Posted by: the warrioress | January 10, 2014

Faith Without Works IS Dead

When a servant of the Lord declares that it doesn’t matter if we have enough to eat or drink, or that it shouldn’t matter if we didn’t get our government check or we couldn’t pay our bills, I have to wonder if he has ever been hungry or cold in his life. Has he ever lived in a tent under the highway because he couldn’t find work? I doubt it.

When this same servant claims that if we give the poor blankets, shelter, or food, we give them nothing and that all that matters is giving them the gospel, I’m quickly reminded of what the bible says about this very thing!

14-17 Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?

18 I can already hear one of you agreeing by saying, “Sounds good. You take care of the faith department, I’ll handle the works department.”  Not so fast. You can no more show me your works apart from your faith than I can show you my faith apart from my works. Faith and works, works and faith, fit together hand in glove.

19-20 Do I hear you professing to believe in the one and only God, but then observe you complacently sitting back as if you had done something wonderful? That’s just great. Demons do that, but what good does it do them? Use your heads! Do you suppose for a minute that you can cut faith and works in two and not end up with a corpse on your hands? –(The Message) James 2:14-26

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? KJV James 2:14-26

When we offer a label to describe caring for those who have nothing, and refer to this as “the social gospel,” this is baloney;  this is a way of denying the second most important commandment Christ ever gave us, “love thy neighbor as thy self!”

The fact remains that when one only offers the gospel but allows people to starve or go without shelter and clothing, one offers faith without works — or dead faith. The political party that kills every bill designed to help the poor, oppresses the poor and the working poor.  This party is full of dead faith — nothing can change the facts of that matter.

As Christians we cannot defend the indefensible and we should not try to; to attempt to do this is hypocrisy. Satan cheers when we twist and bend the truth of what the bible says. Christians must realize that they must fill the bellies of those whom they would bring the gospel to. To do otherwise is dead Christianity, it is faith without works.

The bible tells us not to oppress the poor and not to support those who oppress the poor.

“Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.” — Proverbs 14:31

God says He will judge those who oppress the poor (Deut 27:19,Prov. 17:521:1322:1628:27Isaiah 10:1-4Eze 18:12-1316:49).  Source

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Responses

  1. You don’t know this but I slept each night on a half sunken barge because I had no where else to go. Be carefull, how you label me. When we only offer the Gospel we are doing a deservice and therefore have no faith? Really? My thinking is if you feed the poor and never offer the Gospel you have done nothing. Am I wrong?

  2. Adrienne. I bet you don’t have a bent nail anywhere in your house. Most bent nails occur when the carpenter fails to hit the nail firmly and directly—right on its head.

    Your post reminded me of the foreign missionary team that visited the small Southern Methodist Church I attended with my uncle and aunt in the summers from 1971-1975. Some have accused that very minor denomination of being racist, but I never saw any sign of it in that church. The visiting missionary team gave the sermon one Sunday morning. I was sitting in the pew as just a teenager, and heard the bomb drop and detonate in that sermon. The exact words of the sermon have left my mind—except for a few—but I do recall being horrified. The bomb drop portion of the sermon went something like the following:

    “Yes, we are collecting money this morning to help build, stock, and staff a first class rural hospital in the poor African country where we work. Most of the natives are extremely poor, have difficulty getting enough food, and are plagued by health and disease issues that we rarely see here in the United States because of our excellent sanitation and healthcare systems. (He rambles on and on about the hospital—and then—in a swaggering tone—the bomb drops.) Now, I want you to understand something folks, and I want to be clear about this. We are not building this hospital to help these people. Frankly, we don’t care about how sick these people are, what diseases these people have, how much suffering they are going through, or even whether they live or die. We do plan to treat the people when they come in sick, but the primary purpose of this hospital is “bait” so we can lure them in to hear the message of salvation through Jesus Christ. That is first and foremost above everything else. Our primary concern is their souls and not their bodily suffering.”

    Well, while I was sitting there flushed with horror and about to jump out of my skin to give these idiots a piece of my teenage mind, my eyes quickly glanced around and noticed that I was clearly the only upset or agitated person in the sanctuary. I did not hear any “amens,” but it seemed to me like one of the silverbacked gorillas in the pews should have at least stood up and said, “Now brother, what you just said ain’t right.”

