Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Praisers of Piety

I recently completed a survey on Christianity. The survey was intended for people who were disgruntled or otherwise disillusioned with the present-day practice of the faith, and although I was a little concerned that I was chosen as a possible candidate, I took the survey anyway. One of the questions was in regards to how I felt modern day Christians integrate their faith with their intelligence. I wish I could remember the exact wording of the question, but basically the researcher wanted to know whether I believed that Christians checked their brains at the door.

As I've written in this space previously, this is not a question that is unfamiliar to me. After all, I believe a lot of people who were raised in the church, choose to abandon the practice because they thought that there was something intellectually remiss. Whether or not this perception was reality, I couldn't say, but its one of those cases where perceptions count for everything. Many individuals can not intellectually defend their faith so they either chuck it or choose to hold it dispassionately.

There are, however, people who are at the other end of the spectrum. These individuals give intellectual accedence to their faith, but never let it impact their heart. They believe that God is real, but don't have a relationship with Him. Their minds say that there must be a power greater than themselves but they refuse to conform their will to that of the Other. Maybe their condition can be best summed up by the man who cried "Lord I believe, Help my unbelief".

And this problem isn't a new one. In 1728 William Law gave the following explanation for why some people seem never to progress in their faith. " Now the reason of it is this: it is because religion lives only in their head, but something else has possession of their heart; and therefore they continue from year to year mere admirers and praisers of piety, without ever coming up to the reality and perfection of its precepts." Being a praisers of piety, an advocate for what's right is good. Being a practicer of these precepts is even better.

May we never settle for merely being an advocate of good things. May we be ambassadors for the only One deserves to be called good.



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