Faith is not belief

 

 

Aldous Huxley surely was one of the brightest men of the 20th century, an intrepid explorer of the inner and outer worlds. Brave New World certainly was one of the visionary dystopias ever penned. Huxley predicted the consumer onslaught just about to be unleashed in the post-war period.He saw the “friendly fascism” looming on the horizon where capitalist countries would not need oppressive measures to dull the citizenry and turn critical citizens into consumers and shoppers.

The rock poet Bruce Springsteen alludes to this in his prophetic dirge from his 2012 album Wrecking Ball, Swallowed Up in the Belly of the Whale
We’ve been swallowed up
We’ve been swallowed up
Disappeared from this world
We’ve been swallowed up

People would be so diverted and disengaged from critical thought that their critical faculties would be eviscerated by the cheap baubles of the captalist fantasy machine,How eslse can one explain George  Bush and  Toronto mayor Rob Ford?

One recalls the pathetic cri de coeur of the Savage in Brave New World.

“What you want is a Christianity without tears.”

Or “no cross, no crown” as the Protestant hymn succinctly put it.

Christians proved in too many cases that even the revolutionary gospel of Jesus, the call to the reign of peace and justice could be replaced by the harmless move to church attendance

But it really is an old story, recognized by many historians of religion.It was the wrong turn that the Constantinian arrangement made which turned the spirit-led faith movement into a mere adjunct of the state, as in “God bless America” intoned by all American presidents, as the Stars and Stripes present on too many Christian altars.

 

Faith then morphed into belief. something which you staked your life on, discipleship and the following of Jesus to the cross was replaced by this creed-heavy  “belief”, acceptance of certain doctrinal formulae, all presided over by a male hierarchy.

Huxley in another  prophetic book “Island” has his fictional islanders pray:”Give us this day our daily faith but deliver us from beliefs.”

All over the world and in many historical religions people are moving away from “belief”.They want more and of “faith” which is relational. transformative and engaged. They want deep participation, responsibility and accountability. Faith as cognitive assent no longer cuts it. Of course they are being resisted by hierarchs who do not understand that “faith” and “belief” are not the same thing.

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  1. [...] Faith is not belief « Theology in the Vineyard Huxley predicted the consumer onslaught just about to be unleashed in the post-war period.He saw the “friendly fascism” looming on the horizon where capitalist countries would not need oppressive measures to dull the citizenry and turn … http://theologyinthevineyard.wordpress.com/ — Fri, 25 May 2012 09:08:10 -0700 Link to this post! [...]


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