Well, it seems I've missed a few of Bobberty's posts. Feel free to mention stuff from them in comments, if there's anything you want to address, from them. Frankly, though, they were pretty inane. And insipid. And completely uninspiring. But here's the latest one:
Should Christians campaign against supposed "social injustice"?
Well, yes Bob. The clue is in the name. 'Injustice.' We should all take a stand against injustice when we see it, given that we would want to be treated justly ourselves. I seem to recall some bloke by the name of Jesus Christ was supposed to have said something along those lines. You might have heard of him.
Over the last few years it has become apparent that a number of so-called "Evangelical" Christian societies have been more concerned with getting involved in politics and fighting "social injustice" than preaching the Gospel. Is this right? What is more important – campaigning to put the world to rights or telling people the only way to be saved for all eternity?
Now, don't get me wrong—big scary, baby-eating atheist here—but while I certainly do think that the very idea of religion is, erm… somewhat problematical, I have remarkably fewer problems with religious folk who try to do good in this life, than I do with those who would let people suffer, or even force them to, in this life, in order to waste effort saving souls. You may find this hard to believe, Bob, but some of those folk even think that the path to salvation is paved with the very same good works you question. Who was it who said 'If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven'? It's on the tip of my tongue…
In Mark 14 v 7 Jesus said that the poor are always with us and when we wish we may do them good. There is nothing wrong with helping someone in need and, on occasion, I've bought a meal for a homeless person. Such an act opens an opportunity for the Gospel and may lead to that person getting saved.
Y'know, I'm pretty sure when your leader-chappy said 'If you want to be perfect,' he meant to give unreservedly, not treat it as an opportunity to take advantage of someone's misery in order to preach at them. But hey, each to their own interpretation.
However, what should be the main thrust of our service for Christ? I would suggest that campaigning on social issues detracts from the real task that the Saviour left us viz. to spread the Gospel so that souls may be saved. Consider the following 5 points:
Do we have to?
1. Christ did not concern Himself with the problems and politics of this world. When a man came to Him complaining about his brother not sharing the inheritance this may well have been an opportunity to put right a perceived wrong. However, Jesus refused to get involved (see Luke 12 v 13-14).
Well, far be it from me than to get into a mudslinging match over who has the best verses, but I rather prefer the one I linked earlier. The one about something like 'Would I want to be treated thus? Then I should not allow others to be treated thus.'
2. Christ lived during a time of great oppression from the Roman occupation but did not once mention the need to protest against the Romans. Moreover, He showed kindness to a centurion.
Well no. In a land occupied by people who tend to get violent about even peaceful protests, at a time when might-makes-right is a commonly agreed-upon principle, persuading the oppressed folk that they need to protest would be (a) likely to get you ignored as an unrealistic bloody crackpot and (b) tantamount to murder if you're successful. Far from ignoring politics, Jesus seems to have had a better idea of the reality of politics in an occupied country than you do, Bob.
3. Peter lived at the time of Nero, a particularly nasty bit of work, but did not encourage any form of protest against him; on the contrary he taught that one should be submissive to the authorities – (see 1st Peter 2 v 13).
4. Paul taught, in Romans 13 that God appoints the government and we should not rebel against it. The only exception being where the authorities try to prevent Gospel preaching (see Acts 5 v 29). Moreover, in this chapter we are told that the prime responsibility of the government is the maintenance of the rule of law "they bear not the sword in vain". It is NOT the government's job to provide health, education and welfare; it is wholly wrong for Christians to protest against welfare cuts which are designed to stop scroungers sponging off the state (If anyone refuses to work let him not eat – 2nd Thess. 3 v 10).
Bob, how does this apply in a time and place where there are fewer jobs available than there are people to do them? How does it apply in a time and place where most of the jobs which are available don't earn a person enough to pay the bills which must be paid in order to merely have a roof over one's head and feed and clothe oneself?
5. God sets a person's station in life. He ordains an individual's financial circumstances. As Christians we believe God provides, and we trust in Him rather than moan about the government not giving us enough money (see Phil 4 v 19).
Maybe, Bob, just maybe, your god's method of providing for the poor is to expect the society they live in to help them. And, what d'ya know, we have a mechanism by which society acts in unison to do such things. We call it our representative government.
I believe that our PRIME responsibility is to spread the Gospel (Christ died for our sins and rose again) so that people can be saved. After all, what good is it for "social injustice" to be put right if the beneficiaries of our action are heading for Hell when they die?
I've said this before Bob, and no doubt I'll say it again. If there is a god who judges us, then I highly doubt such a massively superior being would judge us on mere belief. I fully expect that any rational, truly loving god would judge us on how we treat others. That, after all, is the moral code she has allegedly instilled in us. And, while I doubt that such a god would consider infinite torture a just punishment for anything, I'm pretty damn sure that any punishment she did dish out would be directed at puritanical, over-pious, self-assured and self-congratulatory wankstains like yourself.
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