For some unknown reason, I recently stumbled across a 60-year old interview with Ayn Rand by Mike Wallace.
As you probably know, Rand’s philosophy was and is controversial to this day: a laissez-faire capitalism and hyper-individualistic philosophy. Her two novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, show up periodically on “must-read” and best-seller lists. I personally find her shockingly inconsistent, but hey, that’s just me. At the very least, she was certainly no friend of Christianity.
But what was stunning in the interview was when she said point-blankly: “You love only those who deserve it.”
She had just picked apart altruism not just as a weak approach to life, but as “evil.” She disliked altruism because “you are asked to love everybody indiscriminately. That is to love people without any standard. . . . You love them for their values, their virtues, which they have achieved in their own character. . . . You don’t love everybody indiscriminately.”
But Wallace recognizes the obvious and comments, “You have lived in our world, and you realize—recognize—the fallibility of human beings. There are very few of us, then, in this world, by your standards, who are worthy of love.”
Rand responds bleakly, “Unfortunately…. yes, very few. But it is open to everybody, to make themselves worthy of it, and that is all that my morality offers them. A way to make themselves worthy of love, although that’s not the primary motive.”
Wallace wasn’t done.
“And then if a man is weak, or a woman is weak, then she is beyond, he is beyond love?” “He certainly does not deserve it, he certainly is beyond,” says Rand.
Although the average person may not be aware of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, it certainly seems to be the ugly, unspoken rule of fallen humanity. That makes the message and strategy of the Kingdom even more radical. The one who calls us to love our enemies has a very different idea about deservedness.
Leaders, I can’t stress it enough: Build grace into your messaging, your discipleship communication, your outreach efforts.
Create tactics rooted in grace. Strategize ways to illustrate and explain grace and never tire of expressing it. Grace makes Christianity unique in the pantheon of religions in terms of how we, undeserving carbon-based bipeds approach God.
For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 1:9 NLT)