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Preaching on Social Issues in a Gospel Manner

The Great Commandment, the Great Commission & the Current Refugee CrisisPreaching on the social issues of the day is often done poorly, and, thus, many conservative Bible preachers look askance at the practice. Too often preachers have left behind their mandate of preaching the Word for the mess of pottage which is cultural and political commentary. I imagine I am not the only one who has heard otherwise good preachers expound the Constitution rather than the Word of God. I am also reminded of Karl Barth’s story when as a pastor he decided to preach on the war and an elderly lady afterwards told him, “We hear about this every day in the newspaper. We came here today to hear from God.”

As a result of this, we can too easily swing the other way, so that one might wonder if our preaching was at all aware of the specific issues pressing on the world around us.

Well, here is a great example of speaking to a huge social issue of our day from a gospel basis. This past Sunday Justin Wainscott preached a message titled, “The Great Commandment, the Great Commission & the Current Refugee Crisis.” Justin laid out clearly before us the staggering realities of the humanitarian crisis, reminded us that Christ’s call to love our neighbors applies to this situation and pointed out the evangelistic opportunity of this situation as we reach out in compassion. I found myself convicted and saying, “Yes, this is how it ought to be done.” Shall we relegate to the news agencies the task of informing the church of the needs of the day? Shall we fail to call boldly upon the church to give sacrificially to people in such great need? Certainly not. And, Justin wisely did not presume to speak to the complex political issues involved. He simply called upon Christians to meet needs in the name of Christ. That much is clear. That much can be authoritatively declared.

So, preachers, I commend this to you as a helpful example. Fellow Christians, I commend this to you as a call to respond to a great need of the hour. Justin lists five concrete ways you can directly help including going to help, praying specifically, and giving to faithful ministries which are helping in Jesus name, like Baptist Global Response. We must not respond like the priest and Levite, just turning our head and passing by on the other side of the road. We must awake to the missionary opportunity before us if we will show the compassion of Christ.

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