This post comes from Ed Cyzewski, who I read about this morning on Christine Sine’s Advent blog. The post I am pasting here is not from Christines blog, but after reading Ed’s post on Christine’s blog I went over to his site and found this. It is a great read, and part 3 of a 3 part series on faithfulness. Here is the post, followed by some comments by me.
Over the past two days we’ve established that Jesus defines faithfulness according to the ways we demonstrate our love for others, particularly how we serve the least of these by our words and deeds. This raises the matter of what we should do with our beliefs and theology.
If God wants us to love him and one another, basing our faithfulness on whether or not we have imitated his service to those who are most vulnerable, isn’t theology a waste of time?
For me, this creates a sort of chicken and the egg dilemma. We are making a deeply theological statement when we say that serving others is most important to God. We can’t escape the implications of Matthew 25, but we also understand Matthew 25 by putting theology to work for us.
In putting this another way, if we want to dismiss theology in order to only serve others, we are essentially destroying the foundation that gave us the perspective we needed to see the priorities of God clearly. If we decide to move into service without a foundation of theology, we’ll end up serving without God’s leading and power, eventually losing the perspective and insight that theology provides.
Service without theology is every bit as problematic as theology without service. The two are linked.
Our problem isn’t theology. Our problem is theology that leans in close to God, but keeps him and others at arm’s length. In addition, theology can be used to build glass walls between ourselves and God so that we can look at him but remain untouched by him and his heart for others.
Good theology connects us with the heart of God and enables us to read Matthew 25 and James 1 with the result that we take these messages seriously and put them into action.
We can try a shortcut to the action that God calls us to without theology, but in a brief period of time we’ll lose our way if we aren’t grounded in the leading of God’s Spirit and the message of scripture.
May we remain immersed in the scriptures and Spirit of God.
May we discover ways we can put our theology into practice.
And may we be refreshed with the new things God teaches us and calls us to do for him.
I like this post because in it Ed talks about the link between good theology and serving others. I have went too far on each of these areas, reading and not doing and doing without looking to Jesus for direction. When I link the two together that is when beautiful things happen.
Check out Part one and two over at Ed’s blog. Thanks Ed for being cool with me posting this here.