Action and Faith
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion Article from


Stephen Kaufman, M.D., Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

Action and Faith

Many people despair about the prospects for humanity. What can any of us do to prevent global warming, resource depletion, and the human conflicts that they will likely spawn? Rather than struggle against seemingly impossible odds, it is tempting to be in denial. It is comforting to think that scientists are “divided” on these concerns, when in fact there is near consensus among scientists who are not sponsored by various industries. Many of us find that focusing on sports, movies, celebrity gossip, and other diversions more attractive than considering the long-term prospects of humanity.
I think it is helpful to remember that, as Christians, we are not called to save the world. We are called to serve God. The Bible teaches that one crucial component of serving God involves service to all of God’s creation. We should live as if our actions will have a significant impact, regardless of how doubtful we might be that this is the case. Of course, even if our actions have very limited influence, they can still be very meaningful for those we have helped.
As I see it, the issue boils down to one of faith. I don’t think faith is about believing in impossible things. I see faith as involving living as if our actions matter, which is indeed a leap of faith giving that we live in a universe that often looks as if nothing and nobody matters. Our actions might or might not have broad repercussions, but, if we are willing to look closely, we will find that our actions do matter. They certainly matter to those human and nonhuman creations of God who are spared suffering and are permitted to live out rich lives. Therefore, I am convinced that faith involves action. Words are easy and cheap; what really matters is what we do.

Next essay, I will reflect on John 3:16, which begins, “For God so loved the world…”

Go on to: Reflections on John 3:16
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