Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of Nov. 30, 2008
- Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of Nov. 30, 2008
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As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho
Press, here is a selection from our book of daily
devotions, "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a
Time," by the Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed.
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Faith and works
"So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead."
Faith without works is a dead faith. Yes, we are
saved by faith alone. But talk is cheap and we
must put our words into action. God expects us
to change the world. We must both walk the walk,
and talk the talk of faith. As followers of Jesus,
we are to bring a bit of heaven on earth against
the forces of hell. We are not allowed the luxury
of indifference or passivity. This holy activism
is for all Christians, gay and straight.
Historically, critics such as Frederick Nietzsche
(1844-1900) and Karl Marx (1818-1883) have had a
very low opinion of Christianity. Nietzsche
believed Christian faith made people act in a
cowardly manner, by teaching them to passively
accept whatever happened in their world as God's
will. This discouraged efforts by religious
people to change the world. Marx was no kinder
in his criticism. He went so far as to say
religion was the "opiate of the people." In
his opinion, the Christian faith drugged people
into passivity and escapism, thereby preventing
them from rising against their oppressors.
I disagree strongly with Nietzsche and Marx. I
believe faith inspires ordinary people to live
extraordinary lives. There are many heroes
among us, serving as activists against poverty
and injustice, fighting indifference and hatred,
as they walk their walk of faith. Throughout
history, many people of faith have even suffered
harsh consequences of following their conscience.
But they joyfully chose to live their faith, even
when and if it brought them into harm's way.
As contemporary followers of Christ, we are not
allowed the luxury of looking the other way when
we see evil and the face of suffering. Our
silence and lack of activism condones physical
and spiritual violence of all kinds. We have a
holy obligation to stop prejudice and oppression,
as well as to feed the hungry.
Whether we are gay or straight, Christian faith
should motivate us to make a difference in our
world. If you are not making a difference, take
time to reexamine your faith today. Ask God for
a new heart of compassion, a renewed passion for
justice, and the courage to live out your faith.
May your blessed faith be a stimulus for action,
rather than a religious drug lulling you into
passivity and escapism, when encountering the
world around you.
God, renew and revive our faith in Jesus Christ.
Inspire us to make a difference in the world for
Jesus' sake. Bless our holy activism through the
power of your Holy Spirit. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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