Like so many others I am neither Kuyperian nor neo-Kuyperian. I’m dispensational and that leads me to some different conclusions from others about how we address social issues. It affects how we set our priorities and whether we take a defensive or offensive posture toward significant social issues. It also affects how that posture is expressed.
Jason Helopoulos has identified two watershed issues in American (indeed, in world) cultures. These are homosexuality and abortion. There is a third, I think, which is easily missed: Education. Like Jason I am concerned that Christians give up. The postmoderns who call themselves “evangelical” but embrace ideas and actions which violate the character of God deserve no such recognition. They have given up (Romans 1:32). So I am thankful that Jason has spoken out on the issues. Jason’s speaking against sin in the church and society is commendable. And his call to action and resolution is strong as he identified the need and gives the call.
But I think he misses the proper solution entirely. Does the church advance by being engaged in a defensive struggle? I think not. Football games may be won by having the strongest defense, but this is not football. Jason gives the gospel and prayer a mention but not as part of any strategy. I think with all his commendable intentions that he has missed the most important thing. At the core of what made America the nation that it once was, was Christianity. It was the evangelism of Whitfield and Wesley and so many others.
Am I saying that going out and doing evangelism will solve society’s ills? No. But neither can we change society by speaking against sin.
Salvation is never inherited and the gospel is not a family heirloom. The gospel is also not a momentary matter or a family matter or even a church matter. It is God’s eschatology for the human race. It is his redemptive plan that looks to the future. Think of the gospel as the thing that redeems today for tomorrow and for eternity. If Christianity is eschatological then so is the gospel.
So what’s the alternative? Prayer and evangelism come first. They are not affectations attached to church life. Sermons are not the church’s billboards. They are education, or at least that is what they are intended to be. To reduce them to advertising for how supposedly effective a fellowship is does nothing for their content. Sermons are too often reduced to bumper-sticker clichés.
Prayer and evangelism are church life right along with education, worship, and praise. God will fix lives not by our defensive posturing but by our offensive prayer as He works in hearts. These actions will change society because the people are changed. The gospel is militant. It goes where it is not invited. The gospel is the church’s offensive as it proclaims the Word, the sword that the Spirit uses in hearts.
Homosexuality and abortion have disinvited the gospel in the public sphere. They declare that something else is superior to what the gospel can provide. We know from history that this is not the case. Do you want to see society changed? Look to serve now for the future.