Too often involvement in the public square for the church is limited to issues that threaten its existence, comfort, and the status quo. The faith community is publically relevant, not when it acts as a critic of societal patterns, but when it engages in advancing positive and adequate alternatives to public issues. The question is, to borrow from Richard John Neuhaus, “no longer about relevance but about relevance to what and toward what end.” A church’s public voice must promote the interests of more than its own membership for it to actually be a public voice.
Adapted from "Widows in Our Courts," chapter One of Wasted Evangelism, an exegesis of the Widow story in Mark 12.
Chip M. Anderson, advocate for biblical social action; pastor of an urban church plant in the Hill neighborhood of New Haven, CT; husband, father, author, former Greek & NT professor; and, 19 years involved with social action.