I wrote the following in response to a blog post about the United Methodist’s General Board of Church in Society:
I should start off by saying I’m not a Methodist but a Disciple. I agree with Tom in a sense that some of the bad feelings about agencies like the Board of Church and Society is where things end up. I totally agree with Dan in that the Biblical call to justice is clear. I don’t think you can get around that and we ignore that call to our peril.
However, what I think trips people up is that these denominational agencies will talk about justice and they asking for solutions that fall right in line with the Democrats or liberalism in general and it is held up as the biblical way to pursue justice. I think that turns folks off because what it says is that to be involved in social justice you have to adopt this approach and this approach only.
Now, I think on a practical matter there is a case to be made for dealing with issues like feeding the hungry or housing the homeless through government initiative. But Scripture never said that you can only be just through the so-called welfare state. God demanded that we get it done, God did not say how we should get it done. When agencies basically back one horse over another, people notice and that group loses credibility.
What I love to see is religious agencies act more like think tanks, offering ideas on how to best solve an issue and making recommendations instead of backing one approach and making it the word from on high. If we can engage the folks in the pews too think creatively on how to solve issues, there might be more folks that don’t look down on groups like the Board.
h/t: John Meunier