Pastoral Reflection 12.13.15

When Christians disengage from the struggle for justice for all people, the adornment of the gospel and the credibility of the church are at stake. The world rarely searches out the claims of Christ but always scrutinizes those who claim to be Christians. The world exegetes our hearts by our actions to test the veracity and attractiveness of our message. When we ignore, discount, or offer simplistic answers to social injustice, then, we tarnish our credibility and diminish the glory of God. As The Gospel Coalition’sTheological Vision of Ministry reads:

We cannot look at the poor and the oppressed and callously call them to pull themselves out of their own difficulty. Jesus did not treat us that way. The gospel replaces superiority toward the poor with mercy and compassion. Christian churches must work for justice and peace in their neighborhoods through service even as they call individuals to conversion and the new birth. We must work for the eternal and common good and show our neighbors we love them sacrificially whether they believe as we do or not. Indifference to the poor and disadvantaged means there has not been a true grasp of our salvation by sheer grace.

- K. Edward Copeland, from "Why All Christians Must Seek Public Justice", www.gospelcoalition.org