James MacDonald rejects the Social Gospel but embraces the social implications of the biblical gospel:
A lesser known evangelical declaration, the Manila Manifesto (1989) was adopted by the Second International Congress on World Evangelization in Manila, Philippines. Regarding the gospel and our social responsibility, I would like to post an excerpt:
The authentic gospel must become visible in the transformed lives of men and women. As we proclaim the love of God we must be involved in loving service, as we preach the Kingdom of God we must be committed to its demands of justice and peace.
Evangelism is primary because our chief concern is with the gospel, that all people may have the opportunity to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Yet Jesus not only proclaimed the Kingdom of God, he also demonstrated its arrival by works of mercy and power. We are called today to a similar integration of words and deeds. In a spirit of humility we are to preach and teach, minister to the sick, feed the hungry, care for prisoners, help the disadvantaged and handicapped, and deliver the oppressed. While we acknowledge the diversity of spiritual gifts, callings and contexts, we also affirm that good news and good works are inseparable.
Jesus’ eating with sinners is a wonderful declaration of the riches of God’s grace. But notice how this grace plays out in practice. It results in Jesus spending time with the despised and marginalized. It means Jesus has time for the needy. They are his priority. He does not focus on the professional classes, the lawyers, the doctors, the respectable middle classes. Such people are welcomed if they will associate with the ragtag group who makes up the community of Jesus–after all, Luke himself is a doctor. But Jesus goes out of his way to welcome the poor, the marginalized, and the needy. (emphasis mine)
Have you ever thought about Christ-likeness in this way? If the goal of the Christian life is to be transformed into His image, to become more like Christ, then shouldn’t our lives display margin for the marginalized, making the poor and needy our priority? Does our community of believers look anything like the community of Jesus? Are we demonstrating the grace which we have received vertically from God in a horizontal way to others in our city?
- Summer Dumont on Why I’m Grateful for My “Virtual Assistant”
- The Supremacy of Christ | Already Not Yet on The Supremacy of Christ Sermon Jam [Must Watch]
- Timmy Brister on Observations on the Marks and Mission of the Church
- Martie Mangum on Observations on the Marks and Mission of the Church
- Ruth Volk on I Am a Great Witness…of Lesser Things