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"Joyful Curmudgeon" An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.


Moving Mountains - 28 Mar 2006
By Mary T. Hoffman

Yesterday I discussed passages of the Bible that quote Jesus, concerning entrance to the Kingdom of Heaven and about “greater works.”

I have met many Christians who seem to downgrade “works” and are very quick to protest that salvation comes through grace and not works. This is true: We are indeed saved by grace – but for good works. In the Bible, the second chapter of James makes it abundantly clear that faith without works is dead. Concerning works, here are just two of the verses from James Chapter 2:

14. What use is it, my brethren, if a man says he has faith, but he has no works? Can that faith save him?

26. For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

If works were unimportant in believers’ lives, why would Jesus even mention “greater works” (John 14:12)?

12. “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.”

As I’ve written before, “In a nutshell, cheap grace preaches forgiveness without repentance.”

For more on “cheap grace,” see: 

Concerning faith and works, another passage of the Bible that can be misunderstood is Mark 11:23-24. Here Jesus says:

23. "Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it shall be granted him.

24. "Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted you.”

(New American Standard Bible)

We should remember that these verses are not to be used as permission to sit back and do nothing but pray. James 2:20 makes it clear that we are to act on our faith. Mountains won’t be moved if we are lazy. And as Frank is fond of saying, “Belief is passive; faith is active.”

20. But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?

It’s a fact that along with ongoing human poverty and degradation, the extremely cruel exploitation of billions of animals is increasing dramatically in the world. This is a downward spiral fueled by tremendous greed and the manipulation of the masses who contribute to their own detriment. This “contribution” ranges from money given to powerful “charities” that fund unnecessary, redundant animal experiments, to money spent to purchase animal products used for food, clothing, etc. This truly is a “mountain” to be removed by faith!

That “mountain-removing” faith should motivate us to educate others and ourselves so that we can take intelligent, positive action proceeding from heartfelt kindness and compassion. With perseverance we can and we will remove this “mountain” of wasteful cruelty.

See also: 

Go on to: Coltsfoot - 29 Mar 2006
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