The Unhealthy Emphasis on the Importance of Belief

well done cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

Description: An old man writes in a scroll, “Well believed good and faithful servant”, but he crosses out “believed” and writes in “done” instead.


The Reformation’s important theological development emphasized that good works aren’t going to get you into Heaven. You need to be saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. 

That has been pushed to the extreme so that now it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you believe properly.

The letter of James is famous for “faith without works is dead”.

This is why there is so much death around Christianity.

Why is there so much emphasis today on what you believe? 

It makes no difference how you behave, as long as you believe right. 

Actually, you don’t even have to believe it. You can just say you believe it.

It doesn’t matter if you’re cruel, abusive, racist, misogynistic, Islamophobic, homophobic, murderous, hateful, violent, a liar...

If you just say you’re a Christian it cancels it all.

You can say you’re a believer and actually abuse a believer and people are impressed that you say you’re a believer while the abused believer suffers right in front of them.

Hypocrisy, where your words and your actions don’t line up, used to be bad. 

Now it’s fashionable.

I remember the cold chill that coursed through my body when I realized the point of Jesus’ Last Day parable. The religious people who believed and were doing religious things thought they were okay. But God didn’t know them. Those who were simply being kind to people with no religion implied were actually known by God.

Much to their surprise!

Because they too must have assumed believing the right things was what got you in. Not being nice.

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