How Do We Work for Justice and Not Undermine Evangelism?
Posted by Marc Cortez
- By making sure that we actually do evangelism.
- By being careful not to malign believers of an earlier generation.
- By learning, with careful study of Scripture, just what the gospel is, becoming passionately excited about this gospel, and then distinguishing between the gospel and its entailments.
- By truly loving people in Jesus’ name.
- By changing the question to, “How can Christians neglect the work of justice in the world without undermining evangelism?”
- By aligning our mission with the mission of Jesus, which included not just personal regeneration but also disciple-making.
- By understanding the gospel accounts in terms of redemptive love for the whole person, both body and soul.
- By understanding the gospel as a message of reconciliation that is both vertical and horizontal, establishing peace with both God and neighbor.
- By recognizing that Christians need to stop the perpetrators of evil and violence.
- By recognizing that Christians need to seek justice to help the victims of oppression.
- By understanding that we do both of these ultimately because we love Jesus – we do these things, and we tell them about Jesus while we do, because they matter to him.
Reading through these responses, I have to say that I resonated with Russell Moore’s the most (though Carson’s was pretty good). Moore was the one who made the clearest connection between the Gospel as the good news of God’s redemptive plans for his entire creation, and the things that we do in the world as those who have been transformed by that Gospel and now act as its witnesses/messengers in the world. So, social justice dovetails with evangelism in that both are necessary aspects of those who live as messengers of the Kingdom. As such, neither necessarily undermines the other. But, both can become obstacles to the other when we lose sight of their unity in the Gospel.