Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Gospel and Evil in the World

Yesterday, I wrote about how I am not obligated to speak on every instance of evil that occurs. However, since I brought it up, and did condemn the actions that took place in Charlottesville, I wanted to add a little more. The Christian story—and the hope of the Gospel—has a lot to say in various areas that get varying levels of attention. We ought to speak on each of these kinds of issues.

First, there is the issue of abortion. Lost in much of the hectic day-to-day for many is the idea that a holocaust is taking place, something that represents modern-day slavery in terms of America’s moral shame: the killing of unborn babies. Children are precious in the sight of God (Isaiah 1:17, James 1:27, Luke 18:16, Matthew 18:6), and harming them by putting them to death is an atrocity that must be spoken out against.

Second, there is the issue of human trafficking. Much of human trafficking is done as indentured servitude, and quite a bit as sex slavery as well. Would-be immigrants are offered “jobs” for transport and shelter for not enough money to pay all the bills. In return, the traffickers “rescue” the people, and they are fundamentally forced to stay in these conditions. The Bible does have a bit to say on this form of servitude, and it wouldn’t be correct to say it condones it. On Israelite servanthood, the issue was about protecting both the lender (who was not to charge interest on his countrymen) and the borrower in the event he could not pay. Human trafficking fails to treat people as human beings made in the image of God (Gen. 1), and so ought to be opposed vigorously.

The third issue I would like to discuss is that of bigotry. Bigotry exists against various groups, and to varying degrees. Believing that one race is inferior to another, inherently, is a fundamental denial of the creation part of the human story. We are all made in the image of God, and we ought to seek racial reconciliation, peace, and justice for those who are oppressed. The Old Testament is replete with references to peace and justice, and how we treat the poor and oppressed tends to say a lot about us.

I don’t have all the answers on all of these things. I don’t know all of what we should do. I do know that I am constantly trying to learn; I want to be in an attitude of learning and prayer. May God use us to right these three major types of wrongs, by bringing the Gospel to the people in an intentional and contextual way, letting the transforming power of the Spirit work, and doing what we can in our communities today.

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