The typical evangelical pitch to pre-Christians these days sounds something like, “Come to Jesus and when you die he will take you to a better world.” While that’s true, I believe that it should include something more like, “Come to Jesus and you’ll come alive. And when you do, come help us make this a better world!”
Of course, someday we’ll go to the best of all worlds, but today we’re tasked to make this the best world we can. Still many Christians seem to think that aside from getting people saved and warning them of certain pet sins our job is to sing songs, be polite, and hug one another until Jesus returns!
It’s not like we have two gospels, a salvation one and a social justice one. “Jesus binds the spiritual and social into a seamless fabric that shouldn’t be torn in two,” says Donald Kraybill. We can’t rightly separate personal piety from restorative justice, otherwise known as “social justice.” This unfortunate split between spiritual and social leads to a warped view of Scripture and eludes Kingdom ethics. We cut the salvation of Jesus in half when we ignore the injustice of broken social systems and then try to serve that to famished pre-Christians who know half a meal when they see it!
This is an excerpt from a book I hope to publish in the near future on the Sermon on the Mount called: What In The World? Some Moral, Social, and Politically Disruptive Implications of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount.
As such, I’d appreciate your feedback on this post and others to come in order to make the final copy publish-worthy.