Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Social Justice versus Moral Purity

Why is it that those who emphasize the importance of social justice tend to downplay the necessity of moral purity? And, why is it that those who emphasize moral purity tend to absolve themselves of being involved in social justice?

In the evangelical world, Christians who preach "no sex" tend to find little use for helping the poor. And, Christians who rally support for the marginalized often set aside strict requirements for sexual behavior.

Have you seen the same tendencies? And, if so, why do these approaches to "what's important" in our faith appear to be mutually exclusive?


B Grif said...

At the foundation of this false dichotomy rests a gnostic heresy. On one hand, I believe that Christianity is an other-worldly religion. So, I create a "spiritual" morality, often in service to my own interests, that avoids becoming defiled by way of abstinence from the affairs of this world. On the other, Christ's treatment of people's physical needs seems to be more than a physical means to a spiritual end.

Many Christians, including myself, easily slip into emphasizing one perspective of the cross at the expense of the other. It is only by holding these two in harmony that one's life begins to look biblical.

Rodney Reeves said...

Well said, B Grif.

You're beginning to sound like a Pauline scholar.