Saturday, January 30, 2010

Evangelism or social justice?

The evangelism verses social justice debate seems to be a favorite amoungst Christians. It has occupied many a book, blog post and debate. Some people say our responsibility is to preach the good news through words. Some say it is to meet people's practical needs for things like food and shelter. Some people say that we should do both but that one is more important than the other. Some people say they are 2 distinct categories of activity, some consider them inseparable or interchangeable.

My stance in this debate is....... that I don't think we really need to be having this debate. We should be doing stuff instead. There is enough of a biblical case to be made for both telling people about Jesus and practical needs so let's do both. I don't think God will be nearly as annoyed if our way of categorizing things is not quite right but we were out doing what we should than if we got the theology of it all perfectly nailed down but just sat around arguing. We wouldn't need to worry that one of telling people about Jesus or meeting their physical needs wouldn't get done if more Christians got up and did something. Most estimates put the global Christian population at over 2 billion. Even if you accept that some of those are non-practicing or part of not quite Christian fringe groups we're still talking about hundreds of millions of believers. Surely that should be enough to get everything done. God has gifted everyone a bit differently so if one person or little group's talents and passions leans towards one area, there is bound to be someone else who can fill in the gap.

So whether your passion involves doing something spiritually or practically beneficial to someone else, just do it!