Tuesday, January 27, 2015
I want to dedicate this blog to my dear friend Robert Shearer who passed away last year. I wish he was still here and could be a co-contributor to this blog. Much of my thought in this area was shaped over the years I spent debating theological topics with my friend.
I hold the view, or should I say 'belief,' that beliefs are overemphasized in most churches today. I hold to the idea that it matters more what one actually does and how one lives their life than it matters what they think it is that they believe. But if you go to any leader of a mainline or evangelical church and ask them what is the most important thing you must do to get in good graces with God, they won't tell you to 'do' anything. Rather, they will tell you things that you must 'believe' to get into heaven and avoid eternal damnation in hell. You must first believe in Jesus and accept him as your Lord and Savior. And then you have to.... ummm.... No, wait, that's pretty much it. There's a lot more stuff they will want you to believe, but that right there is your ticket to heaven.
But when Jesus was asked the same thing - what is the most important thing to gain eternal life - he didn't say anything about believing. Instead, he talked all about loving.... loving God with all your heart and all your mind, and loving your neighbor as yourself. So why don't church leaders say that instead of this stuff about accepting Jesus as your savior?
Loving is an active verb that requires you to do something. Believing is a passive verb that doesn't require any action whatsoever. I think the churches have become too passive in one sense and too exclusionary in another.
So I will be visiting these topics and many others in this blog and I welcome comments and feedback.