Archive for the ‘Social Justice’ Category

I’m all for social justice, as long as it does not become anyone’s works that they feel merit salvation and as long as it does not get so intertwined with the gospel that there is confusion as to what the gospel is. The truth of the gospel is told in many verses, but let’s look at Matthew 1:21,

“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

Jesus came to save people from their sins, not ultimately from a bad physical situation here on a sinful planet. The main problem that He saves us from is the disease, SIN, not ultimately from all the symptoms or affects of that disease. Yes, the word “salvation” is used in the Old Testament for God delivering His people from slavery in the physical sense, but this was a foreshadowing of the fact that we are all slaves to sin and that we need an all-satisfying Savior.

I am all for feeding the homeless, drilling wells for clean water, adoption and foster care, battling sex trafficking, and all the other things involved in the social gospel, but I want to draw attention to the fact that Christians are not the only people that are concerned with these things. Muslims, Atheists, Agnostics, and a whole list of other humans are concerned about these things. Christians stand out, or at least need to stand out, because of what our Lord Jesus has taught us. Jesus has taught us that He is the only Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one gets eternal life except by and through Him.

How should we stand out?

So I am all for loving my neighbor as myself, but is it true love if the gospel is never given to these hurting people? Let’s say that the homeless person is fed, the poor people get clean water, the orphan gets adopted, the woman is freed from sexual slavery, and not one of those people are given the gospel (the truth that Jesus came to save sinners from their sins and that whoever repents and believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life)- then the day after all this happens, they all die and are in ETERNAL (not just the here and now) punishment  and torment forever. Is that loving of us? When we are doing good deeds, they must always be accompanied by the whole of the gospel being PROCLAIMED to the people we are serving. Notice this play on words; we think that we are filling the “hole” in the gospel by doing social justice, and yet we are in most cases not delivering the “whole” gospel because we leave out the details of Jesus’ message. Actions should accompany truth statements, but actions alone cannot trump truth statements. In fact, the bible goes as far as to say, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). You cannot just serve people and not tell them the hard but amazing truth of the gospel, and think that God is satisfied with you. You must speak Jesus’ very exclusive message to all who will hear it and even to those that will not.

We are seeing some element of the falling apart of mainline evangelicalism and I would argue it is because we got so angry at the preachers of old who would correct us, tell us to repent of our sins, exalt God and His will above man and his will, and speak of such things as hell, fire, and brimstone.

Imagine this situation; A man comes up to a village of starving Africans, he feeds them and digs a well for them so that they have clean water for sanitation purposes and to drink. He then says, “Jesus has given this to you. Accept Jesus and believe!” There is no reason to think this whole village would not start to profess their love for Jesus and call themselves Christians. Now imagine the same situation, but this time we know a little more about the village. They worship all kinds of false gods (not that I am claiming that this is any way different from our “gods” that America worship; it is all idolatry if you’re not worshiping Jesus). The man gives them the same food and digs the same well. Then he tells them about the gospel. He informs them that they are indeed sinners and deserve the just punishment of their unrighteous deeds that belittle our perfect, holy, and righteous God. Then he explains that they need to no longer worship their idols and instead worship Jesus. He then quotes John 3:36,

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”

I would hope and pray that they would still love, believe, and follow the same Jesus after this kind of gospel presentation. Peter Cha explains exactly how I feel in this short video clip.

So let us go out into the world and love our neighbors as ourselves, knowing that this love is incomplete if we do not share the truth of Jesus’ timeless message. Whether we say it to them or not, Jesus still demands things from people. He demands faith, repentance, and loyalty. As a reformed person I can rest in the fact that He grants exactly what He commands to whomever He wills, but this still does not negate His commands and expectations for the entire human race. You can only truly love someone by preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to them. Think about that….

Check this link out too. Very helpful. Click HERE