There are many issues in our world. There always has been and always will be. Issues that have international, political, and social implications. Issues that illicit strong emotions and produce great conflict. Issues of racism, discrimination, political correctness, and corruption strike deeply at our hearts.
It is deeply encouraging to see believers of all generations and cultures working to identify and address these issues as that is how it should be. At the forefront of social reformation should be those who claim the name and mission of Jesus as their own. We should set the tone and tenor in addressing the weighty issues of our day. I wonder though, have we become more social and political than Christian in our pursuit of finding resolution to what troubles us today and has always troubled our world for times immemorial. I fear in what I hear and what I read that too many believers have inadvertently left behind the message of the Bible while forging ahead with our social convictions.
Too often we cry out against racism, discrimination, and corruption without truly speaking to why those issues have genuine relevance. As Christians our concern needs to be about our society and being good citizens, but it must be something more. We need to carry the Gospel into our battles and campaigns. I believe we are missing the most important element of this new social revolution, that is, a platform for the Gospel to be clearly proclaimed; not merely for the sake of social change, but for the eternity of sinners who know not God.
As Christians who are fighting the good fight we need to have our social passions loudly proclaiming…
1) God is The Creator.
Only in an understanding of Genesis is all mankind created equal. God created humanity, male and female, in His image (Genesis 1:26-28). All generations find their source in the creative work of God in Adam and Eve. In Genesis 11, is found the beginning of languages and cultures. In our discussions about race and equality we must be faithful to point to our Creator. It is the Lord who has made us equal; not science, not sociology, and certainly not evolutionary theory. It is only as we proclaim our Creator Lord that we have a basis for racial equality.
2) Only in the Gospel are the dividing lines truly erased.
Just as Biblical Creationism is our source for the basis of created equality, the Gospel is the basis for social worth, value, and equality. The Gospel teaches we are all equally sinners. Yep, we are all BAD and equally so. Our sin, to each their own, makes us all evil, selfish, and morally repugnant. In Christ, sinners are re-born and given the righteousness of Christ and therefore spiritually equal (1st Corinthians 12:13 Colossians 3:11).
3) God is building His kingdom.
Both the Old and New Testaments compel us, no matter our geography or cultural context, to be good and honorable citizens (Jeremiah 29, 1st Peter 2:11-20). We need to represent our Lord in all of our interactions in society in how we submit to authority, how we give honor to others, and in our moral convictions. At some level we must all take initiative and engage our society for the good of our society. At some point though, we need to have boundaries. We must never place so much emphasis on our country, our constitution, our rights, etc. et al, that we lose our faith. There are times when it seems we are more committed to the “American way of life” than we are to the Kingdom of God. Our stability and hope are not based on what our country (as much as we all love it and as good as it is or was) can do for us. God has never promised us prosperity or what we claim as our rights and freedom. God is building His kingdom. It is His kingdom that will reign and endure forever. That is what God is doing in our world and He will do what He wills to bring people to faith in Him. I fear many believers have placed so much hope in America that if we cease to be the country we once were, some will question the goodness and even the reality of God. The promise that if we would pray and repent, then God will heal our land (1st Chronicles 7:14) is not for America. It was for the nation of Israel alone. God does want us to pray, God does want us to repent, but there is no guarantee for the United States of America of God’s blessing on our country for peace and prosperity. As American Christians we need to be diligent to be Christians who live in America, rather than be Americans who happen to be Christians.
4) There is nothing new under the sun.
The book of Ecclesiastes is a complex book with much that is challenging to understand. One principle comes through loud and clear. There is nothing new under the sun. Life and history cycles do not change. Man’s pursuits for significance and pleasure, man’s evil, man’s vanity, and the relative hopelessness of life are the same for every generation. That is because life has nothing else apart from God. Which makes me ask…
What’s the point? What is truly driving our passions and convictions? What motivates us?
We need to take a hard look in the mirror. If our endgame is simply a better society or a more comfortable life for everyone, we have missed the boat. If our convictions are driven by our theology but we fail to bring the message of the Gospel and the good news of Christ into our conversations, we are missing the mark. Transformation and lasting change to society will never be brought about by revolution, politics, civil unrest, or force. History has borne out what the Bible has so clearly elucidated. As believers, followers of Christ, we are to be faithful citizens whose calling it is to proclaim the Gospel.
As we care for the disenfranchised, the discriminated against, and those who suffer at the hands of evil, may we care as much for their eternity as we do for their place in our present society. May we bring them the hope of an everlasting kingdom ruled by the King eternal.