Does Social Justice Belong in the Church?
welcome to this episode of real Christianity my name is Dale Partridge reach we got a 15 to 20-minute answer to the illogical and astral questions this show is 100% listener supported audio Ministry Ivory learn.org and for those who don't know our mission a trailer. Org is to bring the church back to the Bible app for bold daily encouragement during the over 500,000 Christian to follow us on social media we learn. Org on any platform
 many modern Christians are finding themselves and their churches fighting more diligently for social justice then they are fighting for the gospel in fact that some argue that social justice that is a caring for the poor feeding the hungry at freeing those who are oppressed from sinful situations is the ultimate mission of the church while these are all characteristic works of a person whose experience the love of God through the Gospel of Jesus Christ the question is is social justice really the mission or even part of the mission of the church now as you're going to see in this episode I don't think it is but together we're going to look at the scriptures to evaluate not only were social justice fits into the Christian church but ultimately what the mission of the church truly is that before we dive in I want to make one quick announcement
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 flash donut okay today's question is from Calista from Manhattan New York and she asked Pastor Dale I'm a twenty-nine-year-old reformed conservative Baptist woman who believes in sound Doctrine and theology I also live in New York City as you know this makes it quite difficult for me to find a Biblical church the church I currently attend is becoming more and more Progressive and is constantly focusing its sermons and Outreach efforts not on the gospel but on social matters like racism feminism homelessness and covid relief the pastor keeps preaching heavily on how it's our mission as the church to make the world like heaven honestly I know in my heart that something is off with this position but I'm not sure what's actually right can you please help me understand this more
 okay great question Calista and cool name I expect that many listeners actually struggling with this to some degree depending on what kind of church they're in and they're probably trying to attempt to understand the mission of the church but also what where does the church play in the social dust Justice conversation now the Biblical term for doing social justice is called Mercy Ministry in fact acts of Mercy is one of the gifts given by the spirit to those in the church listed in Romans 12:6 through 8 so it's really the gift of sympathy toward those who are hurting and you may have someone in your church who is obviously gifted in this manner and is hypersensitive to those who are maybe in trial or sorrow or pain and these people are usually out in front in serving the lowly in the church maybe the elderly special needs
 visuals a prison ministry going to the hospital to visit the sick homelessness and they do this without complaining and it brings them joy to basically extend the love of God to the hurting people around them but the problem arises when we as a church confuse the commands of scripture given to individuals with the commands of scripture given to the corporate church for example the Bible tells me individually as a Christian husband to love my wife as Christ loves the church but it is not tell the church corporately to love my wife as Christ loved the church right on the other hand I think there's another example is that the Bible tells the corporate Church to go out into all the world and make disciples but that doesn't mean that the Christian family who stays in their Hometown in Indiana is sitting by remaining no static in their their life stopped so essentially we need to separate the individual and corporate
 ethics of the church so that we can start to identify really who was responsible for what and what are the mission of the church and what are the characteristic commands for the individuals now in a generation that saturated with emotionalism and sensualism many churches and Ministries have confused Mercy with Mission and let you know meaning that they've elevated humanitarian Ministry and as a result that cater more to the carnal matters of Health in economics and physical well-being than they are to the spiritual necessities of divine forgiveness and reconciliation with God through the Gospel of Jesus Christ so some of called this Mercy Centric Missy ology the social justice gospel that's what we've called it a thing in pop culture while other more conservative proponents May argue all it's not the gospel it's the full
 integrated gospel and now it's obvious that that both Jesus and the apostles support and I would say even command Christians individually to care for the temporal needs of how are these commands to be viewed in connection with the mission of a corporate church that's a question right in other words you know is the one true Mission the central vital mission of the church temporal Mercy or spiritual mending is it physical philanthropy or spiritual freedom is it moral righteous Deeds or is it Eternal reconciliation with God now I know I believe when we look at these questions there's a ditch on either side of the discussion and as Moses issues there's really two extremes right the first group views the mission of the church as a command to bring about the physical manifestation of the kingdom of God on Earth
