Things sure seem to be polarized these days. One tour of Facebook or Twitter and you will see Christians on both sides of whatever the debate of the week is. Sometimes, we just want to ask “Which side should I be on?”
Maybe the answer is “both.”
OK, let me explain a bit. Scripture is authoritative and complete in it’s revelation. The things that Scripture says are sin…are sin. The things that God stands against, we should also stand against. These things should be clear. Sometimes we can be deceived by sin and not realize it. That’s when we need the sword of the Spirit – God’s Word – to cut between the thoughts and intentions of the heart in conviction. [Hebrews 4:12]
However, on complex social issues where tensions rise quickly the gospel often calls for balance. A great example of this was the recent focus on Freedom Sunday. Is slavery wrong? Absolutely. The Bible condemns slavery. [1 Timothy 1:10] Therefore, we are called to stand against it. But is that exclusively the gospel? Just standing against the injustice of slavery? No. The balance is that we are called to stand against slavery while bringing the hope of the gospel itself. If we abolish all slavery and fail to bring in the hope of the gospel, we ultimately fail. The gospel cannot be reduced to social issues. We are not called to live as ambassadors of polarization. What we are called to is gospel-fueled and gospel-informed action. Because we have been freed from sin through Christ, we work to save those who are slaves – from both physical slavery and injustice but more importantly, the slavery to sin that separates us from God.
When we flock to one pole or another, the world is confused by Christians on both sides. Which one is right? Let’s stand clearly and strongly against those things that the Bible condemns, and let’s keep the gospel, not our own perspective, far above all other priorities. [1 Corinthians 15:3-5]…oh and let’s try not do any of this on Facebook. Let love, grace, and truth of Christ shine forth in our personal interactions, as an unbelieving world looks on let them see Jesus first.