The danger of focusing on social justice

Killing children in the womb is wickedness. Physically beating women is cowardly. Racism is completely anti-gospel. These social injustices must be stopped! And by God’s grace, one day they will be.

It is very much in line with the gospel to stand firm against these injustices. However, there is a danger in Christians focusing on fighting these things in the hopes of transforming the culture. There is a danger in centralizing the rescuing of orphans and widows and the needy in their distress. The danger is twofold:

  1. You could rescue the downtrodden temporarily, but still let them go to hell. It is a tricky thing to preach the gospel to victims of crimes. But preach, you must. The good news for an orphan is that God can be their Father. But the only way God becomes their Father is if they repent. There must be a clear Law-Gospel presentation to even the most hurting human. It cannot merely be a hope and healing “conversion.” There is healing from hurt in the gospel, but that healing only comes through the humility of acknowledging our sin and trusting in the sinless Savior. After you comfort someone with tears, make it clear that their bigger problem is rebellion against Holy God.
  2. You could cut the gospel in half. We should love the unlovable, adopt orphans, rescue the unborn, and fight for equality among all skin colors. But if your Christianity has the flavor of only pursuing the victims of injustice, you might make it seem like Jesus does not save abortion doctors, wife-beaters, racists, and pimps. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Any sinner can be saved.

Please do not focus on trying to fix societal structures. I doubt the Apostle Paul would be tweeting about Baltimore every single day. Preach. The. Gospel. Let us be resolved to know nothing but Christ and him crucified.


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