For the Jewish prophets what we class as social reforms today were spiritual revival, because for them there is no dichotomy between the spiritual and natural. In fact the idea of Church and State would have been completely alien to them.
When Amos charged against poverty and social inequality in his era, he was dealing with a deeply spiritual issue. The solution however was not divine intervention, but a change of behaviour from their audiences.
In similar vein, Jesus called for a change of worldview or mindset (repentance), in order to bring about the 'acceptable year of the lord', in other words, The Jubilee. The rich were challenged to sell all they had, distribute the proceeds to the poor, and join the campaign for the emancipation of humanity. This vision was meant to continue to 'the ends of the earth', a global movement for spiritual reorientation. A reprioritising of our values.
Sadly, the vehicle designed for this mission – the Church, has been hijacked by agents of the same systems and structures Jesus was contending against. We now have bastions of greed and self-centredness leading others through the same path. So instead of healing the world, we are contributing to her woes.
In the words one of the finest New Testament theologians of our time, D B J Campbell:
"Righteousness is the state or condition of being right, especially morally. To hunger and thirst after righteousness is to long for it intensely, both for oneself and for society. The would-be righteous man desires to be in a state of rightness with God and his fellow men, he also desires to see society at large in a similar state" – (The Synoptic Gospels, p. 39)
Join us as we examine the place of the Church within Jesus' Ministry within my series: God was in Christ.
3pm – 4:30pm
The Parish Hall
St John's Sidcup,
Kent DA14 6BX
Reachout | Revive | Recover