I  do not consider myself to be a "Christian" nor do I wish to be considered one, nor for that matter do I think that Friends should take any stock in Christianity, at least as it is traditionally believed. For that matter, I do not believe in God; but neither do I disbelieve in God nor do I consider myself to be an agnostic; the existence or non-existence of such a being is irrelevant to how we should live our lives.

Christianity has from its inception made several erroneous assumptions concerning itself, its founder and its mission. From the beginning it has had a fundamental misunderstanding of the intentions and teachings of Jesus, as even a cursory inspection of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke -- the Synoptic Gospels -- will reveal; while the Gospel of John tends to support theological Christianity the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke do not; and the picture presented in John is inconsistent with the picture presented in the Synoptics. One of the erroneous assumptions that Christianity has made is that not only was it the only true religion but that a fundamental aspect of itself was to convert the rest of the world -- in other words, to twist the minds of everyone else around to believe their way. Christianity has substituted for graven images of other religions and the elaborate observance of ritual and sacrifices of the Jews of Jesus' time a worship of belief in Jesus, of theology about Jesus and salvation in a future life.

In trying to understand religion and how to live my life I come at some point to consider the Two Commandments as either approved of or put together by Jesus, although originally stated by Moses in the first five books of the Bible -- Love God supremely, and love your neighbor as yourself. It is clear from Jesus' teachings as recorded in the parable of the Good Samaritan and in certain statements in the Sermon on the Mount that everyone was to be included in the definition of neighbor, i.e. if you love only those who are good to you, what do you do more than everyone else? therefore you should be all-inclusive in your love, even as God is all-inclusive in his love sending his rain and sunshine on every being, good or evil just or unjust.

However, I am unable to reach an understanding of what is meant by loving God supremely. I can at least try to love everyone, even those who try to harm me; I can see people and see their responses and feel close to them even if I may misunderstand and misinterpret their behavior, because I have some sense that we experience the same feelings and desires and needs. But I cannot "see" God; I cannot "feel" God; the only sense I can make out of the first commandment is that it is actually the same as the second commandment: God is in fact other people, as well as myself; their goodness, their happiness, their suffering their needs and wants are no different than mine. God is collective humanity, or more broadly still all collective life; there is no being in existence who is inferior to me or to which or whom I am not alike in many ways.

(originally published under the name of John Fitz)