Christian Twitter was alive with conversation of social justice this last week, mostly because of this statement against social justice, signed by nearly 5,000 pastors, writers and lay leaders.
I, for one, did not sign the statement, nor did I browse through sentiments of its 14-point proclamation until earlier this evening. When a friend called and asked me what I thought, I told her I wasn’t going to spend a lick of time giving it the attention it so desperately desired. When I found myself defending my lack of anti-engagement just a couple hours later on a social media post, I wondered if I’d been wrong, if I should have used my platform and my voice to speak truth to a club of exclusionary hate.
But then, here I am, writing a post to you about the very thing I said I wouldn’t do, letting the Spirit tap away at my fingers, nudging me to let loose these words.
In a way, my position hasn’t changed because the truth of the gospel hasn’t changed a lick either:
Jesus, a revolutionary political leader, is wildly fond of every single human being that crosses his path. And Jesus more than takes great delight in the particularities that make us us, including our gender, our sexuality, our race, our culture, and our ethnicity, to name a few.
To value the things of God then means to relentlessly work toward justice and flourishing for all who bear this divine stamping, which will probably, along the way, include preaching good news to the poor, proclaiming release to the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, and liberating the oppressed (Luke 4:18). After all, as my friend Megan said in a tweet, “Any belief system which divorces Jesus from the pursuit of justice is a perversion.”
To this God of wholeness and flourishing and justice we place our hopes.
And to this preference for the poor and our command to serve them we remember, as Karen, another friend on Twitter so eloquently stated, with subsequent scripture. Because “…if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness” (Isaiah 58:10).
So, here’s the deal: in a way, my views haven’t changed all that much.
I am so madly a fan of God that I make no apologies for believing that social justice is the work of Jesus in the world today. I make no apologies for not wanting to give that statement – or its signers – my time because the argument is so far from the gospel of grace and love. But most of all, I make no apologies for not picking the 14-point statement apart, because there’s no statement for me to pick apart in the first place.
In a sense, I’m just kind of saying, “Whatever, John MacArthur: You’ve Got the Wrong God.” For that’s not the God I know.
So, maybe this means I’m learning how to color outside the lines, one view of the Christian religion at a time. Maybe this means I’m just picking and choosing my battles, as I learn that not every (worthy) battle is mine to fight.
Or maybe this means that I’m basking in the One who calls me a child of God, who invites us to care for the widows and the orphans, who relentlessly fights for the marginalized and the oppressed, over and over and over again.
I could be wrong, but I’m thinking it’s the latter.
So, what say you? Did you engage with John MacArthur’s statement on social justice this last week?