I’m not trying to beat a dead horse in addressing this issue of social justice and Christian ministry. In the few days that this bombshell was announced by The Gospel Coalition, some real good articles have been written on the problem with inviting unsaved people to lecture Christians on social issues. I’d like to follow up with some questions for The Gospel Coalition to consider answering for the growing community of people turning their backs on the organization.
1) Were there no Christians with a deep understanding of Scripture, indwelled by the Holy Spirit, who could speak about these issues? See, the accusation being railed against you is that you are attempting to expand your audience by inviting another demographic, namely, conservative non-Christians, to your conferences. Some of us are scratching our heads trying to figure this one out, and this is the only reason we can come up with other than, well, incompetence. They’re both pretty bad, btw.
2) Churches have been donating to homeless shelters, adopting children, doing food drives, giving to Samaritan’s purse, building houses, doing medical work in 3rd world countries for decades. How much has this endeared the secular community to Christianity? We’re still called bigots, cop-killers, elitists, crazies, aren’t we? We give more to our community than all the other social groups in our country! See, the thing is, we’re suppose to give and love without the expectation of getting anything back, including power, social clout, and a comfortable life-style.
3) Matthew 6:23 says, “But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!” TGC, you are inviting real darkness to lecture those “in the light” on justice. Are you comfortable with that?
4) When Jesus gave His Commission to the disciples in Matthew 28, did he accidentally leave the part out about trying to change every tribe, tongue, and nation through political gains? Why don’t Paul or any of the Apostles instruct us to partner with the unsaved world to make our communities more accepting of Christian values?
5) For an organization that cares so much about worldview-level change, that is, at the heart-level, why are you promoting change that is only outward, through coercion by the law? Since when is power and majority the mechanism for Godly change? We are the majority in America, 50+%, yet we are still being marginalized and hated. People are more divided, not less — because “People hate the light, and love the darkness.”
6) “There are a thousand needs in the world, and none of them compares to the global need for the gospel.” Didn’t John Piper say this? With thousands of social causes to fight for, what made you choose the causes you chose to represent at the conference. You chose the popular ones, didn’t you? You chose the ones that get the most media coverage (important issues, yes), but all the while ignoring thousands of other atrocities. Why get distracted by the popular symptoms of the day, rather than zeroing in on the much worse disease. Why distract your readers and followers from what will really make a difference, and fix ALL the issues through the sanctification of the Holy Spirit. This is why you are losing credibility, and you look like you’re just trying to sell more books.
People in our village in Papua New Guinea have received education by good doctors on good hygiene practices. It was terrific, and some listened, for a bit. But as time went on, people stopped doing what they were suppose to be doing, because the social reform wasn’t accompanied by worldview change. It just didn’t stick. There are people in our village who have even been educated that women should be respected, or equal to men, and that men should not beat their wives — yet men continue to beat their wives, treat them as slaves, and commit adultery freely. The world’s attempts to bring social justice and change just aren’t as effective, because they don’t get to the root of the problem. The injustices of the world are rooted in sin, which is the act of putting yourself in the place of God as decision-maker. Worldview is the issue: people are doing what they do because they don’t see the world as God does. We’ve seen first-hand in PNG that the best enactment for social change is a worldview shift, through the teaching of the Bible, starting in Genesis. There we see that God is the ultimate decision-maker, because He is the Creator. He gets the final say.
7) So, TGC, last question: why are we asking people with a different worldview to educate us (with the right worldview) on enacting social change?