Jesus wrung out the social justice towel and threw it back in the faces of the political leaders of his day. Now that is draining the swamp. He chose the radical path - to play the love card. Why do we choose to play the political card? Makes no sense.
The balance between religion and politics has always been a difficult one. Many conflicts have been caused because people got the two agendas mixed up. C.S. Lewis notes that ‘politics is run by the rules of ungrace’. That fragrance of the politic often tempts the church to make a stupid move. A move is made in order to gain more power. We take the offer of grace off the table and choose power for ourselves or our faction. Irresistible.
The offer right now is really attractive. The current climate is similar to a colosseum. An arena for the church - right out in the open - - to discard the ‘love’ formula and grab hold , instead, to a protest sign.
“This one is for Jesus!” Tensions are high – politically, racially, ethically. . Don’t want our children to accuse us of sleeping on the job.
Future generations might ask ....
“Where were you church when Trump was tearing refugee families apart?
Where were you when Middle Eastern women were fighting for basic human rights?
Where were you when abortions and sex trafficking were commonplace?
Actually the ‘ where were you’ lines in the bible refer to acts of love and compassion demonstrated towards a person in need – not political standoffs. Don’t get me wrong, the church has a most definite call to be culture changers.
However, it’s a bullish market – everyone is on the field and the skirmishes and resulting bloody knees are obvious. But, how good are we at showing love to those around us – to our middle-class neighbours, the bus driver or the group of rowdy school children. Perhaps we will be valued by our attitude in the every day more than our slogans and political affiliations. Don’t throw out the grace card for political gain. Grace is the ace! Massage our community into good behaviour rather than adding political words and acts that separate us all.
We havent done well at loving – so let's try to advance that cause before attempting to change the world.
A church majoring in social justice as its mission can also slip so easily into the world of judgement and piety. Sometimes there is a thin line between the old time Pharisees and the modern justice crusaders.
The social justice crusade can keep John 17 from happening. It divides us into camps. Jesus seemed to offer an opportunity through grace for us all to get along. To love one another. Instead we often find a the message of a social justice mandate more attractive and easier than actually showing the world that we love.
A missional church is a loving group of people rather than a band of protestors. A select few will be called to lead a politcal charge. But let the many become a people who know that they can do all things - whatever we are called to do - to bring heaven to earth through Christ who gives us all strength to love.