The Risk Factor
George Hirst
What about risks of faith? God has taken the risks out of our lives. We are faithful and obedient. We are rewarded. However - there is necessity of risk taking. - not to prove or earn or benefit salvation - but to serve.

Pelagius' quote about Adam and Eve in the eating of the forbidden fruit - took a risk and gained freedom he writes "Adam and Even became mature human beings." (p 11) the story of how the human race gained its freedom by eating of the tree of knowledge. They risked eating forbidden fruit to gain freedom... Letters of Pelagius , Robert Van Weyer, Editor

Question is disobedience of God a risk? Probably not, because we need to grow and live in God's world. We seem to learn more by our mistakes than by our successes. Pelagius writes "In the teachings and the examples of Jesus Christ we learn the general principles of behavior which pleases God. Then at each moment of choice, we must apply those principles in practice." P 15. But Jesus said, "Take up your cross and follow me" This is scarcely principle - it is more like practice!

What about small sacrifices?

Perry Yoder, Professor of OT at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Ind writes: "unfortunately the uncoupling of salvation and law has meant the tacit connection of law with legalism. In this view, the law is to be obeyed because we want to earn something. We want to gain God's favor. Or the reverse might also be true" Law is to be obeyed because we fear God's judgment and hope to escape God's wrath through keeping the law. In making this connection of law and legalism, we have forgotten that the law comes after Israel's salvation and in response to it. We have forgotten that Israel's liberation was an act of God's grace, not a necessary response to Israel's merit. Law is how the liberated, saved people of God say thank you?

(further) ..., it is law that allows the liberated to become liberating. What is to keep today's liberated from oppressing others in their liberation? A law that continues to liberate continues the work of God's liberation. In short, in response to liberation, the law sketches out the way by which God's people live liberation. "Liberated by Law' Sojourners, Sept. Oct, 1999 p 46 With this introduction - saying that we do not risk judgement or salvation - we depend upon God's grace.

Let us consider what and where the risks of a practiced faith are.

Living liberation (Yoder's term) means that we be and do what Micah wrote about - do justly, love mercy and walk humbly. Is there risk there? At first blush, probably not, but further examination - when we stand at odds with people who are not just, and find that they use their power to oppose our deeds.

Second simply doing right (or as someone has written) to do the hard right as opposed to the easy wrong. - or as St Paul wrote - that which I would do I do not do - while that which I would not do- that I do (somewhere in Corinthians) The risk of feelings of failure and inadequacy in doing wrong.

Again - the matter here is an understanding that we are living our liberation and finding that it is not always a comfortable place to be. So two things - rejection from opposition from others and our own sense of inadequacy in the failure of following.

Actually, we need to understand that this whole matter has to do with living in community - in the world. It is not heaven or hell - but being part of God's creation. Risk become part of living. It is as when we leave home in our cars to go some place. Both the automobile - and the traffic present in our travel and of uncertain nature. Cars break down, accidents happen. If one would avoid that uncertainty we would need to stay home.
Created by steve. Last Modification: Tuesday 31 of August, 2021 11:32:56 EDT by steve.