Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Actions Follow Beliefs

I have heard numerous comments from concerned people regarding the need to minimize argumentation over beliefs.

"We just need to set aside our beliefs and simply act in an appropriate manner toward one another."

I understand where this is coming from.  I really do.

In a diverse society where there are many conflicting worldviews and beliefs, it is difficult to find a particular common ground.  If we emphasize the differences--i.e. the belief systems which vary so much--we will become polarized, divided, eventually see one another as enemies.

If we could just set aside those beliefs and not worry so much about them or trying to get others to agree with our beliefs, then we could just concentrate on what we need to do to work together to make this world a better place for everyone.

Well, first, I think you have to convince everyone of your belief that we don't need to concentrate on beliefs.

Secondly, this goes against how our brains actually function.  Reading the book Why God Won't Go Away by Andrew Newberg , Eugene G. D'Aquili, and Vince Rause, I came across this quote:

The fact that such inhibitors are necessary in the first place to prevent us from slavishly acting out all our thoughts suggests that it is the inbuilt tendency of the brain to turn thoughts into actions.  In fact, even when our brains are operating normally, this tendency may break through, as when we talk with our hands, or when we lean and sway in an attempt to coax an errant golf shot back toward the fairway.  (Kindle location 1413)

The inbuilt tendency of the brain is to turn thoughts into actions not vice-versa.  It is our thoughts, our beliefs that lead to actions, and it would behoove us to remember this.

If the Church tries to get caught up into the idea that our beliefs don't matter, we will get in trouble. 


Kathy Suarez said...

Excellent insight. I learned something. Maybe this is one reason the martyrs were willing to die. Ideas matter. Beliefs matter.

Kathy Suarez said...

We are now on comment #18, and I have yet to read the words: repentance, confession, and amendment of life. It is impossible that what "Peter" is saying is what Luther meant by "faith alone -- no works." A Christian is not a helpless, will-less blob awaiting the Grace of God to fix him and make him ready for heaven. We co-operate with the Grace of God as we "work out our salvation." This is what Luther meant and what the Church has always taught.

Kevin Haug said...