I was reflecting while getting ready for my day. As my mind wandered from ‘How to explain the sleep cycles of an 18 month old?’ to ‘How do you ensure your loofah doesn’t run out of soap bubbles before cleaning your feet?’ a larger issue entered my brain. I began to wonder, ‘How did Christian behavior get severed from Christian belief and identity?’
Here is what I mean: I’m sure most of us have heard and maybe even used a phrase like this, “Some of the best Christians I know aren’t even Christians.” Even C.S. Lewis spends the first part of Mere Christianity tackling this assertion. The strangeness behind this little statement isn’t the fact that someone can be kinder, gentler, more loving, and more joyful than a Christian, no that isn’t it. Rather, it is strange that those expressions of virtue suffice for being deemed a ‘good Christian.’ I don’t think we separate behavior and belief like that for any other belief system, theistic or otherwise. I’ve never heard “The best Muslims I’ve met aren’t Muslim.” Or “The best Buddhists I’ve met aren’t Buddhist.” There is a basic understanding that the lifestyle and the beliefs are something that make up a ‘good’ Islamic or Buddhist person. However, at least in my experience and apparently C.S. Lewis’, Christian living and Christian believing have become mutually exclusive. They no longer coexist as a ‘both…and…’ but as an ‘either…or…’ I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that is appropriate.
What do you think?
Where did this come from?
Is this a holdover from when representative government was proposed as workable as long as a system of ethics, in this case Christian ethics, were in place as well?
Is this the by-product of our society’s elevation of “nice” to virtue status as C.S. Lewis seems to allude to?
Is this even a problem as I believe it is?
Are the chickens coming home to roost from when we, as Christians, tried to assert that every good value is inherently a Christian value?