I've had a little fire lit under me recently. It's a little spark, but the more I think on it, the more passionate I become about it. It's the whole social injustice movement. I'm a Christian, and I believe I have a responsibility to be the hands and feet of Jesus and to care for the hurts and the needs of others. Mostly this comes naturally to me, because I'm a mom. To prove it, I have 5 or 6 boxes of band-aids under my bathroom sink. Hello Kitty, Tinkerbell, Cars, Scooby-Doo--take your pick. I don't like suffering and I want to help fix anyone who suffers. But here's what is troubling me--more and more mainstream Christian authors and musicians are popping up with a cause to alleviate and/or abolish social injustice and human suffering, but when I visit their websites, or hear them speak on the radio, I hear about providing clean water or putting an end to human trafficking. Rarely do I hear or read anything about sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with any of these people.
As we approach Jesus' return, the human condition is moving along a continuum from bad to worse. Christians all around the world are rising up to show compassion to those who are suffering; but truthfully, the BEST thing we can do for those who are suffering is to point them to Jesus Christ--then offer clean water to drink and help to make sure they're safe.
Here's what concerns me. I feel like this movement, this good cause, is shifting us over a few degrees into dangerous territory. There's a lot of time, money and emotion being spent on ending human suffering right now and I think this is very clever of the devil. Just 1 degree off and we end up far from where we set out to be. He knows this, and it's easy for us to be fooled in this area because Scripture encourages us to help people in Jesus' name. I just wonder what would happen if our time, money and emotion was spent on sharing the Truth of the Gospel first, and then focusing on meeting physical needs. I don't want to sound insensitive to those who don't have clean water to drink, but it's more important that they be given Living Water, as Jesus said in John 4, so that they may have eternal life. It's more important that those caught in the horrible web of human trafficking be set free from sin's power so they don't have to suffer for eternity.
These influential Christian authors and artists have more power than they know. Their cause is good. But their passion and energy are wasted if they are meeting only physical needs of the people. This past week, I kept thinking about what Paul wrote to the Galatians.
" I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—which is really no gospel at all."
He rebuked the Galatians for sharing another gospel that was not the Gospel. This good cause is another gospel if Jesus' loving sacrifice and the hope of eternal life take a backseat to ending suffering here on earth.
God help us not to be so caught up in this social injustice movement that we fail to see that these suffering people have souls and not just bodies. They need eternal life. They need Jesus.