“There’s a movement in the church to marry action and contemplation, to connect orthodoxy and orthopraxis. We’re not throwing out the things we believe, but we’re also focusing on practices that work out those beliefs. In the past few decades Christianity has primarily been about what we believe. But in Jesus we see an invitation to join our actions with a movement rather than ideas and doctrine. People have grown tired of a Christianity that can say what it believes on paper but doesn’t have anything to show with our lives.”
—Adapted from Shane Claiborne, When Action Meets Contemplation (Center for Action and Contemplation, 2010), disc 1.
Orthopraxis, or practicing our faith, is different from orthodoxy, an adherence to a certain belief. It is a paradox. We need both. We need to frame and reframe what we believe; but if we do not put that belief into practice we are like a “noisy gong.” I am one of those people Shane Claiborne talks about who has lots of t-shirts spelling out social justice issues—but until I write letters or make phone calls or visit those in prisons or those who are sick or in trouble,
I am not putting that belief into practice. I have learned this most pointedly from younger people. The women in my family marched in the women’s march the day after the recent presidential inauguration. We were talking with our feet. We were inspired to do more by the crowds and speakers at this protest.
That day has become like an icon for me about reaching out from the words of my comfortable t-shirt and visiting and making calls and protecting those in need. I know in my heart that this is the way the Spirit works. We are called to study about God and the Spirit, but we are also compelled to find the God within ourselves that will lead us to discover the God in others.
I share with spiritual friends that when I am attempting to find God in others, God is most apparent in those in need. God most readily shines in those who are sick or dying or seeking recovery, or in those at our food pantry or at our dinners for homeless veterans. Practicing the ministry of orthopraxy teaches us the most about orthodoxy, about God.
Come and get a signed copy of the new book
Just in time for the holidays
A Spiritual Rx for Advent Christmas, and Epiphany
The Sequel to A Spiritual Rx for Lent and Easter
Both are $18
All Money from sale of the books goes either to Camp Mitchel Camp and Conference Center in Arkansas or Hurricane Relief in the Diocese of Central Gulf Coast
Seibert’s, 27 River Ridge Road, Little Rock, Arkansas 72227
10 to noon, Saturday September 14, 2019