Monday, September 21, 2009

Do you Speak Biblical or Christianese?

Ok, I admit it I was bored and didn't fancy starting cooking dinner yet, but anyway, while pottering around the internet I decided to check an online Bible to see how many of the common Christian one liners are actually quoted from the Bible. So as not to get sucked into the vortex of various translation arguments, I checked in a couple of versions, the NIV, KJV and the CEV (really, is there any more pointless discussion within Christianity?).

  • "simple faith" - none at all
  • "all you need is faith" - nope that's not there either
  • "childlike faith" - quess what, zero again

I admit that I have deliberately picked on some of the vacuous phrases I have heard, phrases that I have long thought evasive of the reality of following the precepts of Jesus of Nazareth. There is nothing simple about faith in my experience, it is full of doubt and questions - if you have never doubted then I would contend you are either dead, in denial or just plain lying. I sometimes wonder if when people talk about "simple faith" they use it as an excuse not to engage with the Bible in a mature, meaningful way and thus continue with a simpleton's faith.

Faith is also clearly not all you need in following the revolutionary Jesus, works and social awareness are part and parcel of the teachings of Jesus. To preach about the "full gospel" and ignore the Gospel's calls for social, racial and economic change is to fall short of your own claims, let alone the requirements of Jesus. Faith without works is dead and thus not the faith of Jesus.

With "childlike faith" we often take the image of the sweet little trusting child as our image of such faith, rather than the more usual child you see in the streets, constantly bugging their parents with the question "why?". Mrs Velkyal works with 3 to 6 year old kids and some the questions they come out with are remarkable, and reveal the true nature of a human child with a thirst for knowledge. Children don't just accept, they dig, search, experience and challenge everything, do we?

1 comment:

snoozebob said...

Some Christians don't know the words but they just remember the tune