Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Relationship Between Social Action and Evangelism

Three assertions in an article at the Briefing called Social involvement and evangelism (Part II): How they relate:

    1. Evangelism and social action are distinct activities;
    2. Proclamation is central; and
    3. Evangelism and social action are inseparable.

The conclusion:

Jesus sends us out into the world to ‘make disciples’. With this in mind, the two key questions are:

  1. How do we make disciples? We make disciples through the prayerful proclamation of the gospel of Christ, in dependence on the Holy Spirit to make the message effective.
  2. What does it mean to be a disciple? We teach disciples to obey all that Christ has commanded, including the command to live in kindness, generosity, love and active concern for those around us.

Read the whole thing (2-3 pages) for explanations of the assertions. (HT: JT)

To this I would probably add that I feel free to do the “good works” that God has prepared for me among Muslims without an ulterior motive.  Even though social action makes the gospel attractive (Titus 2:10), my good works are done simply because, in response to the gospel, I want to be a blessing.  Helping people and contributing to the development of the country I live in is a biblical mandate.  Social action is not just a “tactic” to get people to embrace Christ, but rather a holistic way to love people the way Jesus does.

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4 comments:

Tim Herald said...

Social action is not just a “tactic” to get people to embrace Christ, but rather a holistic way to love people the way Jesus does.

AMEN!

AT said...

Amen, I think that D.A. Carson in his lecture titled, "The Gospel and Deeds of Mercy," also addresses this issue very well. The younger generations, including myself, are so motivated to do the good works but often miss the proclamation piece.
As J. Piper says, "We care about all suffering, especially eternal suffering."
What culminates from that, is a person who is rich in mercy, and who hopes that by word and deed others will be ransomed - not tactic, rather design.

Warrick Farah said...

Thanks AT for your helpful comments. Here is the post by Carson and a quote that goes along with what you're saying:

"One way to preserve such a gospel-focus is to “preach hell”; that is a good test of whether you are interested in relieving suffering for time and eternity or whether your focus is on relieving suffering now. And if you preach on hell, those who are interested in only the social gospel won’t want to have anything to do with you."

http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2009/08/06/carson-on-gospel-and-social-action/

Anwarul said...

I think that If we love our neighbor then we must need to show them Jesus love(agape)for making rapport building and after that we should preach Gospel to them!