Beyond Orthodoxy and Orthopraxy - part 2

"Faith without works is dead."
"Works without purpose are empty."
"It is not what you say it is what you do."
"Beliefs drive actions."
"Anyone can take communion in worship."
"You cannot take communion unless you know what it means or it cheapens the sacrament." 
"Baptism of children are well and good because baptism is for all people."
"Baptism is only for those who know what it means, so babies are not considered." 

The argument of what is more important - what you believe or what you do - grows two camps. Each side appreciates the other side but in the end is ultimately convinced their camp is slightly more important than the other. Thus debates rage on and on in these dualistic conversations. 

Enter Jesus who brought a teaching that there is a third way. 

Jesus heals a lot of blind people, which is nothing to dismiss as though Jesus is just really good with eyes. Jesus heals blindness because it is this blindness that keeps us from seeing this third way - the way beyond orthodoxy and orthopraxy. 

Take the example of teaching people to give to the church. The orthodoxy side of us want to ensure people know that giving is important. The orthopraxy side of us wants to ensure people are giving to the right causes. When this right knowledge and right action are achieved then would count that as a good job. If someone knows they should give and then give to the causes that are the most fruitful, then "mission accomplished"! 

Teaching people to give and giving opportunities for them to give falls short in discipleship. These two steps are just the beginning and if we want to move beyond orthodoxy and orthopraxy we must see our need for orthokardia - right heart.

This process of discovering orthokardia is like learning a second language. When we first begin a new language, we are focused on the right words. Once the vocabulary is to a point, we then begin to work on the correct way to say the words (rolling the 'r' or pronouncing the umlaut). As we speak this second language we are at first really speaking our first language then translating in our heads what that word combination would be in our second language. With practice, we begin to shift from translating to just speaking. We being to think in terms of the second language and not our first. It is a wonderful transition and critical to anyone who wants to be fluent in languages.

Orthokardia is much like this. While we are focused on what people, think about giving or what they give to, we are not encouraging orthokardia. It is not enough to convince people to give or to give to specific causes, orthokardia is about making generous people. People who do not need to be told to give of their time or money or energy, but people who are aware of the numerous ways to be generous all around them.

It is an easy thing to get people to give compared to creating generous people. It is an easy thing to get people to understand the value of learning the story of Jesus compared to helping create "little Christs". It is very easy to pick out people who do not believe the right things or do the right things compared to those who have correct orthokardia.