Do You Do Do's?

Our Sunday morning Bible class has been working through Monte Cox’s book Significant Others, a look at major non-Christian religions. For the last 2-3 weeks, we have been looking at Hinduism, mainly the Hindu worldview— Brahman, dharma, karma and the transmigration of souls (re-incarnation). As we began class Sunday, I suggested that while we have talked about what Hindus believe, we had not said anything about “what do Hindus do.” Well, that rhymed just a little too well, so I kept going, “How much do’s would a Hindu do if a Hindu did do do’s?” After all, any religion can’t be just about what people think; at some point it has to be about what people do. But that is true of Christianity, right? We sometimes act like the most important part of Christianity is what we believe. What has the church fought over in its history. Use the Lord’s Supper as an example. We have debated just how Jesus is present (or not) in the bread and wine. Or who can rightly partake of communion? Or who can preside over communion? Or even how many cups can be rightly used in communion? But in 1 Corinthians 11, the real communion question is not WHAT (you believe) or even HOW (you pass it out). It’s WHO (you communion with and how you treat them as you gather around the Lord’s table). The rich can’t eat their feasts while they ignore the poor and call that “the Lord’s Supper.” What you believe (about the Supper) should impact what you do.

When Paul tells Titus to teach what is “what is appropriate to sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1), what is he talking about? It’s not about what we believe; it’s about what we do. Older men were to live so as to be self-controlled and worthy of respect. Older women were to guard what they say and be good examples to younger women. Everything that follows this mention of “sound doctrine” is about what we are to do and how we are to live. If that is sound doctrine, then unsound (false) doctrine? Well, that’s all about what we’re not to do. Paul gives Timothy a list of things—sexual immorality, slave-trading, murder, homosexual acts, and lying and then ends his list with “and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine” (1 Timothy 1:10). Again. Doctrine is about what we do.

It is important what we believe. But it is important because what we believe has an impact on what we do. James says that when we act in false ways, we “deny the truth” (James 3:14). Truth is not just something we believe; rather we are to “live out the truth” (1 John 1:6). We are live as people “acting out the truth of the gospel” (Gal 2:14). So, we need to ask ourselves each day, “How much do’s would a Christian do if Christians would do do’s?”

 

 

 

Picture by Dave Rutt Some Rights Reserved