“Here is what we do as worshipers of a Santa Claus God: We embrace the conviction that God is an infinitely generous source of all good, but conveniently forget that we were created in God’s image to be in some significant sense like God – not like God in God’s divinity, for we are human and not divine, but like God ‘in true righteousness and holiness’ (Ephesians 4:24), like God in loving enemies (Matthew 5:44). To live well as a human being is to live in sync with who God is and how God acts. …In his early text, somewhat cumbersomely titled Towards a Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, the young Karl Marx famously noted that religion – the Christian faith, he meant primarily – is ‘the opiate of the people.’ It’s a drug, and it’s a ‘downer’ or ‘depressant’ insulating people from the pain of oppressive social realities and consoling them with a dream world of heavenly bliss. Alternatively, religion can function as an ‘upper,’ a ‘stimulant’ energizing people for the tasks at hand – a function of religion Marx failed to grasp.” Miroslav Volf
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your Father in heaven.
He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good,
and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
Jesus, in Matthew 5:44,45
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Is living “in sync with who God is and how God acts” your goal for your life as a Christian?
- Does what Marx said apply to you? Do your religious beliefs tend to insulate you “from the pain of oppressive social realities and [console you] with a dream world of heavenly bliss?”
- Does your faith “energize you for the tasks at hand?” (for instance “loving enemies”)
Abba, energize me with your Spirit for the many tasks at hand – in my home, my neighborhood, my church, my country, and my world.
For More: A Public Faith by Miroslav Volf
These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and he seeks you. I hope you’ll follow and share my blog. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. Thanks! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)
“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”