If you know me, you know how important I think being is over doing. Yet the quote (from my friend Eli) below makes a good point, scripturally:
“There are some who believe splendidly but do almost nothing. It is doing that is the distinguishing mark of those who love Christ. Others hear, these do. Those who please Christ are those who do His will. His followers are sent out into the world, not merely to know, to believe, to make profession of His name, to dream, but to do. Christian love ought to show itself in all holy service, in thoughtfulness towards other, in kindness, in readiness to help.” (Tsaritsa Alexandra, 1917)
Her remarks might easily have hit home for the Ephesian church of Revelation 2. Ephesus seems to have been a doctrinal stronghold, sniffing out heresy and weak doctrine with the efficiency and fervor of a bloodhound. The “believed splendidly,” defending the faith against theological flabbiness.
But they are missing the love, John says, they had at the beginning. Author and speaker Dr. Sam Storms, in his meditations on Revelation, writes: “Christianity necessarily entails both orthodox belief and obedient behavior. It’s inconceivable to me that anyone would suggest that it only matters what we believe or, conversely, that it only matters how we behave. The two are inseparably wedded in the purposes of God and each withers in the absence of the other.” He goes on to note that “What we see in the church at Ephesus, therefore, was how their desire for orthodoxy and the exclusion of error had created a climate of suspicion and mistrust in which brotherly love could no longer flourish. Their eager pursuit of truth had to some degree soured their affections one for another. It’s one thing not to “bear with those who are evil” (Rev. 2:2), but it’s another thing altogether when that intolerance carries over to your relationship with other Christ-loving Christians!”
In our day, we have seen some resurgence of an Ephesian mindset. At times our rationalism, fed by our Enlightenment forefathers, has cost us the loving response to those still wrestling with God that Jesus requires of his followers. “They will know you’re mine when they see your love,” he tells his disciples. We must remember that, when we are tempted to turn on those who have fallen and devour them for their weak or failed faith and theology. We must continue to pair orthodoxy (right belief) with orthopraxy (right behavior), the crown jewel of which is love that knows no boundary.