Tagged: The Christian and authority
Article XV of The Baptist Faith & Message 2000: The Christian and the social order
Following is another in a series of columns on The Baptist Faith & Message 2000.
The Bible instructs Christians to value our neighbors, society, and nation. This means taking an active role in the laws, customs, and moral fabric of our society.
Article XV of The Baptist Faith & Message 2000 reads:
“All Christians are under obligation to seek to make the will of Christ supreme in our own lives and in human society. Means and methods used for the improvement of society and the establishment of righteousness among men can be truly and permanently helpful only when they are rooted in the regeneration of the individual by the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ. In the spirit of Christ, Christians should oppose racism, every form of greed, selfishness, and vice, and all forms of sexual immorality, including adultery, homosexuality, and pornography. We should work to provide for the orphaned, the needy, the abused, the aged, the helpless, and the sick. We should speak on behalf of the unborn and contend for the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. Every Christian should seek to bring industry, government, and society as a whole under the sway of the principles of righteousness, truth, and brotherly love. In order to promote these ends Christians should be ready to work with all men of good will in any good cause, always being careful to act in the spirit of love without compromising their loyalty to Christ and His truth.”
Human beings cannot be made right with God through political processes, social programs, or religious affiliations. Only the transforming grace of Jesus Christ, the power of the gospel message, and the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit are able to breathe new life into the spiritually dead and make them adopted children of God the Father.
Even so, the Bible instructs Christians to value our neighbors, society, and nation. As the apostle Paul writes, “If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Rom. 12:18). This means taking an active role in the laws, customs, and moral fabric of our society.
As followers of Jesus, we begin by confessing that we are redeemed sinners who have not yet been fully conformed to the image of Christ. Put more plainly, we are far from perfect. Further, we live in a sinful and fallen world that groans beneath the weight of sin and waits eagerly for the return of Jesus to set things right (see Rom. 8:18-23).
Jesus prayed, not that we would be removed from this world, but that the Father would protect us from the evil one, sanctify us in truth, and send us into the world to be salt and light (John 17:15-19; cf. Matt. 5:13-16). While we lack the power to create new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness dwells (2 Pet. 3:13), we are given the privilege of bearing testimony of the one who, one day, makes all things new (Rev. 21:5).Continue reading →