2 readers online now  |  69 million page views

Christianity based on Feelings?

Reader comment on item: The Jewish-Muslim Connection: Traditional Ways of Life

Submitted by Andrew Young (United States), Feb 24, 2009 at 10:16

First off, a very interesting article, a good read. I thought the connections between the legal mindsets of traditional Jewish and Muslim communities were a fascinating topic.

Second, the following comment comes from a person who values politeness and intellectual discourse, but holds very strongly to an evangelical Christian background. It is not intended as a polemic or a proselytic piece, but as a respectful offering of the viewpoint of one of the parties addressed in the article.

One theme in the article was that Christianity was the "odd religion out" among the big three, for its treatment of law. I'd have to agree with that sentiment. However, there is a corollary to that same thought given, with which I disagree: that Christianity is based on feelings rather than deeds. To say that relies on the idea that other than law, there is nothing to make a man act right. That is precisely the point that the New Testament contends against.

If one reads the Christian scriptures, they will find that good works and a right lifestyle are absolutely mandatory. It is not a question of how one "feels." The book of James challenges its readers: "show me your faith without works, and I'll show you faith with works." (James 2:18.) Paul criticizes those who made too much of their emotions in Philippians 3:19 ("belly" in that passage refers to emotions.) He connects those people with destruction and evil works. Christianity doesn't de-emphasize works, or even right deeds, then, but only law as a mechanism to attain good works.

The primary idea of Christianity on this subject, that you'll find in your New Testament is this: man always fails somewhere when doing good works. There needs to be a new heart given to him (an echo of this is found in Ezekiel 36:26, in the Old Testament.) From that new heart, which is given by God's grace, because of man's faith, and not by works, a man can then do the works of God. (see Ephesians 2:8-9) Christianity approaches works by building a man so that he can do them, rather than simply defining for a man what they are. The Apostle Paul said the law was good, but that I am evil and can't attain to it. (see Romans 7:12, 7:14) Christ, however, will produce that in me. That, then, is how Biblical Christianity differs from Judaism and Islam in its approach to works and faith, not by lackadaisicalness regarding doing right.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Christianity based on Feelings? by Andrew Young

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2020 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)