I think the church is confused with what ‘belief’ actually means. The church uses the definition of belief as ‘what you think on something’ – I think this is in fact mis-guided and misses the way it is used in the gospel.
I think the gospel writers used belief as something ‘you do because you value it’. It’s not that works defines faith, but works are part of your belief set. To me, a belief without an action to it – is not a real belief – it’s like smoke and mirrors – magic – because you think with that belief you did something when in fact you did not (ex: Trinity is real).
Our faith has become severely mis-guided and wants to point fingers at people that don’t ‘think’ like them – dividing people up. Problem is, this is exactly the opposite effect Jesus actual teachings actually have – so I am not sure most people in churches aren’t turning schizo on some level. We see a Jesus talking about people being defined as ‘what you do’ and then we have a faith that says ‘believe what he did’ (which is actually doing nothing and saying you did something).
I have stated it is more important what you do with what you think is truth than what you actually think is truth – and I think this is gospelic viewpoint. Jesus talks about ‘building’ a foundation from his teachings or the idea of the tree’s ‘bearing’ fruit – it’s all about producing. If the centre of your faith is about belief – believing what exactly?
I recently had a talk with another person (Gene) about the 6 ministers being financially looked at by a person from the US Senate (our new tax collecter/Samaritan in this scenario). Here is how it summed up for me: “On the other hand, it’s still the Rod of God. God using pagans to keep his people in line.” (Gene)…”Think of this Gene – if he’s using pagans to help Christians ‘see the light’ on this issue – then aren’t the pagans more enlightened – since they knew what was right and did it? What does that say about the comparison of pagan and Christian? Interesting.” (SVS)
That example in and of itself shows what I am talking about here…that gospelic viewpoint on belief. I think the other ‘thoughts’ about God are fun but they produce nothing in the end…and to think they do is wishful…so maybe we need to call them ‘thoughts about who God is’ and not beliefs. I rest my foot on the idea that this simple premise would permeate Christian faith again and endue it with a real living perspective.