Monty today talked from Isaiah 58, the great passage about God’s heart for social justice:
“Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the Lord shall be your rearguard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
if you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your gloom be as the noonday.”
The gist of the talk was that Christians, as Christians, are more than just an assembly of people who meet in a church building for fellowship, encouragement, and discipleship.
Christians are also the people of God who are to be in the world, like salt, like light, changing and transforming the world.
And the list of things to do that are transformative aren’t simply speaking out (which is good and important and necessary). It is also good and important and necessary to do the things of God in this world, which include actions such as feeding the hungry and assisting the poor with direct actions.
Christianity keeps getting pulled in one direction or the other. Either we are inward-focused in prayer and worship and song and instruction, never doing anything but what happens in a church service, or we are outward focused to do good things, but without a redemptive Gospel and Savior.
Both are needed in a Christian’s life if there is to be balance.
The role of a Christian in society is to be Christ’s body, whether it is the actions of justice and mercy, or it is the acts of worship and praise to God for his goodness and salvation.
A Christian’s life with only part of this is a half-life, not a whole one.