OST is closed for business but its spirit survives on my blog.

Orthodoxy, orthopraxy and creed

Orthodoxy, orthopraxy and creed


We don’t necessarily need orthodoxy (right belief) to produce orthopraxy (right practice).

While this may be true, I’d be more concerned over falling into behaviourism than into an over-emphasis spiritual belief. Of course we need to agree with something (creed) in order to connect with other people in such a way that we could claim ‘membership’ or ‘inclusion’.

As an example, if you went to a party you could connect relationally with dozens of people on a shallow level; you could share experience and, if everyone does what the social code expects, you could say it was a good party. If people are unaware of the social convention they embarress themselves and their host. Most people will not want to associate with them further. This is social behaviourism. However, in order to connect more deeply (in most circumstances) we need time, shared experiences and transparency…and we must like what we see. This give and take forms a type of ‘common agreement’ (creed) for the relationship.

When more people get together we can continue without a formal creed, but this leads to a dangerous situation where people are expected to conform to unspoken rules and agree with unspoken common beliefs. They are certainly punished if they don’t.

To return to the main point, at the end of the day I don’t believe God inherits our beliefs or our practices; I believe he inherits ‘us’. Christ offers us more than "baptised behaviourism" [1], although as our actions are based on our beliefs, true orthopraxy relies on orthodoxy.

[1] I first heard this term from David J. Riddell of Nelson, NZ.

My (tentative) beliefs By: Andrew (39 replies) 20 February, 2004 - 20:19