I’ve been thinking a fair bit recently about the priority of beliefs and love. There is an apparent dichotomy between how much belief matters over how much simply following Jesus matters. Some would say that belief is all that matters while others say that all we need to do is follow Jesus. I think something in between the two is a proper biblical view. It certainly matters what you believe, but belief is not all that matters.
There was a great post on Jesus Creed about a month ago which looked at this issue. It looked at a couple of passages from Luke’s gospel and questioned what they are saying in comparison to each other. The author of the post says they are basically saying the same thing, that to love God is to love your neighbour. One point he makes is that,
“The ‘reason’ for faith, and the best apologetic, is the body of Christ keeping his commandment … “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:34).”
I remember someone saying on a blog once that Jesus had no need of apologetics. His life did all the explaining.
The author also has some wonderful quotes from Mother Teresa that remind me of what Jayakumar Christian says about marred identity. In this regard, the author says that “We are not called to give money to the poor – we are called to love our neighbour, the poor…” Rikk Watts also once said that faith is a verb.
Ours is a ‘doing’ theology – that’s where the liberation theology people have it right. It is as we live out our faith that we become closer to God.