Thoughts on Social Justice - Part 3

  • I'm interested in the fact that many of the most outspoken proponents of social justice are focused almost exclusively overseas. How many books are written about the Church doing justice in its own backyard?
  • I'm impressed with how easy it is to talk about social justice, kingdom theory, and the "bifurcation of the Gospel," and how difficult it seems to actually do something about it. Many of the most recognized social justice promoters are not actually involved in social justice aside from simply throwing money at the problem. We've been throwing money at these problems for decades; it is time to start doing something different.
  • I'm excited about the Church in America thinking through how to put feet on our faith. I'm terrified that the feet are going to get ahead of the faith, or leave the faith behind altogether.
  • Spurgeon once said "A man's nose is a prominent feature on his face, but it is possible to make it so large that eyes and mouth and everything else are thrown into insignificance and the drawing is a caricature and not a portrait: so certain important doctrines of the gospel can be proclaimed in excess as to throw th rest of the truth into the shade and the preaching is no longer the gospel in its natural beauty but a caricature of the truth." When we de-emphasize the death and resurrection in order to emphasize the Christian's temporal responsibility, I am afraid we create a caricature of the gospel at best.
  • Many of the accusations about the "blindness" of the American Church when it comes to social issues may be true, but such sweeping claims are probably highly exaggerated. American Christianity in the 20th century deserves much of the credit for the social justice we see in America. Chances are you can't name an organization currently dedicated to helping the homeless and destitute that doesn't have its roots in evangelical Christianity.
  • It is easy to see the Church through exclusively Western eyes. I'm thankful to be a part of a church that partners with people who are doing effective ministry in other parts of the world rather than simply believing our Western solutions are the answer to third-world problems.
  • The right thing done for the wrong reasons is the wrong thing. Loving your neighbor is the right thing. Loving your neighbor to help the church's image is doing the right thing for the wrong reason.
  • The Church's perception problem in the world is primarily God's issue. My perception problem in my world is primarily my issue. If enough Christians were serious about being ambassadors for Christ in their unique sphere of influence, we wouldn't have a personal or global perception problem.

2 comments:

Joe said...

Well done! This series is a keeper.

I appreciate the way you wrapped it up. Very nice writing.

The perception of the Church in the world is really bothering me. It seems that we're no longer given a pass on being...well...good. The Church is oft now portrayed as the bad guy. Those are the kinds of stories that sell newspapers.

There were a lot of stories about the good things that the Church did in Haiti, but the most prominent story is how missionaries from Idaho were arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle 33 kids out of the country.

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