I’ve been thinking about orthodoxy (right belief) versus orthopraxy (right practice). Here are some group discussion questions to ponder:
Is one more significant than the other when it comes to the faithful life? Should one be given preference over the other? Are they equally as important, and this is a distinction without a difference?
For me – based on recent discussions, readings, and my own interpretation of where we are as a church (universal) – I would have to say they’re equally important, but we have treated orthodoxy as an idol. Right belief is important, but our idol orthodoxy has mortally wounded our orthopraxy – all to the detriment of the gospel of Christ.
Take yesterday’s news from the United Methodist Church’s Connectional Table. This is a deliberative body charged with stewardship matters of the church’s finances, mission, and ministry. They came out with proposed legislation offering a compromise having to do with the church and it’s LBGTQ adherents. For supporters, it offers a way to achieve partial headway in what has become hopeless and dangerous church gridlock over the issue. For opponents, it represents something over which they are willing to divide the church – all because they believe it represents an unacceptable level of sway in the church’s orthodoxy.
To be fair, however, the opponents of this legislation see no room for sway – lest the entire structure be toppled.
For the life of me, I cannot understand why we don’t find that type of rigidity as just as unacceptable, and demand it be fought just as hard against.
For my part, I serve a church that mostly differs very greatly with me on this issue – I would think. I don’t know because we’ve been too busy doing great ministry in the name of Christ. This ministry has gone so wonderfully that we must begin looking at ways to increase capacity in our current worship space. We have a thriving children’s ministry that extends our reach well out into the community, we’ve taken in over 15 new members this year, and the Spirit is moving so powerfully you can almost feel it vibrating under your feet each Sunday. All of this is happening without having to make a big fuss over something that does little to be constructive, and a lot to be destructive.
Of course, I would like to see the church’s position change. However, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord with a proper grasp on orthodoxy and orthopraxy.
These are just a few musings, but I’d like to hear your thoughts.