I have an acquaintance who is a high level producer for several major insurance companies. He also has his B.A in Divinity from a large Lutheran university. When he received my December Newsletter he was concerned about the reference to the Gospel of Matthew in the ‘View from the Field’ part of the publication. He stated he could never publish anything like the because so much of his clientele is Atheist, Gay, Bhuddists and proud non-believers. This long time acquaintance chided me, saying ‘if I published something like that, my phone would ring off the hook.’ I was taken aback by his strident critique.
My response didn’t satisfy him. I told him that Matthew, in reciting Jesus’ words was not saying anything controversial. Jesus was pointing out the need to live a life on guard against threats both physical and spiritual. My friend obliterated that point by abruptly saying ‘I have a degree in Divinity from ____________, and I think using bible quotations in a secular publication is not only inappropriate, but dangerous to your practice.’.
Feeling somewhat on the defensive, I chuckled and said ‘well, we Catholics really don”t have the Bible stressed in our Faith teaching, so I guess I don’t know as much as a Divinity major. But’, I continued ‘my readings of the Bible instruct me that everything in there is a validation of Natural Law. If you are looking for a way to reach people about how to live a life ‘out of trouble’ the Bible is as good of a book as any.’
My friend then said something astonishing. ‘It is my training that if you believe you accept the Bible and believe. There is no room for wandering off in to philosophical discussions of ‘Natural Law’. You either believe in it or you don’t. That is the fine line you are walking with this mixture of business and spirituality.’
I didn’t know what to say. My intent in the editorial was to make a point about being on guard and not losing focus on the fact that none of us know the ‘hour of crisis’. Taking my friends’ constructive criticism to heart. I decided he was wrong. My mental metaphor was this. If I were asked to speak to Atheists and proud non believers about the Bible, what better point to make than this: even if you don’t believe in anything, and you read the Bible, you will find a validation of Natural Law, and a set of basic rules. If you can follow some of those rules and know what they validate, most people can’t go wrong.
I decided to continue to use Divinely Inspired concepts whenever they fit the subject matter.