 and they want to see physical healing emotional and mental recovery and freedom from economic and political oppression and this is kind of why the Communist icky galuteria and ideals are so popular with in the Progressive Church that adopts this kind of social justice View and they believe that it's their mission to bring this kind of Heaven like Utopia to their local communities and I are actually remember just not a couple weeks ago I saw a viral tweet from a proponent of the social Augusta social justice gospel that said and I quote so long as Christians keep thinking their face is about salvation from Hell instead of Liberation from oppression we will continue to have to deal with Christian terrorism and quote I actually hit someone responded to that tweet
 another person in the social justice gospel community and they said and I quote they don't understand that heaven and hell are states of being on this Earth during life not the afterlife and quote now get these are extreme examples but that's where this theology ends if your church doesn't operate within the boundaries of scripture are you begin prioritizing physical Mercy above spiritual mending and it becomes the central focus and you actually shift but it's not about reconciliation with God it's actually about freedom from oppression and when the whole gospel gets perverted and distorted and so in a sense the Social Gospel folks really be the church is an army of Good Samaritans Are Spiritual Samaritans that are looking to bring that the physical goodness of God's kingdom to the local cities and the mission of the church becomes more about what they're doing then what Christ has done
 and this view is usually it's supported by folks who disproportionately focus on the ministry accounts of the gospels over the ministry counts of the Old Testament or the Epistles are the hell yeah that just a whole structure of the Bible meaning that you know this group that's kind of against focus on gospel like Matthew Mark Luke and John gospel Ministry views kind of the description of Jesus ministry as the prescription for their own Ministry and namely that they they're both called to they believe that they're both called to and capable of producing the same type of ministerial work in Miracles and wonders and change that performed by Jesus for this is kind of the Bethel Doctrine as well Mike riccardi is the pastor at Grace Community Church with her John MacArthur and a white paper that he once wrote he said he says the mercy
 Ministry are the mercy Centric view that would have the church quote build the kingdom Usher in the Kingdom or establish the kingdom drastically overestimates both our ability and responsibility to do so and I actually think he's right while we are citizens of a future Kingdom and while we are redeemed you know in part but not fully right we we have a spiritual Redemption but not the physical Redemption at this point you know we are individually called to be compassionate and benevolent and loving toward Those whom we encounter to take that attitude to take those character standards of the Christian Life or the miraculous works of Jesus which again are just to be clear the miraculous works of Jesus were specifically to validate his message during his ministry to take those again as loving characteristics that we are called to do in Scripture
 and the miraculous works of Jesus which were to validate his message during his ministry and make them the mission of the church forever the universal forever mission of the church is to confuse both the church's place in the world and its purpose in the world now on the Other Extreme we have what I call the stoic gospel singer of The Social Gospel and then you got the stoic gospel and this view the still gospel is typical of kind of fundamentalist groups that it was in the church that they view the mission of the church solely as gospel Proclamation and find their efforts kind of void of Mercy Ministry all together and this view treats the mission field kind of like a war zone of bullet wounded individuals right like it they can't justify putting in any time into healing broken fingers are preparing meals when they have their just surrounded with all these folks with fatal bullet holes in their bodies right I got to go preach the gospel
 now while this this view seems to rightly prioritize the gospel message it leaves the culture with an incomplete view of the Christian Life and and lacks kind of the extension of the sympathy and kindness that is to be reflective of the members of the church so how do we sort out the truth between these two extremes how do we divide what scripture calls us to do you as individuals with what the Bible delivered as the corporate mission for the church and that should be your church for your local church what's your Church's Mission and then that's different from your individual commands in scripture to you as an individual Christian the first one I want to make is that Mercy Ministry is important and it should be seen in the church because we are called by scripture to display the love of Christ to others first of those in the church and then to the those are there in the world
