In this Analogous Apologetics post, we respond to “just be a good person.”
As an objection, it can be phrased, “Sure, I don’t go to church, but all that matters is just being a good person.”
Here is our response.
There was once a man who came upon a cocoon-like shape hanging from a branch in the forest. As the mysterious object began to shake, the man rightly assumed that there must be something struggling inside trying to get out.
Since he was a good person, he wanted to help, and so proceeded to break open the chrysalis from the outside.
What came out was not a beautiful butterfly, but one gravely deformed, with shortened and inoperable wings.
Why? Because the butterfly’s wings, which are formed, in part, by the struggle within the chrysalis, were prevented from doing so by our man’s good deed.
Without working wings, the butterfly is fated to an untimely death, and all because of the actions of one misguided “good” person.
Analogous to the man and the butterfly, we can’t be good to people unless we know what is, in fact, good for them. And we can’t know what is good for them unless we know what they are made for, and we can’t know what they are made for unless the One who made them tells us what they are made for.
Without God and His word on man’s crowning end, one can not know if what he is doing for others is, in fact, helping or hindering them to such an end.
One who doesn’t know the destination cannot be a guide on the journey, nor can he journey well himself.
Being a good person presupposes knowing what man’s ultimate good is, which presupposes God, His revelation, and its correct interpretation. In short, it requires Divinely revealed religion.
Being a good person means learning from the Church. That’s why Jesus said to those seeking to be good people:
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well (Mt. 6:33) (emphasis added).
…including being a good person.