Acts 10:38, A Good Man

God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power: who went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, for God was with him.

I have a habit of unpacking this verse whenever I feel the need to steer my blog back toward the straight and narrow. I’d like to quote from Karen Armstrong’s The Spiral Staircase where she is learning from Hyam,  a Jew, of what it means to practice Judaism:

“No official theology?” I repeated stupidly. “None at all? How can you be religious without a set of ideas—about God, salvation, and so on—as a basis?”

“We have orthopraxy instead of orthodoxy,” Hyam replied calmly, wiping his mouth and brushing a few crumbs off the table. “’Right practice’ rather than ‘right belief’. That’s all. You Christians make such a fuss about theology, but it’s not important in the way you think. It’s just poetry, really, ways of talking about the inexpressible. We Jews don’t bother much about what we believe. We just do it instead.”

Yet, beneath the later posturing of Christian writers, isn’t this was Jesus was about? Jesus was a Jew, and taught before a backdrop of the Jewish religion, but in many ways, Jesus showed as much disdain for the 613 laws of the book of Moses as did Paul. He left instead a legacy of kindness and compassion, as a doer.

I find the study of religions interesting, their creeds less so. To my way of thinking as a liberal Christian, any religion which does not express itself in good works is a failed religion.

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2 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Any religion that does not have Jesus who came, died and was resurrected is a man made religion.
    No other God came and died for our sins and promised us Eternity. For the law of sin is death. Without Jesus there is no Eternal Life.
    Simple clear and precise.

  2. Yours is, of course, a Christian definition based upon Christian beliefs. And that’s fine; every believer of every religion should be able to state their beliefs as succinctly.

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