“All good religious teaching … is basically a summons to action. Yet instead of being taught to act creatively upon them, many modern Christians feel it is more important to ‘believe’ them,” writes Karen Armstrong.

In a news release Mary Hynes, host of CBC’s religion show “Tapestry” exposes the problems with “correct belief”.

Since this speaks to the purpose of this blog site, I wanted to reinforce the conclusions and insight, so please read the article.

Faith-in-godIn my page “Distinction Between Religious and Spiritual Life” and elsewhere I make two points.

1. Following Jesus means doing something, something good and honourable and repeating what Jesus did during the earthly time. Feed, clothe and visit people. Respect. Don’t condemn others when your own condition is worse. Share no loyalty with anything on earth, for God alone deserves our total loyalty.

2. Belief, right belief, has been used by religion to abuse, torture, brutalize, condemn and humiliate other human beings. Right belief in that context permits religion to reject the highest written authority, The Bible, in favour of correct doctrine. Religion rejects the supremacy of the Creator in favour of a human designed and propagated belief system.

Faith displayed as belief falls far short of God’s expectation.

“My brothers and sisters, what good does it do if someone claims to have faith but doesn’t do any good things? Can this kind of faith save [them]? Suppose a believer, whether a man or a woman, needs clothes or food and one of you tells that person, ‘God be with you! Stay warm, and make sure you eat enough.’ If you don’t provide for that person’s physical needs, what good does it do? In the same way, faith by itself is dead if it doesn’t cause you to do any good things. Another person might say, ‘You have faith, but I do good things.’ Show me your faith apart from the good things you do. I will show you my faith by the good things I do. You believe that there is one God. That’s fine! The demons also believe that, and they tremble with fear. You fool! Do you have to be shown that faith which does nothing is useless? Didn’t our ancestor Abraham receive God’s approval as a result of what he did when he offered his son Isaac as a sacrifice on the altar? You see that Abraham’s faith and what he did worked together. His faith was shown to be genuine by what he did. The Scripture passage came true. It says, ‘Abraham believed God, and that faith was regarded by God to be his approval of Abraham.’ So Abraham was called God’s friend. You see that a person receives God’s approval because of what he does, not only because of what he believes. The same is true of the prostitute Rahab who welcomed the spies and sent them away on another road. She received God’s approval because of what she did. A body that doesn’t breathe is dead. In the same way faith that does nothing is dead” (James 2:14-26 God’s Word).