Monday, April 27, 2009

Evangelization, love and union

One important reason for evangelization is the beneficence aspect of love: Christians would like everyone to share in Christ's gift of new life. But a second reason for evangelization is love's striving for union. Christians would like to be united with neighbor, and thus would like to be members of the body of Christ together with the neighbor. The second reason presupposes the first. For, sometimes, the beneficence aspect of love holds us back from a union that would be harmful to the other—thus, if our company is noxious to someone we are in love with, we should sacrifice ourselves and stay away. However, the union in the body of Christ is beneficial for our neighbor, and hence the beneficence aspect of love does not hold us back here.

Is this paternalistic? Could be. But there is nothing wrong with a proper paternalism.

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