In the last post on this Blog, Dr. Christine Jones discussed the differences between performed faith and lived faith. You can read it here.
Her words got me thinking about Mark 12:30: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”
The words of Christ in this verse call us to love God with everything in our being. We are to love him with all that we are. This includes our mind and how we think.
A lived faith requires us to use our minds to make decisions about how we understand the nature and character of God, how we read Scripture, and how we live in obedience to Christ.
Today there are numerous cultural issues that challenge our understanding of right and wrong, morality, and faith. As we are faced with these challenges we must decide how to react as believers.
Christ is the foundation of our faith. He is our Lord and our God. He has given us his Word (the Bible) to reveal all we need to know about salvation and the Christian life. However, there are many issues we face now that are not explicit in Scripture. Here we must look for theological principles to guide us, listen for the conviction of the Spirit, and pray that God will help us discern how to live our faith in the midst of a culture that is drifting with a broken moral compass.
Some issues facing our culture today that Christians need to begin thinking about include:
- How should our faith inform our politics?
- How should our faith inform our understanding of world poverty and human suffering (including Genocide)?
- How should our faith inform our beliefs about racism in America?
- How should our faith direct us to respond to social inequality?
- How should our faith inform our understanding of economic injustice?
- How should our faith inform the way we participate in the court of public opinion and social media?
- How should our faith inform the way Christians approach the “Me Too” movement, sexual violence, workplace violence, and domestic violence?
- In what ways are Christians called to action in order to share a glimpse of the goodness of God’s Kingdom to those who are abused, victimized, or marginalized by society?
- How can we trust God in a world where the evils above persist?
In the book, How Should We Then Live? by Francis Schaeffer, he states that “people function on the basis of their world-view more consistently then even they themselves may realize. The problem is not outward things. The problem is having, and then acting upon, the right world-view–the World-view which gives men and women the truth of what is.” An ever-growing world view in our culture is the belief that truth is a matter of taste and that there is no hope beyond this life. As Christians, we think differently. Schaeffer goes on to state that Christians are to “act upon that world-view so as to influence society in all its parts and facets across the whole spectrum of life.”
In other words, if Christians know the truth about the world (namely that it was created by God, it became fallen and corrupt, and that God the Father sent the Son for our redemption), then they should use that truth to influence society towards all that comes from redemption and from living under the goodness and authority of God.
If we are to love God with our minds, we must live our faith. To live our faith we must engage society to influence it for the Kingdom of God.
A lived faith is a call to right thinking and right actions. It is a call to honesty in our struggles, and a call to hope in Christ.
A lived faith is not about performance, it is about perseverance.