pay day after death.  I have a confession:  I rarely think about anything after death.  The main reason is that I know that Jesus offers so much for the here and now and I can live in the moment with real joy and contentment because I am satisfied and fulfilled with life just the way it is.

Oh, Jesus is about community and supporting one another too, yes.  His plan for doing that is just about the best I have seen anywhere as well.

I am not living for the afterlife.  I am living for this life.  Thanks to the humanist student who reminded me of this.



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