4. Substituting social justice for evangelism.
In what is arguably a reaction against the previous generation’s emphasis on social morality—namely abortion and same-sex marriage—young Christians (and now older ones as well) are giving renewed emphasis to matters of social justice, including a new interest in public policies that address issues related to peace, health and poverty.
This is all well and good.
The misfire is when the mission of the church is reduced to social justice.
In other words, we’ll buy Tom’s Shoes, but not witness to Tom.
Bottom line: Social ministry should not be paired against evangelism.
We should extend the Bread of Life as well as bread for the stomach. But we must never begin, and end, with the stomach alone. The scandal of the cross—and humanity’s desperate need for it—doesn’t play as well as the hip work of IJM or supporting Bono in Africa. Yet think how tragic it would be to have compassion for the immediate needs of this life, but not the eternal needs of the life to come.
So yes, buy a pair of Tom’s Shoes.
Just don’t forget Tom.