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Member since: Thu Jun 9, 2016, 05:09 AM
Number of posts: 164

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Should a Christian be selfish?


I used to debate at some length with a couple of Randian Christians. Their view seemed puzzling, as I remembered the Christian commandment, “Love your neighbour as yourself.” Mark 12:31

So, to me, shouldn’t the Christian be concerned for others just as much as for his/her self? That’s how I was reading it. However, the Randians stuck to their line, and I began to realise that the commandment does take account of self love, just as strongly as the love of others. As our debate proceeded, it became clear to me that the Randians believed that their self love included profiting in worldly goods in the here and now, and then, crucially, gaining immortality in eternal heaven of the next world. For a selfish person, what’s not to like?

But, what of others? Here, the Randians presented two arguments. Firstly, their view is that loving others does not need to include practical help, unless this help is in the form of some useful advice: i.e. ‘look after yourself’. In this perspective the Randians own selfishness can be of help to others by sharing such nuggets of wisdom. The second argument is about Christian belief. They argued that redemption is not a matter of good works in this world, but of believing the gospel. Again, interestingly, they saw a deathbed conversion as a fully effective passport to the new world, no matter what kind of life has gone before.

As a result of these debates, I took a fresh look at the nature of the Christian idea. Was my own view of Christianity being affected by my liberal political world view and what I think a good person is? This is still a puzzle to me.


The last new thing you've seen.


I'm interested in the last new thing you've seen.

Mine was today. A guy walking along in the city with a voluntary parrot on his shoulder. No leash, no string.


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