In matters of faith, it’s not what we believe, it’s what we do
One of the promises during the modern era was that through the Age of Enlightenment (Age of Reason) we could pursue truth and it would eventually converge on a single understanding of reality. This didn’t happen.
Instead of converging to reach consensus, we diverged to produce disagreement. Though this is true in all facets of our life, it is perhaps most pronounced in the area of spirituality. Protestantism is a prime example, with our 43,000 denominations disagreeing with one another.
We fight about theology. Then we separate ourselves from those who don’t agree with us.
The sad thing about pursuing a right theology is the inevitable conclusion that everyone who doesn’t agree with us is wrong and headed down a misguided path. Then we separate ourselves and cause more division.
At a most basic level, theology is the study of God. I think about him a great deal. I contemplate my relationship with him. I wonder how that should inform the way I interact with others.
Yes, I think a lot about theology (God), not as an intellectual pursuit but as a matter of spiritual imperative.
To be painfully honest, I must admit a sense of pleasure over the results of my spiritual musings. I hope a degree of humility can replace this hint of pride.
Although I think my deliberations in spirituality are correct and produce meaningful insights, I hold my views loosely. After all I could be wrong.
The reality is that the details of how we understand God don’t matter as much as how this understanding affects the way we live. God doesn’t care about our theology nearly as much as he does our actions.
We need to produce fruit. Jesus says that bearing fruit glorifies God (John 15:8).
This means we need to put our faith in action. The Bible tells us to. James discusses this (James 2:14-26). He ends this passage by saying faith without action is dead (James 2:14, CEB).
What we believe doesn’t matter nearly as much as what we do. May we never forget that.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.
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