Away on vacation this week, I’m re-posting some of my earliest posts that still help frame how I explore faith, community and culture in my life and here on my blog. It's interesting to go back and see where I was and where I am now...
This post is from November, 2006 - “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!
**Note** - Much of my blog since this early post has had this discussion in the background. Doing and being is still something I wrestle with as a follower of Jesus. I don't want to be a busy Christian (doing), but I also don't want my faith to be complacent or internalized (being). I'm beginning to prefer language of discipleship and faithfulness together instead of doing and being.