Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Putting faith into action

This blog is about the Word of God, not politics. But after linking to a National Review article earlier in the day (albeit about sin & evil, not politics), I'm giving a few lines to an article from the March 2005 issue of Sojourners (Note: free registration is required to view the original). Elizabeth Palmberg writes on the Micah Challenge, an effort by evangelicals to put into practice the call of Micah 6:8:

He has showed you O man, what is good; and what does Jehovah require of you, but to do justly, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

Palmberg notes that social action in the name of Jesus Christ has fallen out of favor among evangelicals:

In recent decades, evangelical Christians have been known more for individual piety than for heeding the prophets’ call for justice for the needy. The Micah Challenge, a new worldwide coalition of evangelical churches and relief groups, aims to change that - and to seize today’s unprecedented opportunity to put a serious dent in global poverty. . . .

The Micah Network aims to mobilize Christians to affect national governments in the global North and South, as well as international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Bank, and transnational corporations.

What does this have to do with preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ? For Christians, after all, social justice is not an end in itself. Stated bluntly, it's little consolation that someone live a more just or comfortable life if they spend eternity in hell. For this reason, proclaiming the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ is central to the church's mission.

But the Kingdom of God is more than a sinner's prayer, a quick wash in baptism, and a life of individual morality. The Kingdom is the reign of the one whose coming to earth meant that "the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them" (Luke 7:22).

Promoting justice and relief in the name of Jesus Christ is a manifestation of the Kingdom of God. By helping others we learn to look beyond ourselves and overcome the temptation to obsess over the progress of our individual discipleship. Helping the needy and oppressed is extending the grace of Jesus Christ. In these ways we serve Jesus by serving "the least of these my brethren" (Mt. 25:40).


Blogger Kevin Barr said...

My name is Kevin. I noticed you commented on my friend Nathans blog. I came to check out your site, because there was a link to your site in your comment.
I'm just wondering who you are, all of your writings are very impressive.
I'm 21 year's old, raised in the church, but I understand very little about God (which he's teaching me doesn't matter at all). I had an awesome weekend, my life was changed. Check out my blog
my one post 'something God is teaching me' and my latest from just a few minutes ago 'to be or not to be' is just talking about what God is teaching me, and what I'm wrestling with. If you could check them out, and comment on one or the other, or whatever, just what your thoughts are, any advice, or anything.
I heard it said once that three characters of a wise person are, humble, teachable, and seeks the wisdom of others....

3:02 AM, February 10, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Thanks for contacting me, Kevin. If you want to find out more about me, go to The Storage Room, . I'd like to find out more about you, so I'm headed over to your blog.

4:41 AM, February 10, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

By the way, I agree that understanding God is not all that important. Knowing God, however, is absolutely essential to a joyful, loving, transformed life (1 John 4:7-8). Peace.

4:47 AM, February 10, 2005  
Blogger meow said...

Amen! Jesus cares about all who are suffering. Helping the needy & oppressed is at the core of His heart. In fact, He started His ministry through helping the needy & oppressed. Surely we should also imitate Him. : )

"Looking around at them angrily, for he was deeply disturbed by their indifference to human need, he said to the man, "Reach out your hand." He did, and instantly his hand was healed!" ~ Mark 3:5 (NLT)

Thanks for sharing. : )

5:12 AM, February 10, 2005  
Blogger keith said...

Hi Milton
I just came across you through the Blog Awards, and like what you are doing here.
Thanks too for this post. Great stuff - we do need reminding on this sort of challenge.

5:34 AM, February 10, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Thanks, O (I looked at your blog, and I just don't want to call you "oink"), for reading my blog. My daily one-hour of blogging is about up, but I'll visit tomorrow. By the way, thanks for the reference to Mark 3:5--that's what the post was about, Jesus caring about human beings. Peace.

5:40 AM, February 10, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Thanks for visiting, Keith. Good work, and praise God on winning best missionary blog in the EBA! My daily hour of blogging is just about up, but I plan to visit under the acacias tomorrow. Peace.

5:43 AM, February 10, 2005  
Blogger Milton Stanley said...

Sorry, uiyui, but your comment reads like spam, so I'm deleting it. Please let me know if I've taken this action in error. All the best.

8:55 PM, February 08, 2009  

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