In the last blog I mentioned I had just read Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe. There are several scenes in which characters state their views on Christianity and the Bible and these views are very similar to what we have said in this blog.
In one scene, St. Clare is talking to his daughter Eva. Eva expresses love for her servants—her slaves. St. Clare questions his daughter’s ability to love her slaves to which Eva replies that the Bible commands us to love everyone. St. Clare replies: “O, the Bible! To be sure, it says a great many such things; but, then, nobody ever thinks of doing them,–you know, Eva, nobody does.” This perfectly sums up the attitude of most people in our world toward the Bible. The problem is this belief is taught by most of organized Christianity. If we are saved by belief in Jesus then why should we need to follow Jesus’ teachings?
In another scene, St. Clare after reading a portion of Matthew to Uncle Tom makes the comment that he expected it necessary for one to commit some terrible sin to be denied entrance into heaven but the Bible teaches that people will be condemned because they did not do some positive good. Miss Ophelia then replies that “it is impossible for a person who does no good not to do harm”. The book does not say which passage St. Clare was reading but from the context it appears it was Matthew 25:31-46 in which Jesus was describing the Day of Judgment. Jesus said that feeding the hungry, giving water to the thirsty, welcoming strangers, clothing the needy, and visiting the sick and those in prison were the necessary actions to gain admittance into heaven. St. Clare and Miss Ophelia’s comments on the Matthew passage are more on the mark than what most Bible commentaries give. It is impossible to read the Bible with an open mind and not acknowledge it teaches that our actions are what are most important to God. Now a belief is necessary to take a particular action but according to this passage it is the action that is critical. Is that what our theology teaches?