    We archaeologists dabble in prehistory and history, and about 30 years after this incident I learned about the “social gospel.” Christian fundamentalist and extremely conservative evangelical churches in the early 20th century were not just worried about the rise of higher criticism of the Bible in Germany and scientific advances such as evolution. Large numbers of people in assorted American denominations and churches were taking seriously (perhaps for the first time) the words of Jesus on helping the hungry, poor, sick, brokenhearted, widowed, etc. and were launching out all over the world with money and supplies to help alleviate their suffering in the name of Jesus. This activity really angered the fundamentalists and conservatives who were stewing in their own juices at thousands of constipated churches on the American landscape: “Why, what they are doing is just wrong!!!!” Wrong I tell you!!! Wrong!!! The only responsibility of Christians to mankind is completion of the Great Commission. This and this alone!!!”

    They were upset because all of these huge resources were not being devoted solely to the conservative evangelism that was the historical hallmark of their churches. Then they felt obligated to go on a nationwide warpath (does this sound familiar?) to stop as much Christian “good deed doing” as they could wrap their mitts around. In the process, they found a term to describe what they were fighting against, and that term was the “social gospel.” They then set about the process of demonizing both this term and the people who cared for “the least of these” that Jesus loves so much. Over several decades in the 20th century, the term “social gospel” became a dirty word (sort of like the f-word) in conservative Christian circles, and there was a strong feeling in conservative churches that they had utterly, completely, and totally defeated the social gospel—whereas they had been less successful against evolution and some of the more despised trends in theology. As a smug member of my Southern Baptist Sunday school class in the mid-1980s stated, “Oh!!! That was the social gospel. We already defeated that!!”
    This hatred for the term “social gospel” and the Christian compassion that it represents is still active and even virulent in conservative church circles. Why is that? Just as evolutionary science is seen as the greatest threat to a literalist view of the Authorized King James Bible, the social gospel is viewed as the most deadly current threat to successful completion of the Great Commission. The social gospel is still alive and well in many Christian denominations who actively care for the “least of these” to be in the same state of mind as Christ Jesus. The Roman Catholic Church and United Methodist Church have a real heart for “the least of these.” Many conservative churches view the social gospel activities of these churches as a “sign of their apostasy.” Are you from Joisy? I’m from Joisy. Are you from Apostasy? I’m from Apostasy. If doing good for the least of these is apostasy, then I am apostate and proud of it!!!

    So yes, in their minds, let the child’s leg rot off from gangrene. As long as they can get to her right away with the “first aid” of John 3:16, the loss of that leg, her suffering, or even her death is not an important issue in comparison. After all, everyone suffers and dies sooner or later. Why worry as long as they get Jesus for the long haul?

    This is evil incarnate—and the Evil One has this base thoroughly covered in many Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical churches—down at The Heritage Foundation, in Rush Limbaugh’s studio, in the Republican Party, and in other such places. Shame on all of them!!!

  3. I can do about five more postings from this one comment of yours, Tracy. (chuckle). Why aren’t you blogging this stuff?!!! It’s awesome! Seriously, I’m just wondering…

    Anyways, I can’t respond to this properly because I’m carrying in some stuff from the car. Will be back to comment more thoroughly asap, but it may be tomorrow.

  4. Oh, no extensive response is necessary. Your energies would be better spent on other things because you clearly expend those energies so well. I just love reading your stuff. As for writing so much on this end, I was a wall flower child who was ignored a lot by adults. All of these things of mine that you read have been churning around and building up inside of me—unable to get out—since early childhood. I have a whole library of about 1000 internal subjects just waiting to get vomited on to some poor page. Who knows where my nausea will lead and what blog or web page it will show up on next time. Peace and love.

  5. If you noticed Sage published your comments.

  6. I wanted to write a wee something. But for the first time in a long time words escape me But what I can say is Amen and Amen to you and dover 1952 both. You got It!

  7. Reblogged this on Dr Denis’s Weblog and commented:
    You need to read this and the comments that follow

  8. Dr. Denis, love you, Dr. (hugs) and God bless….Adrienne


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