09/02/2014 01:09 pm ET Updated Nov 02, 2014

Who Is Actually Following Jesus -- Atheists or Christians?

Who is actually following Jesus: fundamentalist Christians rejecting gay men and lesbians' right to marry, or atheist humanists treating men and women with love and dignity? Fact-based, enlightened atheists sometimes treat people like shit, and delusional fundamentalists sometimes treat people with compassion in spite of their harsh theology. Labels don't mean anything. Who cares about labels when someone is slapping you in the face? Who cares about labels when someone is saving you from drowning?

Who someone is and what they do is all that matters. This is especially true because who we are changes as we grow and as we change our minds. Furthermore, we are never really of one mind about anything. Belief is never the point--actions are. We can be of two minds about biology or God but treat everyone around us with kindness. We can be sure we are saved or correct and be awful.

If we wait for correct ideas to save us--theological or otherwise--we'll never be saved, even from ourselves. Why? Because we can never have a fully correct idea. Why? Because however we label ourselves, we are still only half-evolved primates in two or more minds and multiple moods.

All we have is our stories. Today's great art is tomorrow's joke. Today's joke is tomorrow's great art. Today's atheist is tomorrow's ardent convert. Today's preacher is tomorrow's atheist author. I can't objectively describe reality because I'm trapped in the moving target we call time. That's what the word "evolution" means. The very fabric of the universe is unknowable and stranger than we can imagine and has a message for us: climb down off that high atheist, religious or agnostic pedestal!

You've been reading an excerpt from -WHY I AM AN ATHEIST WHO BELIEVES IN GOD: How to give love, create beauty and find peace Chapter 4 -- To read more go to Amazon and please buy my book in paperback for just $ 10.93 or on Kindle for only $3.99 Frank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book --WHY I AM AN ATHEIST WHO BELIEVES IN GOD: How to give love, create beauty and find peace

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