A Question Revisited

I posted this piece almost two years ago, and subsequent events have demonstrated that this transition is (or has been) occurring.  The news article linked is dated (and many more could now be added as further proof), but I think the final question remains valid.

Civic or Social?

Is there a trend developing? After a couple of decades of civic activism among Christians, are we now moving to social activism? It seems so. Christian leaders are becoming increasingly vocal about issues such as poverty, fairness, labor, etc.

Are they genuinely trying to reclaim important moral issues from the left? or is this the backlash from a perceived futility of civic reform?

Read this and let me know what you think.

Is this a legitimate transition, and if so, what can be done to prevent social activism from failing as dramatically as civic activism seems to have.

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6 thoughts on “A Question Revisited

  1. The anti-WalMart campaign is an interesting one Cameron.. I subscribed to their blog.. does that let me off the activism hook.. am I an activist?

    I do wonder what a WM boycott does for the cause of poverty? They employ lots of folks.. have the lowest prices.. seem to drive prices down at other places.. they are an American owned company.

    Aside from WM.. I applaud people being led by the Spirit when they get involved in activism projects.. as long as they do it in a loving way and refrain from hateful speech.

  2. I agree with Kansas Bob. As Christians, we need to remember that our true passion is for and from Christ. We need to be careful that we do not let the issue at hand become more important than Christ. We should be actively involved in improving the world – sometimes through civics, other times socially, but always spiritually.

  3. KB – Subscribing? Wow, dude! That’s way over the line there. Next thing you know you’ll be picketing your local Wally World. 😉

    Dave – I especially like your last line.

    I think Christians can and should be involved in social issues as well as politics. However, there is an inherent danger from both of letting either overpower us and our priority mission.

    That danger poses the real question. How do we involve ourselves without becoming overwhelmed by our “activism?”

  4. I agree with the WM spokesperson:
    “The fact is, union leadership is wasting millions of its members’ dollars on a failing campaign against a company that is good for working families,” Tovar said.

  5. Cameron,
    I know a few people who work at different WM’s, and one is my daughter. She is pretty pleased with her employment there.
    WM does a lot of community involvement services too. They give money to charitable causes in the local areas they’re in.
    They don’t pay Union wages but if the employees are happy with them, it seems to me they are doing us all good.
    T.A.

  6. Pastor Tim,
    I would tend to agree on WM. My wife won’t let me boycott or persecute them! 🙂 Seriously, I believe on an issue like this there are too many factors involved to safely bring Jesus into either side of the equation.

    My question is primarily about the current trend of evangelicals (in America at least) away from politics and toward social activism. There is much I could say, but I’ll save that for one more post instead of stretching out the comment section.

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