Why the Church Must Be Vocal About More Than Just Racism

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Mike Fehlauer

I’ve seen a flood of Facebook posts regarding the racial issues we are currently facing. They are posts with words to the effect, “If you’re not disgusted by the death of this unarmed black man at the hands of police…. and desperate for change, then you’re part of the problem!”

While I agree with the outrage, what I don’t agree with is the blatant accusation leveled toward anyone who doesn’t respond in the same way. Or the accusation that I’m part of the problem if I don’t join the protests or post something on social media.

So, let me ask, if I didn’t post a black square on my social media pages, does that make me a racist?

First, let me be clear. It’s necessary to voice outrage about the murder of George Floyd. There needs to be justice. It was horrible!

But I’m seeing a disparity that I find concerning. Actually, it’s a pattern of inconsistency I’ve seen from many in the church for quite a while.

For those Christians so outraged by the injustice of racism that you’re moved to shout it from the housetops, let me ask you—when was the last time you took a stand on social media to express that same outrage regarding the 800,000 plus abortions being performed in the U.S. last year? What about the same disgust concerning the horrors of that genocide? How about creating a square to post on your social media about that?

As a believer, when was the last time you spoke out about the number of young girls that are sex trafficked in the U.S. each year? Estimates suggest that about 50,000 are trafficked into the U.S., and over half of those cases involve children.

There are so many horrible acts of injustice in the world. If you’re going to pick one, don’t signal virtue by just picking the ones that are culturally popular. And when you do, don’t try to convince us how courageous you are by speaking out. Don’t grab a bullhorn and be deafening in one area of injustice that’s culturally popular while being completely silent on those areas that aren’t. Be consistent

Here’s something even more importantly to think about. According to the Scriptures, God has given us the ministry of reconciliation, not the ministry of social justice.

“All this is from God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:18-19).

That’s not to say we don’t attempt to right society’s wrongs. We do and we must. But in our attempt to right the wrongs of society, we need to realize two things:

1. It’s only reconciliation that offers healing. Reconciliation, by its very nature, has to do with the direction of a person’s heart toward God. In the same way, reconciliation between people has more to do with us than it does with them.

For example, a young girl who is sexually abused—there aren’t enough “I’m sorrys” to bring her healing from the wounds of abuse. Even her abuser’s imprisonment, a necessary act of justice, isn’t ultimately enough. No matter the injustice, the betrayal, the abuse, there will never be sufficient amends or punishment to bring healing.

No matter what one race attempts to do for another to balance the scales of injustice, or what one individual attempts to do for another—if it’s only justice we’re looking for, it will never be enough.

Ultimately, it’s healing we need, not just justice. And, it’s only in our reconciliation with God that we discover that healing.

2. Because we live in a fallen world, the scales of injustice will never be completely balanced. There’s a verse in the book of Revelation that says ….

“God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Rev. 21:4a).

This verse says the scales of injustice will never be balanced until the end of the age when Jesus makes all things right.

Our primary call as the church isn’t to make the world a better place to live, it’s to call men out of the world by reconciling them to God. And the truth is, the gospel is the only message that has the power to change a man’s heart, thereby ultimately changing his behavior.

We can’t afford to trade the life-changing message of Jesus for a gospel of social justice. {eoa}

Mike Fehlauer is the senior pastor at New Life Church in Corpus Christi, Texas.

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