Sunday, September 02, 2007

Doing Justice

This weekend Josh Malone, our Pastor of Young Adults is delivering an excellent message on doing justice in our world. In it he discusses the purpose for doing justice and why, as believers who have been saved by the gospel, we should view evangelism and justice (i.e. social justice) as two wings on a plane. Obviously, this kind of balance makes us unrecognizable to a world anxious to ask if our church is a Republican or Democrat front. The gospel should definitely make us unrecognizable to either affiliation.

Following the message we encouraged the congregation to apply the message immediately by swinging by one of two area grocery stores to buy groceries for Iowa City’s food pantry or our ministry to “at risk” youth at our southeast location “The Spot.” I’ll post in a few days with updates on how much was donated.

Josh’s comments regarding political affiliations reminded me of this quote form Oz Guinness in his book “The Call”. It is a thought-provoking quote on the importance of avoiding the politicization of the church.
The problem of politicization is the lack of “tension.” Called to be “in” the world but “not of it,” Christian engagement in politics should always be marked by tension between allegiance to Christ and identification with any party, movement, platform, or agenda. If that tension is ever lacking, if Christian identification with a political movement is so close that there is not any clear remainder, then the church has fallen for a particularly deadly captivity… But to the degree that Christian activism in public life becomes a politicization of the church – an identification with political movements on either right or left without critical tension – to that degree Christian activism will betray Christ and stoke the fires of its own and the church’s rejection. There are signs that an American equivalent of Europe’s antipathy to politicized faith is already beginning to build. Few things are more fateful for the future of faith in the modern world than to see that this development stops.

Here's a few pictures of our food drop-off locations.