Jesus, Chris Martin and fair tradeBy GradyBauer
Some say that we should only be concerned with the proclamation of the Gospel. That we shouldn’t concern ourselves with the community, with justice, with change…. that our task is simply to proclaim, to preach, to change individuals. Maybe it’s a knee jerk response to those believe in a social gospel which may not include proclamation. Maybe it’s because they’re afraid we’ll lose our focus and become nothing more than good people in an evil world. Maybe it’s because they’re afraid, afraid of actually having to take this faith we so value and release it off of the campus. Maybe they just don’t know how to interact with a lost world on the world’s turf. Regardless of the reason I think as we relegate our role as Christians to the singular role of proclamation we lose out on the fullness of the gospel.
Jesus said….”The Lord has put his Spirit in me, because he appointed me to tell the Good News to the poor. He has sent me to tell the captives they are free and to tell the blind that they can see again. God has sent me to free those who have been treated unfairly and to announce the time when the Lord will show his kindness.” Luke 4:18-19, NCV
What if Coldplay’s Chris Martin has a better grasp on part of Jesus mission than we do? Chris uses his global platform to bring awareness to Oxfam and Fair Trade. He wants to see those who are oppressed, treated unfairly receive a decent wage for their product/craft and to see justice for those who have been mistreated for so long. How can we say we follow Christ, that we believe in the Kingdom come and yet live holed-up on our campuses and seminaries without concern or action for those mistreated around the world? We should be leading the way on such issues as fairtrade, human trafficking, orphans and refugees. We complain about the government having to do more, about the prostitutes on our streets, about the kids in foster care and we walk around in our robes of righteousness determined our only role is to tell them about God’s love…..God forbid we leave the temple, get dirt on our robes and show them the very love we long to proclaim.
We live in a hurting, broken world. Instead of retreating into our middle-class, republican, mostly white, puritan like world of piety what if we threw open the doors, rolled up our sleeves and set out to be agents of justice, change and love among our communities. What if we spent more money on the hurting in our community than we do on our buildings, renovations and upgrades? What if we stopped building new temples and built an orphanage on our campus? What if we stopped asking “How do I build my church?” and started asking “How can I love my city, my community, the world around me?” What if we actually cared enough to show God’s love to those we proclaim it to?