 if we're going to look at love in degrees and you know the highest degree of love is not helping people with their physical needs now that's a big statement but that's not the highest degree of love Jesus says in Mark 8:36 for what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and profit and forfeit his salt right so this is this is a clear teaching that the reigning priority in Ministry individually and corporately is soul work the soul is the most valuable thing it is the most important thing that we have the soul is eternal the body is not right in terms of our resurrected bodies will be I'm not going to that debate but the idea is that the soul is eternal need to be dealing with the sole work you could gain the whole world you can get your health you can gain wealth you can get all these things but if you don't have the soul healed mean your record
 child forgiven by God believe in Jesus Christ redeemed then it doesn't matter right in that so that's just kind of the priority that Jesus puts on it we can't just meet physical needs that cannot be the mission of the church we can't also kind of show them Jesus through our good works that's a lot of these Social Gospel people argue it and it should show them Jesus through your good works right they they say that Francis of Assisi thing you know preach the gospel use words if necessary the gospel in Romans 10:17 says so faith comes by hearing and hearing through the word of Christ okay the gospel people is verbal okay the gospel is not your testimony the gospel is not getting someone a sandwich on the side of the road the gospel is not your moral Example The Gospel is not your Christian Life The Gospel is not a donation to a Ministry the god
 who is a verbal communication to other individuals who don't believe in Jesus of their current state of condemnation before God and their ability to find forgiveness and Reconciliation by repentance and faith in Jesus Christ Alone bad news first and then the good news and the good news is in good unless there was bad news right there and Patrick he read a book called social justice and he said while our heart for social justice grows out from the gospel Social Justice by itself will not communicate the gospel we need gospel Proclamation for as much as people may see our Good Deeds they cannot hear the good news unless we tell them social justice those valuable as an expression of Christian love should especially as a church why dad ever centrally serve the goal of gospel Proclamation and quote the Great Lake
 pastor Vance havner who started actually preaching when he was 12 years old he passed away I think in the 80s and 1980s he said if they had a social gospel in the days of the Prodigal Son somebody would have given him a bed and a sandwich and he never would have gone home they said ultimately there's nothing wrong with performing Mercy Ministry especially as a church is nothing wrong with that at all it's actually a good thing but Mercy Ministry is not the mission of the church there for Mercy Ministry should never receive greater attention than the mission Centric Ministry of the church and you know I actually think that this whole sofa gospel issue especially here in America is really a product of affluent Christianity when you when you get on the mission field and remote Villages and try to lay
 upon those people the weight of the Social Gospel you just Crush people most most Christian communities throughout history can barely feed their own families let alone spend their time fighting for freedom from political and social oppression for others in other words that the social gospel is not a universal gospel and therefore it cannot be the true gospel the true gospel must be able to work everywhere equally for everyone and that's just again at a revealing point which again leads me to answer the vital question of this episode which is what is the mission of the church Okay Kevin DeYoung and Greg Gilbert wrote an entire book on this topic I actually have it in my hands right now it's almost 300 pages and it's titled what is the mission of the church the subtitle is making sense of social justice Shalom and the Great Commission had to read this actually
 one of my Seminary classes on evangelism and apologetics quite well and I was going to read you there answer cuz I put a lot more work into this than I have they same quote the mission of the church is to go into the world and make disciples by declaring the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the power of the spirit and Gathering these disciples in the churches that they might worship and Obey Jesus Christ now and an eternity to the glory of God the father and quote ultimately the Great Commission is the mission of the church that's Matthew 28 18 through 20 mm in a read it for you right now it says and Jesus came and said to them
 all authority in heaven and on Earth has been given to me go therefore and Make Disciples of all Nations baptizing them in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you and behold I Am With You Always to the End of the Age okay this means that great condition Ministry which is the mission of the church should be your Church's Central raining priority not just inverter or in words but also in action this is what you should be doing the primary duty of your church or local church should be this and Great Commission Ministry has really made up of three ingredient number one is going out and making disciples of Jesus Christ through the proclamation of the Gospel so you're going out your you're making this
