20 February 2008

Struggling with Beliefism

I've been reading through my two seminary class textbooks which deal with spiritual formation and something has bubbled to the surface that is really challenging the way I live out my Christianity. I'm not sure that Beliefism is a real word or the right word and without quoting exact passages from my books I think it's been tossed around. Anyways, it means that our faith life is simply lived out as a belief system. Many Christians don't live live much differently or seek to act as Christ acted they are comfortable to just have their beliefs and say that's who they are. For the majority of my life that describes me. I've been at a plateau for quite some time where I've happily just announced that I believe in God and in Jesus but with very little real life follow through. The more I learn about spiritual disciplines and drawing closer to a life shared with Christ I realize the action of a Christian is paramount to a faith life that is "alive and thriving". It may seem like an elementary comparison but I can't simply state that "I believe that I can play basketball well and that I'm a good three point shooter." I have to actually get on the court, practice and then make it happen for it to be true and real. I can see now why so many non-Christians don't really understand what's so special about God and his Kingdom. They don't really see it in action. They see a lot of posers talking the talk but lacking the walk to go with it. That's not to say that Christians are doing bad things or anti-Christian things but they are simply hovering in a safe place of "believing a life of faith" rather than "living a life of faith". As I've moved up in church leadership I'm becoming more aware of the necessity to match my talk with my walk. Believe me, I can't get it all right and I will always fall short but there's something to be said about the pursuit of living out what I say I believe. I challenge you to chew on this thought as well: what do you say you believe? and does that show in the way you do life?

p.s. if you haven't signed in to the Reader Census below please do. I want to know who's reading this thing these days.


Grandpa Steve said...

living our faith is a REAL challenge but as we do it becomes a reward.

As I have lived my faith the last year particularly I have come to understand some of the character of God and the depth of His love for us.

katrina said...

I echo the sentiments you put forth in this blog.

And, yes we're still reading your blogs.

Keep it real, bro

Tim said...

A good book to read while you're thinking about this is "The Holy Longing" by Ronald Rolheiser. I'm enjoying it immensely and finding it quite insightful. As well as rewarding.

It may be difficult for you to get. But if you're interested in reading it let me know. I may be able to help in that regard.