I have a rule that I don’t weigh in on Facebook debates. I doubt anyone would ever change their mind due to my striking repartee! But I did break my own rule recently—and one of the Christians used a common rationale for defending his position: that ‘the church shouldn’t be bound by culture’. I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment—the church is at its best when it shows the kind of leadership and love that changes culture.
But this argument does imply that God is not moving through our culture. All around me I see God using culture to further the cause of justice. Just some examples include environmental stewardship, LGBTI+ inclusion, gender equality, and race relations.
These are issues the church should be passionate about, but—perhaps because the church has remained silent—God has raised up others to seek out justice. The world belongs to God, and his justice rolls like a river to every corner of society.
Coralie Bridle, on p.6, is a beautiful embodiment of disability advocacy, but says she suspects culture has done more for the rights of the disabled than the church has.
This is tragic for the church, because it means that we miss the blessing of showing God’s grace and mercy to the world. Environmental stewardship, for example, is paramount—but how much more so when we know God as our creator? How much more does equality mean when we know we are all made equal in Christ? These are deeply biblical moves of the Spirit, so let us join the wave of God’s justice—wherever we see it at work.
But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always.
Nā reira tahuri koe ki tōu Atua: puritia te mahi tohu me te tika, tatari tonu ki tōu Atua.