William Wilberforce

William Wilberforce was a driving force for the abolition of the slave trade in the 18th century.  Eric Metaxas, in his biography of Wilberforce, critiques the 18th century British society by saying:   “. . .the outward trappings of religion remained, but robust Christianity, with its noble impulses to care for the suffering and less fortunate, was gone.” [1]  Wilberforce was just the opposite; his religious beliefs were a call to action.  His beliefs, instead of being some fancy ornament to wear and display, were more like work clothes.  As a result, Wilberforce spent his life fighting the evils of slavery.

Are we Christians today any different from the 18th century British society?  Our beliefs are the most important element of Christianity according to most doctrinal statements while our actions rarely mentioned.  Is this what the Bible teaches?  Did not Christ teach that the ultimate test of whether one is speaking for God is their actions (Matthew 7:15-20)?

Christians have become so afraid of being accused of advocating a works salvation that they ignore what the Bible teaches about our actions.  Our doctrine drives our interpretation of the Bible more than the Bible drives the formation of our doctrine.


[1]   Eric Metaxas, Amazing Grace, New York:  HarperSanFrancisco, 2007, p. 71.

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