There’s a passage in Mark’s Gospel in which Jesus’ disciples complain that someone — one who is not one of them — is casting out demons in Jesus’ name. It seems that fundamentalists of all ages have held a belief that there was only one way to get to the kingdom; only one way, and that was through Jesus.
This belief was has been characterized as “a little intolerant,” by a humble holy man who also said that it was wrong to hold to the conviction that “those who do not have the truth, cannot do good.”
“The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart: do good and do not do evil. All of us,” the new voice seemed to be calling out to me from the Wilderness in the Year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Thirteen.
‘But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’
“Yes, he can. He must. Not can: must! Because he has this commandment within him. Instead, this ‘closing off’ that imagines that those outside, everyone, cannot do good is a wall that leads to war and also to what some people throughout history have conceived of: killing in the name of God. That we can kill in the name of God.
And that, simply, is blasphemy. To say that you can kill in the name of God is blasphemy.
“The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone!
‘Father, the atheists?’
Even the atheists.
And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all!
”And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good.
‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’
“But do good: we will meet one another there.”