Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"God's Issue" by Matt McGill

A ministry friend of mine, Matt McGill, writes:
National Youth Ministry Conference, second post.
Yesterday I heard this comment:
“I think justice is God’s issue for the Church right now.”

I wanted to throw up when I heard this. It took most of my self control to not drill into this retarded comment.

Let me back up a moment. I do love the passion behind this statement. Obviously “justice issues” are very important to this person, and that’s great. I react to an immaturity of this statement for the following reasons:

1. Where in scripture does God ever have ONE issue for all of his people to “attack” for a limited amount of time? There are plenty of universals (or near universals, as these won’t be happening the same way in eternity): loving God, loving others. Justice is an issue that has always been on God’s heart, right?

2. What about other passions? Are there not other causes to fight, other crosses to bear, things that aren’t related to “justice issues?” If this is “God’s issue for the church right now,” then are all other issues subordinated to it?

3. How can a person think that they have such a command of church history that they have seen one “God’s issue” for a particular time? How can a person have this and not realize it’s an OVER GENERALIZATION for that period in history.

Of course, we can assume this statement comes from ignorance or foolishness, not a bad heart, like to sell books or push an agenda. Now, I do wonder if “justice issues” are simply trendy right now...and that’s the true source of the comment. However, the audacity in the claim to KNOW what God wants for everyone in his family, (something that’s not a universal like having a pure heart, or a life that worships God first), is so crazy I nearly exploded. Instead I looked down at my food and chuckled quietly. I did hope someone said, what are you laughing at, Matt?

At a table of friends, this comment when unchallenged, no one said anything. I nearly said something, but didn’t because I was an outsider. So I’d like to assume that they either agree or this was a hill they weren’t ready to die on?
I agree with Matt. I think that there is more than one thing that God is concerned about. Social justice and the Social gospel seems to be the trendy thing to focus on now. I think many have focused on this to the detriment of truth and sharing the Gospel of Jesus. No amount of justice mission work will "tithe" us from living better and following the commands God laid out for us in His Word. We seem to have substituted one for the other.