How do we respond to a culture that condemns us as opponents of the authenticity it demands? One answer is to be just as authentic as believers as our opponents seek to be as secularists. The key to being authentically Christian, of course, is being authentically with Christ.
On this National Day of Prayer, as the country continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic and injustice, we can look to a Nehemiah for guidance. Thousands of years ago, Nehemiah received news from his Jewish countrymen that the wall of Jerusalem had been destroyed and its gates had been burned to the ground. After hearing this devastating report, Nehemiah wept and fasted for many days. He knew he had to do something about the situation — but first, he prayed.
My wife often reminds those she teaches that a strong marriage is the best example we have of the kind of relationship God wants us to have with him. His word likens the union of husband and wife to the union of “Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:32).
I have pursued justice my entire Christian life. Yet I am about as “anti-social justice” as they come—not because I have abandoned my obligation to “strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14), but because I believe the current concept of social justice is incompatible with biblical Christianity.
Though the volume has increased in recent years, the American Church has been dividing over whether it should be primarily about proclaiming truth or about serving others since at least the mid-20th century. But, it’s an unnecessary choice to make. These two things need never be separated and should never be separated. On the same night Jesus commanded us to remember how His broken body and shed blood rescues us from sin (that’s the truth), He commanded us to demonstrate our new life by serving others (that’s love).