Over the years the church has played a huge role in influencing society, politics and culture, from the abolishment of the killing of twins and stopping of human sacrifice in Africa to civil rights movement in America and South Africa. Sadly today we see the church take a back seat in influencing its environment especially when it comes to social vices in todays’ complex society.
The church is supposed to be a light in the world (Matthew 5:14) and address issues that affect humanity but we seem to be more concerned about making heaven than helping people live better lives while they are on earth, some examples of these issues include intimate partner violence(domestic violence), homosexuality, political injustice and gender inequality.
Even within the church some of these issues are thriving, take gender equality for example instead of advocating for equality of all men, the church has consciously or unconsciously put women in certain roles, there are only a few ministries were women are key preachers or pastor churches. Women are often found in children, welfare or women ministry.
These are important ministries but women should have equal opportunities in the churches were they fellowship, because in God’s eyes both man and women are equal (Romans 2:11) and can be used expressively according to the gifts that God gives them.
When Jesus was on earth as much as he respected political and religious authorities, he never failed to speak against cultural or religious practices that oppressed the weak and caused suffering; we can see these in his approach to the Samaritan woman who had been with 5 husbands (john 4:4-42) or the adulteress who the people wanted to stone ( despite the fact her partner was spared from such brutality and public disgrace), Jesus words were let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone (john 8:1-11 NLT), not let the one who is a man throw the first stone.
When we say the church is silent, I speak not of buildings and walls but of people that make up the body of Christ. When your next door neighbor constantly beats his wife or a maid is constantly abused by her owners’ do you sit in your house and pray that they will one day change or do you confront them with their wrong doings and report to the appropriate authorities.
Even within the church some women experience intimate partner violence (domestic violence) and instead of church to constantly address these problems both outside and within the church, we believe all our members are holy and can do no wrong so we don’t talk about these things in church.
As ambassadors of Christ and lights of the world we have a responsibility to respond to human suffering and social injustice.
How then can the church respond to social injustice and correct some wrongs in society, the church should stop taking a back sit when it comes to politics and serving in administrative positions, when we look at the house of assembly, Senate and constitution representatives today how many can we say are followers of Christ and not just church going Christians.
In our student unions on campuses how many sons and daughters of God take active participation in leadership roles. The church should encourage one another to participate actively in politics this is one of the ways of influencing our society
The church has become passive in picking leaders that govern their communities and Nation, praying that the right candidate for a political position wins election is good but we can also influence the outcome of who wins or loses election be coming out to vote, most Christians do not vote they would rather sit at home on election days and say let God’s will be done.
The church should not hesitate to speak against wrong cultural practices; there are still numerous practices of human degradation going on around the world. The church should be vigilant (Watch and pray) at all times, if the church was more vigilant certain events that happen around the world would not take place (Luke 21:36).
And most importantly the church should never cease to intercede for those suffering all over the world. The church must always remember that we have only one enemy which is the devil and as such we must approach situations and individuals that oppose the values and beliefs of the church with love, keeping in mind that we wrestle not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12).
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