Thursday, February 16, 2006

Faith vs. (and) Deed pt. 3

Due to some well deserved prodding, i'll try to "wrap up" this lil' thought process, as i'm sure many of you have wittled (sp?) your nails down in anticipation.

Adam Caldwell and I had a conversation in which he suggested I would frame the discussion in a Faith AND Deed way as opposed to Faith VERSES Deed way. Good call.

So none of what i've said, and really not much of anything I ever say is really ground breaking or hard to comprimise. I feel like the Jewish faith places to much emphasis on works or deeds alone while the Christian faith SHOULD emphasize deeds in connection with faith, but many times the stuff you do after you have the faith is irrelevant, or must be by how much attention deeds get.

To Illustrate this, I will post a portion of the book Adventures in Missing the Point, from a chapter called Salvation:

The Parable of the Race:

Once upon a time, in a land of boredom and drudgery, exciting news spread: “There is going to be a race! And all who run this race will grow strong and they’ll never be bored again!” Exciting news like this had not been heard in many a year, for people experienced little adventure in this ho-hum land, beyond attending committee meetings, waiting in lines, sorting socks, and watching sitcom reruns.

Excitement grew as the day of the race drew near. Thousands gathered in the appointed town, at the appointed place. Most came to observe, skeptical about the news. “It’s too good to be true,” they said. “It’s just a silly rumor started by some teenaged troublemakers. But let’s stick around and see what happens anyway.”

Others could not resist the invitation, arriving in their running shorts and shoes. As they waited for the appointed time, they stretched and jogged in place and chattered among themselves with nervous excitement. At the appointed time they gathered at the starting line, heard the gun go off, and knew that it was time to run.

Then something very curious happened. The runners took a step or two or three across the starting line, and then abruptly stopped. One man fel to his knees crying, “I have crossed the starting line! This is the happiest day of my life!” He repeated this again and again, and even began singing a song about how happy this day was for him.

Another woman started jumping for joy. “Yes!” she shouted, raising her fist in the air. “I am a race-runner! I am finally a race-runner!” She ran around jumping and dancing, getting and giving high fives to others who shared her joy at being in the race.

Several people formed a circle and prayed, quietly thanking God for the privilege of crossing the starting line, and thanking God that they were not like the skeptics who didn’t come dressed for the race.

An hour passed, and two. Spectators began muttering; some laughed. “So what do they think this race is?” they said. “Two or three strides, then a celebration? And why do they feel superior to us? They’re treating the starting line as if it were a finish line. They’ve completely missed the point.”

A few more minutes of this silliness passed. “You know,” a spectator said to the person next to her, “if they’re not going to run the race, maybe we should.”

“Why not? It’s getting boring watching them hang around just beyond the starting line. I’ve had enough boredom for one life.”

Others heard them, and soon many were kicking off their dress shoes, slipping out of their jackets, throwing all this unneeded clothing on the grass. And they ran- past the praying huddles and past the crying individuals and past the jumping high-fivers. And they found hope and joy in every step, and they grew stronger with every mile and hill. To their surprise, the path never ended- because in this race, there was no finish line. So they were never bored again.
Is salvation for you a one-time experience? Or is it a lifelong journey? Is it about rescue from your uncomfortable circumstances, or rescue from this world after death- or is it about being rescued from a life that is disconnected God and God’s adventure, both in this life and the next? Is salvation about stepping across a line- or is it about crossing a starting line to begin an un-ending adventure in this life and beyond?

Um, the computer i'm using can no longer be in use, more soon....seriously.

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