Action is "Praxis" in the Greek and relates to doing or a mode of acting as in the praxis of the book of Acts being "things done by" the apostles." Praxis is also the word used to represent sanctifying action especially as it pertains to liberation. Action in the right direction is toward the glory of God. That should make you happy.

Most Christians are driven by fear today, not faith. They will soon be a lot more afraid than they are now. God is very interested in the way that we act because our action has significance here on earth and also in heaven. Action on our part as liberated Christians will reveal the kingdom, which will come or Jesus would not have us pray for it. The manifest sons of God are revealed in this way. Jesus went to heaven to prepare a place for us there, but it is in the concrete action of us here, acting together in unison with the will of God that will reveal His kingdom on earth.

If you are a prophet called to action, the prayer closet may be a tomb except for a preparation for spiritual warfare. Speaking out is action. There are those that are to pray for God to send out laborers in the field of harvest and there are those that are sent. We are certainly to pray but for us to stay there all comfortable in our prayer closets is a cop-out. Others who are called as prayer warriors may have the better way, certainly safer for it is the prophets that are at the most risk of being hurt. These virtues must not be a cloak for political irresponsibility and self-righteous indifference and faith, not fear, should prompt our action. Ralph Waldo Emerson writes, "Why should we be cowed by the name of action? If we must have great actions, make our own so." But pray we must. We denounce the present world system because it is in the image of a false god. We make our actions right and just and according to the truth revealed. We all have a choice between living for the world or preparing for the kingdom. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin wrote that human action can be sanctified: "in action I adhere to the creative Power of God; I coincide with it; I become not only its instrument but its living extension. And as there is nothing more personal in a being than his will, I merge myself, in a sense, through my heart, with the very heart of God."

The fact is that the vast majority of the world's people and nations are subject to unjust domination. There are those of us that will not just sit by and let that happen without trying to do something about it. That is the action of the spirit of God in these last days while the Babylon church sleeps on by. Christian love must be framed as a struggle to eliminate sin and suffering from the world. As long as our daily situation is marked by great injustice, oppression and inequity in the distribution of the world's common resources, we must act. As long as war is used to protect these interests, we must speak out.

"Catholic action is an expression of unity towards the fulfillment of the plea 'Thy kingdom come' over the whole earth," wrote Pope John XXIII. The good pope taught that we must face new and sacred tasks with love and missionary zeal and that our action must reflect ordered, disciplined unity.

From the view of the south, Alejandro Cussianovich tells us that "the liberation praxis of the poor is not just the sign that reveals the presence and growth of the kingdom to us. It is also the mediating factor that gives life to our faith and makes our hope operative. In that sense liberation praxis is the decisive factor in our love for God and in the sanctifying action of the Spirit."

This is a philosophy of action from the study of history, not the philosophers. Spiritual action comes through history whether we know it or not. Spiritual praxis is the only way to overcome the narrow minded subjectivity that most Christians have of themselves. We all know that Jesus is coming soon but how many know that he will be standing with the poor and oppressed and against the Babylonian materialists. God's solidarity with the liberators of the oppressed is documented well in prophetic scripture as well as history. The sanctifying action of the spirit should cause us to stand up for things like civil rights, personal liberties, Christian freedom, anti-racism, taking care of our poor and aged and homeless. This is how Jesus is fleshed out within us and the kingdom is revealed.

The second coming is in denunciation. We denounce the oppressors, we speak out against actions that hurt our people like economic discrimination and so-called justice system that is the cause of widespread alienation in America. We visit those in prison by denouncing the injustices committed against them like mandatory minimum sentencing and the drug war and the practice of extorting a fine or going to jail. We were brought up believing that we lived in a free country but it is increasingly totalitarian every day. Right-wing oppression and conservative zero tolerance attitudes are expanding our prison population with more and more of God's people every day.

I don't know what it's like in other countries but in America the idea of social action is anathema to most church going Christians here. They think the social gospel is a liberal lie.

Teilhard tells us that: "A civilization begins to preach action when its power to act wanes. The refusal to act, as well as action for action's sake is devoid of sense. On the other hand, action without an open perspective on transcendence, action in a basically absurd world, can only end in despair."

Whether you believe it or not, Jesus was a rebel, a revolutionary man of ideas, words and action. Writing of the rebel, Eric Hoffer states: "to him words remain a means to an end; and the end is action. Ideas have significance for him only as a prelude to action."

The real test of a person lies in his or her actions. Only those of us attune to the transcendent God according to present truth will be able to judge whether our actions are really selfless service or self-seeking hypocrisy.
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