I would say, it is not enough to be a the mystical christ. We are called to be Christians but we are also called to do Christianity. This is a good place, I believe, to remind ourselves that being and doing are two different things. The Bible clearly points out, doing is on equal ground with being (James 2: 14-26). We must live out, display, and share a life that exemplifies Christianity. The question is; what is that like? How do I do that?
Oh yes, I know that the ultimate gift of Christianity is forever salvation, and for that, I am humbled and forever thankful. God and Jesus did their part but now “the ball is in our court,” as they say. The question is; what do we do with it?
What should Christians do between the “moment of salvation” until their “last living breath,” here on earth? That, my friends, is a question that many have grappled with for more years than I would like to think. In this short opportunity, I do not expect to share the definitive life style with you (as if I really knew it), only to help us (you and me) move beyond “talking and start doing.
Brighter, stronger, deeper minds than mine have pondered that question. Three of those people are Francis A. Schaeffer and Charles Colson and Nancy Pearcey. Francis wrote and published the book “How Shall We Now Live” in 1979 and Charles and Nancy wrote their book “How Now Shall We Live,” over 20 years later. Both dealt with an evolving culture and environment. Both suggested actions Christians’ should take to demonstrate their beliefs. I just share with you their books and names because we need help, when it comes to acting out our Christianity, in a way that would/could have an impact on a non-Christian world.
Early on Colson offered a metaphor for the Christian to ponder. He suggested that the oyster offers a good analogy to the thought pattern Christians should have as we think about how can we have a greater impact on the world? He says, “Oysters make their own shells, so if the shell is badly formed, the problem is not in the shell but in the oyster.”
As the oyster example relates to Christendom, if we live in a deformed and decaying culture, the problem is not with the Christianity, it is with us. This is where we could benefit by a reminder that “talking is cheap” it is doing that really matters. And if our world is not right talking about its incorrectness is of little value. It is doing that really counts.What should Christians be doing to positively impact the world around us?
As a pragmatist, it is my view that Biblical instruction is good but to be effective, in our own lives and impact the lives of others, we must take that direction, consider it deeply and act (talking is overratted). No more talking- ACT. As an example: Rom. 12: 1 says, I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice… Now, I must admit that if someone asked me. what does that mean, exactly, I might struggle. To act on that requires some thought or consideration but equally important, action is requires.
In my search for some direction about how Christians should live, my lovely wife suggested I might find some help in Titus. Eureka! Some wonderful and practical instruction comes from Titus 2 and beyond. For instance, in Titus 2: 1-8, God says, “but as for you (that’s us) speak the things that are fitting for sound doctrine. In other words: Don’t talk nonsense! Now that is good advice. My mother used to tell me, keep you mouth shut and people won’t know how stupid you are. Almost exactly what the Bible shares and something I could relate to, even now.
Then in Chapter 3 verse 1 is some good instruction i.e. be subject to rulers, authorities and to be ready for every good deed, to malign no one, don’t be argumentative, be gentle and so respect (last issue) for all men. There is plenty of good practical instruction in the Bible, we just need to seek it out, but most importantly, act it out.