The way Christianity spread over the first three centuries when the Romans were doing their best to stamp it out, was not simply by people going into the market place and saying ‘Jesus is Lord; you must believe in him.’ They did that too, but [it really spread] by people seeing that here was a community of people who lived in a totally different way.
The Christians were known for going and helping people who were not their kith and kin, who were not part of their ethnic group or part of their business interests. If somebody was sick, if somebody was poor, the Christians would go and look after them. They’d say “why do you do that? you’ve got nothing to gain by it,” and they’d say “well, it’s because we follow Jesus and this is the way that Jesus does stuff.
Religion is for lovers, for men and women of passion, for real people with a passion for something other than taking profits, people who believe in something, who hope like mad in something, who love something with a love that surpasses understanding.
John Caputo, On Religion
He goes on to say:
A lot of supposedly secular people love something madly, while a lot of supposedly religious people love nothing more than getting their own way and bending others to their own will (“in the name of God”). …Religion may be found with or without religion. That is my thesis.
Rather than change I won’t recognize, I’m more afraid of getting stuck in a deep unjust rut that we all recognize, but which we ultimately despise.