Belief Without Action Is Dead

Scott Taylor comments
| Faith, Politics

Faith without works is dead, according to the Epistle of James.  In our modern context, this can be rephrased as belief without action is dead.  This is the battle being fought before the Supreme Court, in the case of Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.  Ultimately this is a battle being fought in many states across the country between private business owners and government commissions.  Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission places Jack Phillips of Masterpiece Bakery against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, stemming from a lawsuit filed against Phillip's business by Charlie Craig and David Mullins and a complaint filed with the CCRC.  Jack Phillips, who declined to make a custom wedding cake for their same sex wedding, citing his religious beliefs, still offered to provide the couple any number of pre-made good.  The Colorado Civil Rights Commission, ruled in favor of the couple, and required Masterpiece Cakeshop to adhere to the public accomodation law, train their employees on the law, and provide records for two years on their compliance to the law.   Whether Phillips can turn his beliefs into action has found it's way all the way to the Supreme Court.

The Epistle of the Hebrews, speaking about faith, brings to mind many examples of those who opposed evil governments, standing steadfast in their faith of God, and applied this faith through action in the opposition to participating in evil.  If these men and women were not willing to stand opposed to evil, the midwives would have killed Moses.  Rahab would not have welcomed the Israelite spies into Jericho.  Daniel would have worshipped Nebuchadnezzar, and he would have prayed only to King Darius.  The wise men would have reported the location of the infant Jesus to Herod and Jesus would not have continued his ministry at the wishes of the Pharisees.  His disciples would not have preached the Gospel, the Apostle Peter would not have escaped Prison.  The Apostle Paul would not have escaped prison and evil governments in Asia Minor, and would not have preached the Gospel.  The early church fathers would have bowed down to Caesar, and Martin Luther would not have opposed the Roman Catholic Church.  The Protestants would not have separated from from the RCC and Pilgrims would not have escaped from evil government in England.  Abolitionists would not have opposed slavery, Dietrich Bonhoeffer would have not dissented from Nazi Germany, and Martin Luther King Jr. would not have made his famous speech.  Abolitionists today would have not opposed abortion, and people of faith would have not abstained from participating in the sin of homosexuality.  

In every single one of these examples, people having the Christian faith and knowledge of good and evil, stood opposed to evil governments intent on forcing them to act in a manner opposed to God.  In many of these examples, these men and women were allowed to believe one thing privately, but were obligated to act in a hypocritical manner publicly.

If unjust laws throughout history were not meant to be broken, we would have no nation of Israel, no Christianity, no Protestantism, no United States, no free Europe, and no free people.  We benefit today from millennium after millennium of people of faith standing opposed to evil government.  Jack Phillips is merely the current person of faith being told he can believe one thing in his home and his church, but cannot act according to his beliefs in his business.

Yet, there is no private faith, there is no beliefs without action, but there is the commandment that we must do ALL THINGS for the glory of God, and when we own a business, how we run this business is under that umbrella of all things.  In Ephesians we are told to “...have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness...”  We carry these commands into our businesses as well.  If we follow public accommodation laws when they run contrary to our faith is dead beliefs, and as Christians we stand opposed to the evil intentions our government, trying to force us to conform and participate in evil.  Ultimately, we must adhere to a different standard of law, and follow the commands of God not the evil demands of government.  It was not too long ago that the government was telling us who we couldn't serve.  Why would we trust them to tell us who we must serve?  Their logic is flawed, their demands on unjust, and their standard of law lacks objectivity.  To God alone we serve in belief and in action.  Will Christians conform to these public accomodation laws, if the Supreme Court rules against Masterpiece Cakeshop?  If 2000 years of Christianity tells us anything, it is that faithful Christians will continue to do what’s right, and endure persecution by evil government, until the injustice stop.


Scott Taylor

Scott is a full-stack web developer. He lives in Denver, CO with his wife and son. He works full time for a web development and SEO Marketing agency.