Social Justice or Prophecy Preaching? Millennials by and large choose ... Social Justice! By Carl Gallups
Many young evangelicals in the millennial generation are shifting from their parents’ theological emphasis on biblical prophecy to a focus on issues of social justice, such as combating homelessness, economic inequality, racism and violence, as well as the "plight" of the Palestinians and Israeli oppression of them, the website Religion & Politics reports.
Any kind of “life-approach” theological stance can become destructive or even dangerous if it is not a theology of contextual balance and accuracy. It is my opinion that this element is sorely lacking in much of America’s Christian living. I understand the modern Christian’s angst towards a dispensational end time’s charting-and-graphing approach to life. I too have shared that same concerns for the majority of my Christian life and ministry. I often point out that the Pharisees missed the entire Christ-event in Jesus because they too lived in an eschatological boxed-in world – a world they were convinced that only they had correct. However, we cannot deny that a good one-quarter of God’s Word deals with the prophetic. And, a large amount of that prophetic material addresses the days just before the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, and a prophetically returned Israel’s place in those days. As a matter of fact, that great event is the “hope” of a huge chunk of the New Testament message and urgency. Additionally, the theme of the ultimate return of Jesus is practically the entire message of the last book of the Bible – so how can this theme, and this expectation, not be an important part of our lives as we attempt to live in contextual theological correctness? The balance, I believe, is this: We must live each day as faithful ambassadors of God’s Kingdom. That heavenly assignment involves not only proclaiming the Gospel message of salvation through Jesus Christ, but also the understanding that we are to be the salt and light to the rest of the world along our journey. And, being the salt and light means we must be ever-mindful of the needs of the lost, and any others who have desperate day-to-day needs. This balance is often the impetus for a biblically mission-minded church. This balance of life-ministry was clearly modeled for us in the earthly ministry of Jesus himself. He preached salvation while he also clearly pointed to the prophetic happenings of the day. At the same time He confronted evil, called out the hypocrisy of the ruling elite, and challenged the religiously insincere. However, while He was doing those things, He also ministered to the needs of the poor, the sick, the demon afflicted, and the dying. Jesus continually taught and challenged His disciples to model his life-approach. That’s the contextually balanced theological approach to life and ministry that urgently needs to be instilled in America’s churches of today’s world. Sadly, there seems to be a steadier diet of “isms and schisms” in America’s church family – only making the real Kingdom work that much more difficult and diluted. So, Christian living is not “just about service.” Nor is it solely about discerning the prophetic times in which we are living. Neither is Christian living only about impacting our culture with the truth about “right and wrong,” or “taking sides with Israel,” or “expressing sympathy with the Palestinian people.” And, believe it or not, it is not only about preaching the message of salvation – although this certainly needs to be our central focus – for it is the only focus that results in the eternal destiny of humanity. But, in reality, Christian living is about all of these things – in biblical balance – and brought forth to the world in which we live – and administered in love and with purity of heart. This is the kind of Christian living that Yahweh honors, this is the kind of Christian living that truly impacts the world for the Kingdom’s sake. RELATED ARTICLES: http://www.wnd.com/2017/01/social-justice-incompatible-with-end-times-focus/ http://www.people-press.org/2016/05/05/5-views-of-israel-and-palestinians/%E2%80%9D/ http://religionandpolitics.org/2017/01/03/apocalypse-later-millennial-evangelicals-israel-palestine-and-the-kingdom-of-god/%E2%80%9D/