Hear, O peoples, all of you, listen, O earth and all who are in it, that the Sovereign LORD may witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple. Micah 1:2
What is happening within the church when it pursues social action; and is social action prophetic, as some claim ?
Is God calling us to social action / political action over issues ?
What did Mikhah the prophet say and do ?
Read the whole book of Mikhah in one go, and also David Pawson's overview of it in his "Unlocking the Bible". Don't just cherry-pick texts.
Mikah is calling the people to repent – telling them the outcome of their sin – giving them a chance to repent
(note that for Judah there is a promise of restoration and glory after their punishment. This is not promised for “the Nations” - Britain, (or the USA or wherever) our nations are not the centre of the world, looking out on the nations; they are just some of the nations)
What Mikhah did not do was attempt to pressure the godless rulers (the Government) to legislate and implement godly laws. Mikhah proclaimed to everybody that everybody should repent.
The fault of the social action mindset is the striving to reach an accommodation with the world (godless) system to get them to conform the world to our way. Surely this is futile? It can even be hypocrisy in seeking to enforce what we may not actually be living up to ourselves.
This merges into the Christendom perception; that ours is a “Christian country” and it is the government's job to keep it that way. There is no such thing as Christendom in God's eyes; only Israel and the Nations.
Constantine is largely to blame for this, but he did not really make the Roman Empire Christian; he stole Christianity from Christ and made it “Establishment”: a tool of the state.
Although King Henry VIII in England split from the Catholic Church of Rome, which one might view it as setting the church free, actually the creation of the Church of England was not done with pure motives. The head of the Church of England is now a government appointee, the church hierarchy is an establishment structure and Anglican leaders are regarded as spokesmen for Christianity in general by the media. This establishment status must lead to divided loyalties and a lack of clarity and biblical truth on matters of morality.
The church has never been as effective since Constantine as it was before him and the recovery is proving long and slow. (Church History)
As Christianity becomes political it moves backwards, allowing influential bodies to be taken in by religiously framed campaigns, to embrace falsehoods and to get involved in political correctness and political activism such as that being waged against Israel and in favour of the Islamic world. See especially Christian Aid and the Baptist Missionary Society support for Kairos Palestine. (What has activism against Israel to do with the objective of preaching the Gospel to all nations?
The obsession with "social justice" is leading many evangelicals to side with the Muslims in their jihad / religious war to destroy Israel - the Jewish state. See Christ at the Checkpoint for insights into how the Palestinian Christians* are being used to peddle replacement theology (rebranded as fulfilment theology) to undermine biblical belief in the validity of Israel in God's purposes and draw evangelicals away from the truth and into demonizing Israel and hating the Jews.
*Palestinians are 99% Muslim and it is the Muslims who are oppressing the Christian minority, not Israel. Arab Christians in Israel have far more freedom and better lives than Christians anywhere else in the Middle East!
Christian Social activists often claim to be “prophetic” for saying edgy things but they are not in accord with God's word as much as with socialist dogma; not the Bible as much as “The Guardian” newspaper. In trying to appeal to the upside down world by trying to accommodate the world in their faith and being “progressive” they come to be despised by the world more than it despises us if we stick to our faith and our Bible.
The problem becomes one of Christians looking to Government to fix the world / our lands, not to God. Is not that what socialism is about, “we can fix it through government”? That and the belief that some people should not be better off or more successful than others.
Surely what Mikhah shows us is the need to go out and convict the world one person at a time to repent and get right with God; and then with their fellow men.
Isn't the above concern proved by the fact that Christians who form their worldview from the Bible are now branded, “Right Wing” or “Fundamentalist?”
Some observations from an article by Jack Kinsella.
The Religious Left has teamed up with the National Council of Churches AND the National Association of Evangelicals to help push the Sojourner's socialist gospel. The masthead at the Sojourners Web site - "Celebrating 40 years of Faith in Action for Social Justice". Sojourners was founded by Rev Jim Wallis who, according to his biography , believes that the Gospel alone is not enough. The church's obligation isn't to the forever family of God, but to "the community." Not the community of believers, however. Just to the community.
"What is social justice?" What does the Bible say about social justice? Does the Bible offer any support to Reverend Wallis' contention that Jesus was a Socialist?
"Justice" is the concept of moral rightness; the act of being "just" or "fair". When the word "justice" is accompanied by the word "social," then the meaning of 'justice' is reversed.
An example of social justice is the Left's demand that the wealthiest be taxed at a higher rate than middle income earners so that low income earners can be exempted from paying any taxes at all. If the tax system was "fair" or "just" then everybody would be paying the same rate.
Nowhere does Jesus advocate taking wealth from one person and giving it to another. To do so would violate the Commandment, "Thou shalt not steal" to satisfy the demand created by violating the Commandment, "thou shalt not covet."
2 Thessalonians 3:10-12
For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread"
It is not wise for Christians to tie themselves to the political right either!
In Acts 3 Peter and John heal a lame man in the name of Jesus/Yeshua and the people see the power of God in action, so Peter has to preach in order to explain what has happened. In chapter 4 we read of the reaction of the establishment, to whom Peter preaches again. Peter and John are threatened about the consequences should they preach in the name of Jesus again. Do they come to an accommodation with the authorities?
On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. "Sovereign Lord," they said, "you made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:
" `Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord
and against his Anointed One.'
Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus."
After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
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