This came up in my Catechism studies today and I balk at it.
""Can a Christian be a radical individualist?
No, a Christian can never be a radical individualist, because man is by nature designed for fellowship.""
Seems we all have different gifts and this notion is trying to make us all have the same gifts. I think of John the Baptist as compared to Jesus. I would call John a radical individualist.
Maybe a Catholic can straighten me out here.
Man is by nature designed to have his OWN will.
(What does the word OWN mean?
personal, individual, particular, private, personalized, unique. Thesaurus)
If you can prove my initial statement through Scripture you are on to something, Eric.
I do not think that helps us here as we assume he has his own will. The question is a "should" idea. "should man be an individualist?"
I don't know that I can "straighten you out," but I'm glad to offer an opinion. I personally find no reason that individualism means one must forego fellowship. We are who we are. Some of us are willing to conform in some areas, but not in others, but I don't see how that means we wish to remove ourselves from community. And if that's what marks individuality, then wouldn't a religious hermit be going against his nature? If so, aren't we called as Christians to sometime deny that part of our nature that doesn't conform to holiness?
John communed but was an individualist. Here we deal with a follow the leader concept. Communing and being an individualist need not be conflicting.
I can have my individual views but still enjoy company of others.
Motown2Chitown, I often do not agree with you. But that is good for me to grow. We keep our own passions but sharing them is communal. Thank you for communing with me around here.
Jesus was in fact somewhat of an individualist, and definitely a radical for His time. Check it, He came to earth, went to temple, read a passage from the prophet Esaias, and after sitting down said that this day, is this scripture fulfilled in your ears... as he continued to speak, they were filled with wrath. His message was like that of many radicals in history, it's basic undertone having to do with freedom. Freedom from oppression, and yes, freedom from religion.
Eric, the answer is no. Christ's first commandment was one of love. You cannot love in isolation. Isolationism is selfishness at an extreme. Love is compassion in action without any self-concern.
Individualism is egoistic. Radical individualism is extreme egoism. It is full of self-concern and light or empty on love.
Individualism is separation -- the antithesis of love. Separation was the original sin.
Christ was not an individualist. He was keen on bringing us all together, for that is the nature of love. That was the meaning of his sacrifice. His taking responsibility for all the things done by others is an act of perfect love (togetherness; not individuation).
I think this makes a lot of sense. I suppose I do not see a radical individualist as someone who does not commune in love. I do not see it as an either or proposition.
I think I am an individualist, but I love to commune with others and spread the great love that I have been so freely given.
(perhaps that does preclude me from being a radical individualist) But in general I see that as relating to dogma and doctrine not community and love. I will cogitate and meditate more on this and then turn it over to prayer.
Right on the nail - religion as dogma... He wants a relationship with you, not a set of rules carved in stone forcing conformity, but doing things - or not doing things that will make Him happy... you know, because we love HIm, and He loves us...
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