I came across this article through another pastor friend. As we continue to look at meaningful church membership, and what it means to be the visible church in the midst of a lost and hurting world, I commend it for your review. But maybe some context is in order.
Our western culture is in a state of upheaval. As Christ-followers, as the visible and local body of Christ, we are called to some heady virtues. Among these are love, justice and peace. But if you have spent any time on social media, or any time listening to political adds or the politicians and parties themselves, you likely have come away confused.
Because all the voices claim that they are the voice of “love” and “justice”. All the talking points lament the other side as the haters of men, the haters of liberty. How can this possibly be? While not being the only answer, one large answer is a subtle redefinition of terms. The article already mentioned attempts to tackle this topic.
The following quote especially stands out, putting the church at the epicenter of God’s work of justice, rather than a cacophony of voices:
God-fearing churches take violence and oppression seriously. A God-fearing church takes church membership, personal accountability, and church discipline seriously, too, because these things are connected. An oppressed person’s best defense against true violence is membership in a Bible-believing church, one that practices both hospitality and church discipline, one that protects the sheep from the wolves by driving the wolves out the door. Intersectionality banks on the power of human words, but justice for the oppressed comes by the power of the gospel.“Intersectionality and the Church”, Dr. Rosaria Butterfield
Micah 6:8 tells us, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” It poignantly brought the crux of the people’s heartlessness into view. Let us run after God’s heart for the oppressed, the unloved, the downtrodden. But let us not fall for a false gospel that values people for their “oppressed” status, that treats them as “chips” in a high-stakes political and societal game, rather than image-bearers of a holy and loving God.