Monday, January 18, 2016

Should Christians be Involved in Social Issues? [James Jenkins]

As we celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday, I am reminded of the importance of people of faith exercising their civic duty to ensure equal rights for everyone in America. Those today who misconstrue the separation of church and state have silenced many people of faith. People of faith have even silenced themselves by stating that their faith is something private and separate from their public life. In 2012, Vice President Joe Biden said “….I accept my church's position that life begins at conception. That's the church's judgment. I accept it in my personal life. But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews and--I just refuse to impose that on others..”   Can you do such a thing while calling your faith a true faith? If something is true, it’s true for everyone. Martin Luther King Jr. believed that “all men were created equal” was not just true for whites. He saw that this was not a reality and changed it. He was a man of faith first and foremost and he got involved. As I speak with people today, I have been targeted several times to be silent because I, like Martin Luther King Jr., am a Christian. Should I have no opinion on moral issues today because of my faith? I contend that if I don’t, then neither did MLK.

Should Christians be silent on abortion? Depends. Depends on what? It depends on whether or not the unborn are human. If the unborn are not human, abortion is not a moral issue. But, if the unborn are human, abortion is the greatest holocaust in American history. Our vice president’s church aligns with the science of embryology which says life begins at conception. Joe Biden didn't evolve from an embryo. Joe Biden once was an embryo. Sure, Joe the embryo was smaller and less developed than Joe the adult, but that didn't change his essential nature. He was one of us!

Suppose two-year olds were being killed at the same rate as unborn children. Would anyone with a functioning conscience suggest anything other than our full involvement ending that evil practice? If the unborn are human, and we know they are, why should our response be any different? Since abortion was legalized in 1973, we're at 56 million lives and counting. This is a battle where no Christian gets a pass due to "fetus fatigue."

James 4:17 tells us that “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them”. I don’t know of anywhere in scripture where someone was blessed or exalted for being silent in the face of evil. On the contrary, those who boldly stood up in the face of evil are exalted. Abortion takes the life of an innocent human being in the most inhumane way and is therefore evil. Children are dismembered, crushed, or poisoned.

The theology in play here is not difficult. According to Genesis 1:27, all humans have value because they bear God's image. Because humans bear God's image, the shedding on innocent blood is strictly forbidden (Ex. 23:7). Unborn humans bear the impress of their Maker and He hates the shedding of their innocent blood (Prov. 6:17).

If injustice to blacks 60 years ago cried out for justice, then so does the abortion holocaust and arguably even more so. Christians should be doing everything they can to peacefully, gracefully, and lovingly limit the evil done. This involves in making good arguments to convince others as well as doing what Martin Luther King Jr. did – Get involved in the civic process. The law permits the unjust killing of innocent human beings. Political leaders should not get a pass on that. John the Baptist called them out for evil deeds. So did Jesus.  We have a government by and for the people and that includes Christians. So, when someone tells me that religious people should have no say in the abortion debate – or any other moral or social issue–I ask a simple question: Do you mean like Martin Luther King, Jr?


  1. "[S]ecularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering into the public square. Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, Williams Jennings Bryant, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King — indeed, the majority of great reformers in American history — were not only motivated by faith, but repeatedly used religious language to argue for their cause. So to say that men and women should not inject their 'personal morality' into public policy debates is a practical absurdity. Our law is by definition a codification of morality, much of it grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition." -- Barack Obama

  2. Excellent and very effective article.Thank you so much for your thought sharing with us.


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