Social Justice vs. Evangelism? There Shouldn’t Even Be a Debate

ChurchLeaders | 10/11/2018 | Staff
A debate is raging among a handful of Christian leaders about social justice and the Gospel. Some super conservatives are saying that the entire concept of social justice is unbiblical. A handful of ultra-liberals have asserted for years that social justice is the Gospel. Still others are saying that social justice should be a natural lead in and outflow of the Gospel.

But before I dive into this debate I want to make something clear…I take this debate super personally.

American - Poor

Why? Because I was raised “American poor.”

I call it American poor because the brand of poverty I lived through pales in comparison to some of the levels of poverty I’ve seen firsthand in places like India, Colombia and El Salvador.

US - A - Standards - Family - Apartment

But, by US of A standards, my family was poor. I was raised in apartment complexes and trailer courts. And, yes, we qualified for free cheese and food stamps.

But my mom was too proud to accept government help. In some weird way she thought it would be admitting defeat and “stealing from the government.” Although she should have gotten alimony from at least one of her four former husbands she didn’t get any.

Mom - Brother - Crime - Rate - Areas

My mom raised me and my brother in one of the highest crime rate areas of our city. On many Friday and Saturday evenings my mom would ask, “You wanna watch cops tonight?” And, if I said “yes,” we’d hop in the car and follow the cop cars blazing through our neighborhood to the scene of the closest crime. Long before the show Cops came out we were watching our own version of it firsthand.

Sometimes the cops showed up at our house. My extended family (uncles, aunts, cousins) were a little like Sons of Anarchy. Lots of fights, lots of violence, lots of anger. But, as tough as my uncles were,...
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