Continued from yesterday’s post.
While I agree that the N.T. has no plan for governmental action, the statement that it does not call us to action is patently false!
Matthew 25:34-40 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
Acts 2:44-45 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.
In Jesus’ famous illustration about the sheep and the goats the reason he gives as he separates them are based upon their compassionate response to the down-and-out and dispossessed (the thing that grass roots “social justice” looks the most like). Also, immediately after Pentecost, the community of Christians set up a non-governmental form of Christian socialism in that everything was owned by everyone and no one had need. The people that did have things beforehand sold them, they gave up what was rightfully theirs, so that those who had need would be taken care of!
This was effective at spreading the Gospel, so much so that the 4th Century Roman Emperor said both (emphasis mine):
These impious Galileans not only feed their own poor, but ours also; welcoming them into their love-meals, they attract them, as children are attracted, with cakes.
Whilst the pagan priests neglect the poor, the hated Galileans devote themselves to works of charity, and by a display of false compassion have established and given effect to their pernicious errors. See their love-feasts, and their tables spread for the indigent. Such practice is common among them, and causes a contempt for our gods.
This was good. This is good. But I do agree with Mohler as he states the other side of the issue:
The church is not to adopt a social reform platform as its message, but the faithful church, wherever it is found, is itself a social reform movement precisely because it is populated by redeemed sinners who are called to faithfulness in following Christ. The Gospel is not a message of social salvation, but it does have social implications.
Until then, the church must preach the Gospel, and Christians must live out its implications. We must resist and reject every false gospel and tell sinners of salvation in Christ.
On Glenn himself… honestly, I think he overstepped his right to weigh in on the issue. Quite simply, he is not a part of the orthodox Christian church and has no say in what goes on in it. In 1999 he converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints – the Mormon church. Despite also revering Jesus, Mormonism and historical orthodox Christianity are not the same religion. We hold differing views on the nature of God, who and what Jesus was and is, the nature of spiritual reality, and the meaning & method of a number of pivotal words: justification, salvation, sanctification, holiness, etc. If a Mormon wants to follow his advice, that seems fine with me – I have no authority to speak into that situation at all.
I have to reverse the statement that Beck said and state it as someone at least within the Christian church and say this:
If you attend a church that is basing what they teach off of Glenn Beck rather than the New Testament or the Jesus that does talk about giving up what is rightly yours to care for the poor, the oppressed, the widowed, or theforeigner, you should find a new church.