Monday, August 30, 2010

Mixed Messages

This is what the LORD says: Be fair-minded and just. Do what is right! Help those who have been robbed; rescue them from their oppressors. Quit your evil deeds! Do not mistreat foreigners, orphans, and widows. Stop murdering the innocent!- Jeremiah 22:3 (NLT)

Social justice has long been on the Lord's agenda.  The issue is not whether it is on the Lord's agenda.  The issue today is about what the Lord wants us to do with social justice in an era such as this.  The church needs to be clear about what the Lord is calling it to do in His name for the sake of social justice as much as it is to become clear about what it is not to do in His name regarding it.

The church needs to get clear on what the Lord said about social justice before it gets distracted and detoured with every single need that arises for advocacy opportunities and volunteer sign-ups.  Since Jesus healed a blind man named Bartimeus, are we to only work with those with physical infirmities and disabilities? Or, since the early church sold all of their possessions, are we to condemn the rich for their lifestyles while others in the same congregation live in poverty? We need to get clear on "thus saith the Lord" before we launch out into the wide expanse of social justice without any real mission or ministry.

The Lord gives us exactly what we need to get done what He has destined for us to do.  Every church can't lead every movement for every cause.  If your pastor has a heart for a certain ministry such as prison re-entry or pro-life advocacy, take the time to hear his sincere desire for the ministry and its scriptural rationale.  Get to know what's leading the man of God to see where He's leading your church. 

Let the Word of God and His Spirit clear up some of the mixed messages that exist out there.  Yes, you may seem to hear when you hear about abortion clinics bombed in the name of the Lord.  There is news footage of professing Christians hurling derogatory insults at gay rights activists for their lifestyle choices.  What we have to do is go beyond the surface of the smoke and mirrors of all of that man-made confusion and settle in for a good look at God's Word to see where He wants us headed and what He wants us doing.

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