Martyn Lloyd-Jones on social justice

It is not the task of the church to deal directly with these problems. The tragedy today is that while the church is talking about these particular problems and dealing directly with politics and economics and social conditions, no Christians are being produced, and the conditions are worsening and the problems mounting. It is as the church produces Christians that she changes the conditions; but always indirectly…

The church cannot change conditions; and she is not meant to change conditions. And the moment she tries to do so she is in various ways shutting the door of evangelistic opportunity…My concern as a preacher of the Gospel is with the souls of men, my business is to produce Christians; and the larger the number of Christians the greater will be the volume of Christian thinking. It is the business of individual Christians to enter Parliament, as Wilberforce did, or to speak in the House of Lords as did the Earl of Shaftesbury, or to seek election to a local Council, and in general to act as good citizens. You are still citizens—act accordingly.

~ Martyn Lloyd-Jones,  Life In The Spirit In Marriage Home And Work

(HT: Rick Ianniello)

Peter serves as a pastor-teacher, at home and abroad, resourcing gospel-centred communities.

3 thoughts on “Martyn Lloyd-Jones on social justice

  1. Whow………………….

    Has the Gospel nothing to say for society, in the ‘market-place’?

    Let justice roll down like waters….

    Thy kingdom come thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaved……

    …good news to the poor, release to the captives, recovery of sight to the blind…….

    Mind The Gap…..

    Between the ‘theory’ and the ‘action’;
    The ‘claims’ and the ‘concrete’;
    Between ‘Profession’ and ‘Practice’;
    ‘Sunday’ and ‘Monday’ service;
    Eschewing a false dualism
    Between the ‘sacred’ and ‘secular’.

    I walk up the stairs
    Into corporate expectations
    A different set of values.
    I become intensely immersed
    Into Company considerations,
    So easily crowding out You.

    Think about the Big Story.
    I am Creator and Redeemer.
    You are made in My image.
    ‘Redeem’ your work creatively
    With all My excellency,
    With a servant heart.

    How do I redeem my work?
    So much is repetitive and routine.
    How can I relate my Christian values
    Legitimately to the work place
    Closing the yawning space
    Between ‘private’ and ‘public’?

    ‘Working’ is part of My ‘image’.
    In what you do see it is ‘good’.
    Be creative and energetic,
    Faithful and trustworthy.
    You make a witness in a way
    By what you ‘do’ and what you ‘say’.

    In providing a home and food,
    In working for family’s good
    In using your talent and skill,
    In contributing to the culture
    You are ‘having dominion’
    Serving and doing My will still.

    • Quoting Piper at Lausanne:

      If God had not put Christ forward to bear his own wrath, if Christ had not become a curse for us, as Galatians 3:13 says, then all the nations and all Jews would have perished under God’s wrath and entered into everlasting suffering in hell, as Jesus said in Matthew 25:46.

      The reason I draw out this implication of the cross is to hold together in this congress and in the church of Christ two truths that are often felt to be at odds with each other, but don’t have to be.

      One truth is that when the gospel takes root in our souls it impels us out toward the alleviation of all unjust suffering in this age. That’s what love does!

      The other truth is that when the gospel takes root in our souls it awakens us to the horrible reality of eternal suffering in hell, under the wrath of a just and omnipotent God. And it impels us to rescue the perishing, and to warn people to flee from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10).

      I plead with you. Don’t choose between those two truths. Embrace them both. It doesn’t mean we all spend our time in the same way. God forbid. But it means we let the Bible define reality and define love.

      Could Lausanne say—could the evangelical church say—we Christians care about all suffering, especially eternal suffering? I hope we can say that. But if we feel resistant to saying “especially eternal suffering,” or if we feel resistant to saying “we care about all suffering in this age,” then either we have a defective view of hell or a defective heart.

      I pray that Lausanne would have neither.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s