Loving others without God?

As you now know, I’ve left the church world (temporarily, I think) to begin a year of service with AmeriCorps. Not surprisingly, I have met quite a few Christians and religious people from other faiths at my week of training. I even met a fellow seminary student. Nearly 300 of us have gathered here in Chicago, and many of the people I’ve had contact with are religious or come from religious backgrounds. There are, however, quite a few people here who are on the opposite side of that spectrum.

I’ve met several people who are not religious at all and others still who are anti-religious.

These groups of people have me thinking. My motivation to serve others is rooted in my Christian worldview, which claims human beings have been created by a Creator. Our ultimate purpose is to love and fellowship with God and each other. Social justice and equality, therefore, are derived from my understanding of who each of us is as a human being, namely, a child of God and by extension my brother and sister. In other words, all of humanity is my family, and I have been created to love and share life with them.

Over the past few days, however, I have met several people who have devoted their lives to serving others but have done so from thoroughly secular worldviews. What I do not understand is where their motivation comes from. I must say that I don’t ask this question spitefully or condescendingly. I ask it purely out of curiosity.

If one’s worldview doesn’t accept God and therefore creation, what is the motivation to devote your life to service of others?



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