Justice Without Jesus?
Today is book launch day! I write books on topics I think are important, and what’s important to me right now is I see too many people chasing justice and losing their faith in the process. Helping people keep their faith while they chase justice is why I wrote Uncommon Church: Community Transformation for the Common Good.
I rejoice when I see the blinders towards societal injustice fall off the eyes of fellow believers. What a joy to watch someone’s faith deepen as they relearn what it means to become a Christ follower. However, as time progresses, I’ve watched some have an identity crisis in the process of understanding the relationship between justice and the Christian faith.
They cannot synthesize what they used to believe and what they have discovered. Relearning takes a wrong turn, and somehow Christ ceases to be the answer. Their identity becomes consumed with justice for the oppressed. And anytime our identity ceases to be centered on Christ, life becomes problematic.
I know people who held personal holiness in high regard reverse course and think the fruit of the Spirit makes no difference. Some of my colleagues who hold Christian college and seminary degrees change and consider them worthless. In fact, the Bible itself loses its lofty status and becomes just like any other book. When the Bible loses status, the local church becomes an afterthought.
Ironically when I started off in urban ministry in 1991, I believe a huge problem was many had good theology but didn’t live it out well among the urban poor. I’ve noticed we’ve come full circle. Today I see people doing a lot of advocacy in and for poor neighborhoods, but their actions have little to no theology behind them. If we say we are Christians, this cannot be. There is no way around the fact that the Bible makes it clear that the local church is the hope of the world, regardless of where it is located.
While we chase justice, leaving the faith is not necessary. There should be no tension between evangelism and justice within the body of Christ, as it is unnecessary to prioritize one over the other. The Bible does not. Both are biblical and two sides of the same coin: proclaiming and demonstrating the work and witness of God. To complete the God-ordained mission of the church, you can’t have evangelism without justice. There is no fulfillment of the Great Commission without following the first and second greatest commandments.
I invite you to read the first chapter of my new book. If you like what you read, please join me in the following:
- Purchase Uncommon Church and read the rest of it
- If you’re encouraged, tell your friends and colleagues about how you were inspired
- Share about the book on your social media and tag World Impact
- Review Uncommon Church on Amazon
I hope the book blesses you and you gain useful insights.