the "s" word at church

We had a great night at church tonight. Mike was speaking on poverty. He referenced the Glenn Beck call for Christians to run from churches promoting social justice (the one that got me hot and bothered last week). He talked about how completely opposite this is from the Jesus we see in scripture. And then, he "went rogue".

He encouraged people who felt that they had an excess, to think about giving. He encouraged people who have skills that they could donate, to meet up and make a list of what they could do. He then asked people who had a serious need to gather and talk about what their needs were, to see about matching them with people there who could help.

Is this socialism? Is this social justice? Who cares. It's what Jesus taught. I'm so glad to be a part of a church that does not abandon clear passages on justice and poverty because it better fits some political ideology. I was moved and proud to be a part of our church tonight.

"If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always." (Isa. 58:9-11).

16 comments:

  1. I wish I had been there. Its nice to hear of fellow Christians choosing to follow the Bible and not compromising for cultural hording of resources.

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  2. This is not social justice or socialism, it is what God has called us to do, what He puts upon our hearts. The difference is serving others as Christ served us because we are led by what is Good and what is Holy and being forced to do so by a government who claims some form of "utopian parenting effort" but gives nothing in return but restriction and opression. We serve because we want to, not because we are told to.

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  3. Whoa. You just made my day. I read your post on Glenn Beck, and angered, began jotting an encouraging, scripture-based response to you. Then my poor multi-tasking abilities took over and it got lost in the needs of my three peanuts. Later on that same day, I read my daily devotional blog, which was titled "Help the Needy" ( http://devog.wordpress.com/2010/03/12/help-the-needy/)After reading it, I thought, "Okay, send Kristen that email. God is telling you to counter Beck's message." Enter the 3 kids again.

    Then you post the same exact scripture today that I was going to send you. I'm actually sitting next to my quickly scribbled note from a few days ago, amazed at how God works to have His voice to be heard. Loud and clear. I follow Christ, and his LOVE, not Glenn Beck and his prideful ego.

    Kudos to you and Mark for preaching that message!

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  4. Shelby10:17 AM

    I was there last night too. It was AWESOME!!! I left with the same feeling of love and appreciation for our church.

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  5. AWESOME!!! Love it. I am buying nothing (except food and toiletries) until Easter in order to focus on PEOPLE instead of stuff. I am also paring down, simplifying more, and getting rid of excess to make room for more giving and hospitality.

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  6. So grateful to hear evangelical churches are actually teaching the true gospel, not the version of the gospel where we have taken the "American dream" and entitlement and morphed them together into an interpertation that makes the chasm between poverty and wealth palatable. Somewhere between the age of the apostles and modern times, we lost the vantage point of Christ and picked up our own. Then we allow ourselves to believe this is a liberal social agenda instead of what Christ-like living actually is. Maybe the missing link is that socialism is governmentally imposed, and Christian living should be a natural outflowing. If you haven't read it: "The Hole in Our Gosple" is a must read for those willing to lay down self and embrace Christ's whole gosple. Check it out!

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  7. Anonymous1:22 PM

    amen!! thanks for this encouraging word, kristen! as stated in above responses, it is awesome to hear stories of churches embracing and teaching the ways of Jesus. i'm so glad your pastor used glenn beck's call as a teachable moment for your congregation....and what a wonderful confirmation for you as well.

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  8. I wish blogs had a "like" button. :)

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  9. Anonymous6:57 PM

    AS you said, so great to be at a church where believers are willing to act and live the words that Christ spoke! Love living life where others walk alongside wrestling with "how much can I keep", not "how much can I give". Great to reconnect last night at as well!

    Deb
    (who has no option, since she is ID challenged, but to be anonymous)

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  10. Anonymous7:05 PM

    It looks like Beck's speech really hit other people's nerve too.
    http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2010/03/14/why-does-glenn-beck-hate-jesus/?xid=huffpo-direct
    I like the church sign link. It's said that his remarks had to be made for people to remember one of major lessons Jesus preached about.

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  11. "Is this socialism?" -no.
    "Is this social justice?" -In my opinion, no because I believe there is just justice and injustice. So it isn't social justice, it's just justice.
    "Who cares?" I, do a great deal. Both about the poor and the needy and the impact socialism is having on our society and our churches.

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  12. It's an old saying and it's probably heavy on the "cheese factor" but Oh-SO-True...

    "Churches are not meant to be a museum for perfect people, they are meant to be a hospital for the broken"

    I want to live a life of service, of fighting the good fight and of lifting up the ones who have fallen down...I want to take my last breath TIRED.

    This Earth is not the final stop on our eternal journey...it's a mere blink...BUT...IT COUNTS!

    Yes..to the message that was spoken and Yes...to you sharing it!

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  13. Kristin8:42 PM

    I love what Mike preached (and also am disheartened by Glenn's comments) but that is not socialism. There is a lot of talk about socialism these days as it relates to our government. It would be amazing if our church and even our country or world could look as it did in the book of Acts, where everyone gave all they had to share with everyone else such that no one was in need. But the people in Acts made that decision out of their own will and hearts desire, not because the government forced that upon them. Socialism is something that is forced upon us by big government. My personal opinion is that too much power with any group of people is dangerous because we are flawed and power hungry as humans so we'll abuse that power (as so many governments and groups have proven). The point of democracy is to be able to exercise our God-given free will and what I've experienced from big government is freedom being taken away so everyone can be considered equal. The problem lies with our greed and unwillingness to spend our time and money to help others instead of to please our own desires/agenda. But I don't think it's right for the government to force it upon people. It seems social justice used to be led by the church and now people are looking to the government to lead it instead. We need to pray for The Church and encourage Christians to be involved in grassroots efforts to bring social justice.

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  14. This totally spoke to me. During the election when the "S" word was being thrown around so much I got into a debate with a woman I previously had a lot of respect for. In the course of the discussion she made the comment that her parents (who were immigrants) had worked very hard to get to where they were and that it was "ridiculous to make laws so that the 'haves' have to give to the 'have nots'." I was so aplauled by her statement that I simply couldn't speak. This woman considers herself a Christian. In my mind one of Christ's core teachings was that the "haves" should give to the "have nots". Be it socialism, communism, whatever they want to call it, we should all give of what we have and hope that others would do the same if we were in need.

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  15. I totally love your husband.

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talk to me.

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