Two recent posts have suggested that our proclamation of the gospel must proceed along with social justice – that is, caring for people’s needs. Otherwise, the authors agree, we are not truly proclaiming the gospel.
The problem is not an overemphasis on one or the other, it is that often the emphasis is on neither and it must be on both. The way we ensure that we donâ€™t forget evangelism or mercy is to first, as Carson says, make sure we get the Gospel right. Second, equip all believers and give them the ability and encourage the inclination to do ministry in the world, to think outside of the church building for ministry opportunities. Third, be bold and clear that the life of a disciple of Christ is not one of insulated middle-class values and comforts but instead a self-denying, cross bearing life that will rub the world the wrong way.
The second post, which is like the first, is from Jared at “The Gospel-Driven Church” and is called “Why Social Justice is Necessary.” Jared gives us 8 reasons for including acts of mercy with gospel proclamation.
hmmm… the second is like the first… seems I’ve heard that before…
And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:35-40 ESV)
Oh yeah, I remember that now.