Over the next two days I will be posting my thoughts and reflections while at the Together for Adoption Conference If you want more of a specific outline of what the talks are about, check out some of the other live bloggers like Josh Reich’s or others.
Darrin Patrick is a pastor of the Journey Church in Saint Louis. He just spoke on Social Justice and the church.
Darrin spoke about the tension of loving God and loving people.
How can there be tension? That seems to be the last thing we think of when we hear the calling to “love God, love people” but if you have ever been involved in social justice issues, like orphan advocacy, then you can resonate with Darrin’s words. These two realities we are called to (love God and love people) do go hand in hand, but only if you look to God first. Only if we get the gospel right.
When we are involved in social justice, it is so easy to see the needs all around us and feel overwhelmed. In trying to meet people’s great physical needs, we can loose sight of the gospel. Darin spoke about Christ’s constant tension and reminded us that his main ministry was to preach the gospel, the good news. Darin said, ”Jesus was never so distracted by the needs of people that he failed to meet their biggest need.”
At the same time, those of us who are not involved in social justice, but spend a majority of day thinking through and talking about deep theological truths…we’re missing out on an implication of the gospel. When we think of the fact that Jesus’ main ministry was the word….we should not sigh a breath of relief that we can then sit back, inactive participants in trying to meet the desperate needs of those around us. Darrin reminds us of the common evangelistic question, “What happens if you die tonight?” and spoke about how while that question is desperately important, if you are poor and marginalized it is NOT all that matters. What also matters is, “What happens if I have to live tomorrow.” “Living” for those in desperate situations is a harder reality to face sometimes then death itself.
So the good news of Jesus is NOT orphan care, feeding the poor, or eradicating racial injustice. But it IS without a doubt an IMPLICATION of the gospel.