 Michaels in your making disciples of who of Jesus Christ through the proclamation of the Gospel that's the first ingredient second ingredient is your baptizing them into the Church of Jesus Christ K the third thing is teaching them the word of God now to really have Great Commission Ministry you really need all three of those cuz that's the Great Commission making disciples and not giving them in the churches Is Not Great Commission Ministry part of it but it's not Great Commission Ministry baptized in individuals and not teaching the word is is also not Great Commission Ministry teaching in the word you know without testing them and converted into the gospel would make sense either you need all three
 those are the three ingredients of the mission the church now I want you to notice something in verse 18 where Jesus says all the Thor be in heaven and on Earth has been given to me this means that we are not sent out to conquer the world we are sent out by the one who has already conquered it okay John 16:33 Jesus I have said these things to you that it may give you peace in the world you will have to be latian but take heart I have overcome the world 1st John 5 for the Apostle John did rights for everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world and this is the victory that has overcome the world our faith and quote okay so
 21 overcoming the world
 the only way to do that to have Victory to be free from the oppression of the world is to be born of God and faith in Christ through Christ like his work on the cross is the agent of overcoming the world so if you want to be Kingdom Minded and you want to be mission-minded and you want to bring Victory to the world you must do so by preaching the gospel of faith in Jesus Christ alone so we we we we go not because we have been sent out to fix what is ultimately broken we go because he is already fixed what is already broken or what is ultimately broken and in this is this is the good news that we get to share with the world it's Universal it's for everyone and if we get to go out and preach and Proclaim that gospel message
 now this is not nullify the great number of command of the scriptures to display the love of Christ toward others in the church and the world now this is not mean that we become Mission only Christians to divorce the heart of Christian character from the mission of the Christian church this simply means the primary mission of the church is to go and make disciples of the Proclamation of the Gospel baptized those disciples end of the Church of Jesus Christ and teases the disciples the biblical commands of their King of the word of God now when we as a church include within proper prioritization Mission then mercy
 we began to see the fruitful and faithful Ministry of the church Thrive and we see reconciled Souls find real physical needs being met we find broken people find real healing through biblical truth and genuine relationships the most of all and I think this is that the kind of rock the show with that we see the Great Commission being fulfilled and the people of God being revived and restored to their King so that in my opinion callista is the central mission of the church and I'm going to give you guys a few resources that I think will be really good for you and that things are really important for us as Christians right now to be very educated upon so I would read if you get a chance what is the mission of the church is going to read the whole thing is actually just you could go chapter by chapter and choose the chapters you want to read but what is the
 one of the church and I'll put a link on that for you guys in the show notes of this episode a tree learn.org if you just search for this episode it's titled this social justice belong in the church the second resource I'm going to give you is a four-part video series of four sermons that were delivered by John MacArthur titled social justice and the gospel I'm in the lasting is a PDF it's on a website or link it to you on this blog post as well and it's the statement on social justice and the gospel it was really put together by Grace Community Church and John MacArthur and that whole crew over there as you guys know that I go to the Master's Seminary I went to Western Seminary but also going to wash them now and Master's Seminary is on the campus of John MacArthur's church and so are those three I think we really good resources for you to
 and this conversation on a deeper level last couple things just if you guys are ready to listen to the show would love for you guys to leave a review you don't need a ride anything but you can't just have two stars in the podcast app it would be really just a blessing when I get a chance to read those reviews so if you do leave them I will read them also if you don't follow us on Instagram you can do that organ terms of going Instagram and finding us there I'm on Twitter at Dale Partridge trying to release content on a regular basis but we would love to have you online to stay connected with you as we further our mission here as a Ministry thank you guys for joining this episode of real Christianity I'm Dale Partridge and I'll see you next week
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