Called to be Non-Christian

I wonder if some “Christians” are called to be non-Christians, even atheists?

This is not a new idea, just one I’m willing to play with because of the Copernican shift (in my mind at least) my theology has taken. Or rather, the shift I have been swept up in–from fundamentalist theology to an anthropology of God.

Sure, the question as a kind of trope. But the call to be a non-Christian is not that bazaar. If you’ve been going to an Evangelical church, or a Catholic church or any conservative church that attaches a degree of gravitas to their tradition (not necessarily a bad thing), you can, using a bit of imagination, feel the indignation that the Pharisee’s would have felt when their “liturgical” systems were being flouted by Jesus and his followers. To the Pharisee’s, Jesus and his band were “non-Christians”.

Is it possible that our loyalty to the atonement system; a prescribed loyalty through fundamentalist and Anselmian weaning, (St. Anselm is generally seen as the formulator of subsitutionary atonement doctrine.) is of the same order as the strict pietism and traditionalism of the Pharisees?

So it may be that we are called to be non-Christians for a time. And as people who no longer see God as sacrificial, we are also atheists of a sort.

But really, the only important thing in all of this is the continual waking up to our own complicity in the sacrificial system. And this awakening often requires heart breaking self-honesty. Which is Christ-ianity.


  1. You’ll have to elaborate on what you mean by our own complicity in the sacrificial system, as I’m not sure I follow that….it’s what we’ve been taught we must believe by faith, or suffer dire consequences….

  2. There are no other dire consequences than the ones we create. The “sacrificial system” guarantees reciprocal violence. That’s what I mean. The way of mercy is the means for keeping awake to scapegoating, exclusion and victimizing.

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