How foolish is this?

The conversation is longstanding. At least it seems that way.

The question is whether social justice is a valid part of the Christian faith. Should the church involve itself in political alliances or participate in causes related to social issues. Isn’t the church just supposed to preach the gospel?

I’m not sure how you read scripture and come away without recognizing God’s desire for justice. Will the Lord have final judgment, therefore holding the final word with regards to justice? Sure. But does that mean God doesn’t care about what happens in our time on earth?

On this side of heaven, we’ll never be completely whole. People will always take advantage of other people. Greed and pride will always rule hearts. Every generation has to deal with this reality. Should we take that as just the way things are?

I’m of the opinion our faith tells us the opposite.

If the kingdom of God was Jesus’ primary message, we do well to consider what that kingdom implies. Is it only about getting me to heaven?

The way I see it, getting into heaven is pretty easy. Apostle Paul said it this way, “because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

Why do we make it out to be so difficult? I can’t recall the exact way it’s been said, but, essentially, it goes like this: It’s one thing to get man into heaven. It’s something altogether different to get heaven into man.

Living out God’s standards of justice and equality is a much more strenuous task than punching a ticket to eternity.

Now, again, all this comes from what we read in the Bible. Let’s use today’s reading as one example.

When I read Psalm 53 I can hear my dad say, “If God says you’re a fool, you’re a fool.” According to the psalmist, fools are corrupt and commit abominable acts. Does your imagination kick in when you read that? What constitutes an abominable act?

We don’t have to think too hard.

According to verse three, they do no good. The psalmist also said that God looks down and doesn’t find anyone seeking God. No one?

We hear God’s complaint in verse four. God says the evildoers, “eat up my people as they eat bread.” In other words, these people make sure they have enough. They probably have more than enough for themselves. Their enough comes at the expense of others.

So, does God’s future deliverance mean that we decide not to be that kind of people? Of course, but why wouldn’t God desire us to both care for the afflicted and work for their liberation? The Lord could’ve told Moses to encourage the people to be God-loving slaves in Egypt. But liberation is at the heart of our experience with God.

Something I’ve learned is that this question doesn’t really resonate in many places outside America. The global church joins the pursuit of justice with our Christian faith with great ease. It’s not an issue at all.

What might that say about us?

It’s unfortunate that the loudest Christian voices in politics seem more interested in maintaining power and influence rather than a godly pursuit of equity and justice.

According to Psalm 53, that makes us fools. And if God calls you a fool…

Stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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