doing or being???

Recent discussions have led to me reflecting on the Christian life. More specifically, I have been wrestling with the constant need for us to package faith into a specific list of things we do. And if we get this list just right, well… then life is good, right? Um, I am not so sure…

Unfortunately the biggest cause of anxiety for many people is the question of “what do I need to do to get to heaven?” Well, I have difficulties with this question. Firstly, is the Christian life really summed up with getting to heaven? Perhaps when Jesus talks about his “kingdom” he was referring to a faith that involved life here on earth beyond just some sort of other-world reality. While I am not at all suggesting that heaven will not be a reality, I believe that the Christian life is concerned with now. Secondly, this question centers around the idea of us doing something in order to attain some level of acceptance before God. While our thoughts and actions do impact our faith, they are only a part. Rather than doing “Christian” things, I wonder if God isn’t more concerned with us being Christian… Could the Christian faith be more about being than doing?

How does this look? Well, with the distinction of being over doing, there is the implication that faith is more than just part of our identity, but actually is our identity. Obviously this kind of faith is more than just an intellectual agreement, or a simple trust placed in some sort of greater reality. Faith is life!

Now, making this distinction is just the beginning. How this looks for life or the Christian faith is a question that needs exploring. Hopefully I can discuss this more in the future, and in the meantime if anyone has suggestions, feel free to comment!

3 comments:

db said...

I think you're right - I'm realizing that being a Christian is less about what we do and more about what we believe but at the same time (and paradoxically) what we do does matter, but is secondary in the sense that our doing is the outworking of our first believing. What we believe leads us to justification and then what we do leads towards sanctification. All, of course, through the grace of God.

I'm enjoying reading your thoughts so far Dave - keep up the good ... thinking.

dwark said...

db, thanks for comments... It's definitely a paradox that needs to be wrestled with, and probably never fully resolved. When you mention believing that leads to doing, while I agree this is the process of faith, I think the problem is that we are still so prone to separate believing and doing into different categories. While this can be helpful, I am trying to explore what faith looks like if both believing and doing were understood to both be under the umbrella of "being." Perhaps this would help us cope with the paradox a little better...

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