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3.04.2007    |    Pie in the sky or ham where I am
This is the false choice often posed by those who favor "social justice" (usual translation: Marxism) over evangelism and mission. Christians have, throughout our history, favored one or the other, sometimes resulting in bloodshed. But it's a false choice; one who knows Jesus Christ as Lord will, by definition, come to do that which is right. Which most definitely includes taking care of the least of our brothers and sisters.

One group that might be accused of erring on the "social justice" side, if you didn't know any better, is the Baptist World Alliance. BWA biggies hobnob regularly with such as Fidel Castro and Jimmy Carter, and, in the name of pushing for religious freedom, with government officials in places such as Communist China whose mission it is to control the fast-growing Christian churches.

But, if you've ever been to a BWA event, you may find out, rather quickly, that the emphasis is not on "social justice." It is on Jesus Christ as Lord. Period. One need not ponder long what Jesus would do, were he with us in the flesh today. He would tend to his flock, which is to say, each and every one of us.

What brings this up at all is the retirement bash for Dr. Denton Lotz last night. Dr. Lotz, General Secretary of BWA, has devoted his life to the cause of religious freedom. Which is to say, to the Baptist cause. Not that other denominations do not also advocate religious freedom. Rather, that the Baptists, from their beginnings in the 17th century, have been persecuted by the state, and by established churches. This tends to sharpen one's perspective, when you're on the wrong side of religious persecution. It is also the primary reason that I call myself a Baptist.

Take the time to read this statement on religious freedom by Dr. Lotz. As the Friends (Quakers) might say, "he speaks my mind."

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Blogger Dee said...

You're absolutely right about that whole 'social justice' nonsense. Christians tend to do that as part of life without having to make it part of the political process. It's all about having a form of godliness and denying the power thereof. The power of God is dynamic evangelism and action, it's about seeking holiness and obeying God when He tells us not to murder (read abort and euthanase)
My first time to your blog but I'll be back.

7:50 AM, March 21, 2007  

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About this site and the author

Welcome. My name is John Luke Rich, (very) struggling Christian. The focus here is Christianity in its many varieties, its fussing and feuding, how it impacts our lives and our society, with detours to consider it with other faiths (or lack thereof).

Call this blog my way of evangelizing on the internet.

Putting it differently, we're only here on this earth a short time. It's the rest of eternity that we should be most concerned about. Call it the care and feeding of our souls.

I was born Jewish, and born again in Christ Jesus over thirty years ago. First as a Roman Catholic; now a Calvinist by persuasion and a Baptist by denomination. But I'm hardly a poster boy for doctrinal rigidity.

I believe that Scripture is the rock on which all Christian churches must stand -- or sink if they are not so grounded. I believe that we are saved by faith, but hardly in a vacuum. That faith is a gift from God, through no agency on our part -- although we sometimes turn a deaf ear and choose to ignore God's knocking on the door.

To be Christian is to evangelize. Those who think it not their part to evangelize perhaps haven't truly understood what our Lord told us in Matthew 28. We must preach the Gospel as best we are able. Using words if necessary.

Though my faith waxes and wanes, it never seems to go away. Sometimes I wish it would, to give me some peace of mind. But then, Jesus never said that walking with Him was going to be easy...

Final note: I also blog as Jack Rich on cultural, political and other things over at Wrong Side of the Tracks

Thanks for stopping by.