Presentation on theme: "An Introduction to Steve and Charlie Davies Social Justice."— Presentation transcript:
An Introduction to Steve and Charlie Davies Social Justice
What does SOCIAL JUSTICE mean to you? Insert: there is a very good video clip by the International Labour Organization, which shows voxpops of famous people explaining what Social Justice means to them – available on Youtube and elsewhere
D uring the last thirty years there has been considerable disagreement amongst Christians about the two responsibilities of ‘evangelism’ and ‘social action’. O ften this disagreement has been drawn along the evangelical / liberal divide with each side overreacting to the other’s position.
T his polarization has been a disaster! E vangelicals spiritualize the gospel and deny its social implications L iberals politicize the gospel and deny its offer of salvation to sinners NB If you want to use it, there is a very funny April Fools’ clip made by the Sojourners – a Jim Wallis vs Glenn Beck debate, dubbed over a well-known scene from Star Wars!
S o what is the relationship between Evangelism and Social Action? 1. I t’s a BOTH AND thing! 2. E vangelism is primary ‘The very fact of Christian social responsibility presupposes socially responsible Christians, and it can only be by evangelism that they have become such.’ - Manila Consultation on the Relationship between Evangelism and Social Action, S ocial activity is a consequence of evangelism and a bridge to evangelism and a partner of evangelism 4. T he individual Christian should both witness and serve 5. A nd the local church should both witness and serve
Q. I f we start calling everything mission, won’t that deflect missionaries from their priority tasks of evangelising, discipling and church planting? A. D on’t deny that mission is broader than evangelism but rather insist that each ‘missionary’ remain true to his or her particular calling.
The biblical basis for talking about a partnership between evangelism and social action Part One The Old Testament God’s people were to fear, love and serve him... I. The Law partly by worship and obedience, ‘walking in his ways’ and ‘obeying his commands’ partly by philanthropy and justice – following his example who ‘defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow’. ↕ ↔
The biblical basis for talking about a partnership between evangelism and social action Part One The Old Testament I. The Law II. The Prophets The prophets kept reminding people of the law and urging them to obey it. They emphasized humility before God and justice and mercy to neighbour. Micah 6:8He has shown you, oh man… ElijahTwo confrontations: 1 Kings 18 vs 1 Kings 21 Jeremiah & EzekielCompare Jeremiah 19:4 with Ezekiel 22:3-4
The biblical basis for talking about a partnership between evangelism and social action Part Two The Ministry and Teaching of Jesus ↕ ↔ Jesus was a preacher; he announced the coming of the kingdom of God. He also demonstrated the kingdom of God with works of compassion and power. “He went about among the villages teaching” (Mark 6:6) “He went about doing good and healing.” (Acts 10:38) He told the story of the Prodigal Son. He told the story of the Good Samaritan. ‘He was concerned not only with saving man from hell in the next world, but with delivering him from the hellishness of this one.’ ―Chuck Colson
The biblical basis for talking about a partnership between evangelism and social action Part Three Incarnational Ministry ‘For the gospel to be communicated, the word must become flesh. We cannot announce God’s love with credibility unless we also exhibit it in action. So we cannot stand aloof from those to whom we speak the gospel, or ignore their situation, their context. We have to enter into their social reality and share in their sufferings and their struggles. At that point, our actions become preaching.’ ―John Stott
Christian Objections to Social Justice 1.Christians should stay out of politics 2.You’re just going back to the old ‘social gospel’ 3.You are promoting dangerous ‘liberation theology’ 4.You can’t expect social change unless people are first converted 5.Social action will distract us from evangelism How would you answer the following objections?
