The Common Good May Not Be So Good
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It always rubs me the wrong way when a leader claims that his decision was for the "good of the whole."
And I don't know why.
That is, until I read Acts 6: 1-7.
Acts 6: 1-7 is the first reading for this Sunday--the Fifth Sunday of Easter. In this reading, we don't see the Apostles telling the Hellenists that "for the good of the whole" you have to do what we say; "for the good of the community, you have to behave like we tell you." They did something different. They listened. The Apostles listened to the Hellenists.
"...the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected..."
Not only did they listen, but they heard, and they understood. The Apostles also didn't say that they determined that this particular solution is best. They had the Hellenists work out their own problem, their own way.
Look at the names of the men that were chosen to serve the widows: Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicholas. These Greek names show that the Hellenists were solving their own problem. They are each called by name.
That's Christianity for you, and that's what bothers me about "for the good of the whole." It's Marx, Engels, Lenin, Castro, and other atheists that tout "for the common good." It's Christianity that teaches us that each individual is important. Each individual's worth and dignity are valued. Each is listened to and has a say in shaping their own life. That's suppose to be the blessing about having a free will, whereas, commands imposed by an administration "for the common good," are not taking into consideration
the lost sheep, the one hair on the head, each child of God, the individual.
“I believe in person to person. Every person is Christ for me, and since there is only one Jesus, that person is the one person in the world at that moment.” Mother Theresa of Calcutta