Yes. Controversial, I know. But don’t get me wrong. I just love how William Wilberforce worked so hard in the UK to abolish slavery while he was a member of Parliament, and how Amy Carmichael struggled to save children from prostitution while she was a missionary in India. However, don’t be mistaken: the first was a politician not because he wanted to force an unbelieving world to live under Christian laws; the second was not in India in order to save children. None of them set themselves up to achieve social or civil reform and yet both of them did great things for society as Christians.
So why I don’t picket abortion clinics or stand in a corner street with a sign that says “Homosexuals repent or go to hell”?: Because of Christ’s example. Firstly, He focused in the message He came to deliver and the Holy Spirit guided Him where to go. He did not preach in the ‘sinful areas of the city’ or spent every weekend with the lepers, healing them. No, he was in constant motion reaching everybody: the sinners and also those who thought they were righteous. Yes, He healed but that was not his goal; he gave food but that was not his goal. His objective was to proclaim the good news of eternal salvation and reconciliation with God. He moved among the prostitutes and yet he didn’t say “Woe to you fornicators, repent or go to hell” but with love he said, “repent and sin no more“, the same message for everyone. I’m always amazed at such grace and mercy in his words and such a spiritual anointing!
And yet today many of us (Christians) have lost the spiritual bearing and the simplicity of Christ’s example. Instead, many Christians spend a great deal of energy, resources and time in social work for sake of social reform instead of dedicating themselves to carry Christ’s message with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Why is this wrong? Because this shows a lack of faith in the Almighty who is able to control and move in the lives of his children: believers think they need to ‘do something about it’ instead of relying in prayer and fasting and trust in their Father. Likewise, unbliblical rally cries like “let’s change the world for Jesus” or “let’s be Jesus’ hands and feet” seem innocuous -and even good- when put into practice in a spontaneous way while going about our daily lives as Christians. But such slogans are profoundly harmful when they become ‘our cause.’ Why?
Because our purpose as Christians is to declare the Good News about Christ; our cause is to ‘voice’ his message!
Voicing his message means we speak and let God water the message but avoid taking control of things; it means we wait in God to act. I know, in a world full of resources and indepence, this is difficult to grasp. But we must exercise our faith in Him and yield control to Him in order for Him to be -really- our “Lord”!
That is the core of the problem – we ought to go back to pure, child-like faith in God the Father, Jesus Christ’s complete work and the comfort of the Holy Spirit. Do we really believe Him? That is the challenge. To show by our deeds what is our priority. Let us ask ourselves today, how many souls are we bringing to the saving knowledge of Christ? Do we really offer blood, toil, sweat and tears in prayer for grace to share the gospel to our neighbours, co-workers and family members? What conviction!
You can read more about this topic in my favorite Christian forum, Discerning Truth, in their entry “Should a Christian Picket for Social or Civil Reform?