Learning from History social justice pioneers
The Clapham Sect a group of friends making a difference “They were a network of friends and families in England, with William Wilberforce as its centre of gravity, who were powerfully bound together by their shared moral and spiritual values, by their Christian mission and social activism, by their love for each other, and by marriage” ― Stephen Tomkins, historian
The Clapham Sect a group of friends making a difference “ William Wilberforce had a network of friends who used to meet at Henry Thornton’s house in Battersea Rise, Clapham. It was the start of one of the most extraordinary and influential coalitions British society had ever seen. Their discussions ultimately led to one of the greatest varieties and volumes of charitable activity ever launched by any group of people in any age.” ―William Hague
The Clapham Sect a group of friends making a difference Between 1792 and 1804 the Clapham sect promoted charity schools in Ireland founded an asylum for deaf and mute children of the poor started soup kitchens in London launched education initiatives in Africa created a refuge for orphan girls went into prisons and released those in debt campaigned for better working conditions in factories sponsored small pox vaccinations established lending libraries Sent Christian missionaries to India They founded the Society for Religious Instructions to the West Indies the London Missionary Society the Society for Bettering the Condition and Increasing the Comforts of the Poor the Church Missionary Society the Religious Tract Society the Society for Promoting the Religious Instruction of Youth the Society for the Relief of the Industrious Poor the British National Endeavour for the Orphans of Soldiers and Sailors the Naval Society for the Support of the Orphans and Children of British Sailors and Marines the Institution for the Protection of Young Girls the Society for the Suppression of Vice the Sunday School Union the Society for Superseding the Necessity for Climbing-Boys in Cleansing Chimneys the British and Foreign Bible Society The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Friendly Female Society for the Relief of Poor, Infirm and Aged Widows and Single Women of Good Character Who Have Seen Better Days
The Clapham Sect a group of friends making a difference But that wasn’t their main work.
The Clapham Sect a group of friends making a difference Their main work was inspired by two men, Thomas Clarkson and Olaudah Equiano, who visited William Wilberforce at home, bringing with them a very large bag...
The Clapham Sect a group of friends making a difference Insert here: clip from Amazing Grace of Equiano and Clarkson confronting Wilberforce with the truth about slavery, and demonstrating the use of shackles at the dinner table.
William Booth (1829 – 1912) was surrounded by poverty, unemployment, homelessness, hunger, exploited labour, drunkenness, disease, slums and prostitution. ‘The blood boils with impotent rage at the sight of these enormities,’ he wrote in his book In Darkest England. ‘What is the use of preaching the gospel to people whose whole attention is concentrated upon a mad, desperate struggle to keep themselves alive? In providing for the relief of temporary misery, I reckon that I am making it possible for men and women to find their way to the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ The Salvation Army soup, soap and salvation
Martin Luther King A ‘drum major’ for justice, peace and righteousness Montgomery, Alabama, 1955 Rosa Parks refused to surrender her seat to a white passenger and was arrested. Civil rights leaders decided to contest racial segregation on the public buses. They chose a young Baptist pastor called Martin Luther King as their leader. He was a skilful orator who inspired non-violent resistance according to the teaching of Jesus and the example of Ghandi.
Martin Luther King A ‘drum major’ for justice, peace and righteousness Like most people, I had heard of Gandhi, but I had never studied him seriously. As I read I became deeply fascinated by his campaigns of nonviolent resistance. I was particularly moved by his Salt March to the Sea and his numerous fasts. The whole concept of Satyagraha (Satya is truth which equals love, and agraha is force; Satyagraha, therefore, means truth force or love force) was profoundly significant to me. As I delved deeper into the philosophy of Gandhi, my scepticism concerning the power of love gradually diminished, and I came to see for the first time its potency in the area of social reform.... It was in this Gandhian emphasis on love and nonviolence that I discovered the method for social reform that I had been seeking. ―Martin Luther King
The Emotions of God ‘There is a painful relationship between our world and the God who embraces it. Through the ancient prophet Hosea, God says: “My mind is turning over inside me. My emotions are agitated altogether” (11:8, Anchor Bible). Israel is found to be unfaithful. But God refuses to give her up. The world is unfaithful. But God refuses to give it up. God is caught in a dilemma. God is in distress, a distress sharpened by love.’ ―Kosuke Koyama, Japanese missiologist
John 11:33-37 New King James Version (NKJV) 33 Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. 34 And He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!” 37 And some of them said, “Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?” The Emotions of Jesus _______ ε ̓ νεβριμήσατο – eberimesato – expressive of violent displeasure, derived from a word meaning ‘to snort like a horse’ ____ ἐδάκρυσεν – edakrusen – he wept quietly
The Emotions of God’s people Break my heart for what breaks Yours Everything I am for Your Kingdom's cause ―Hillsongs “Calcuttas are everywhere if only we have eyes to see. Find your Calcutta.” ―Mother Theresa What makes you snort like a horse?