Campolo - "Social
Action not an Option"
"Standing up for justice can land you in
or worse. Martin Luther King, Jr. is recognized today by most
Americans as a great moral leader who stirred the consciousness of
America. But if you lived during the civil rights movement in the
1950s and '60s, you'll remember how sheriffs and mayors and
governors put him behind bars. We may revere King now, but his
practice of civil disobedience then earned him condemnation from
pulpits as a Marxist.
Imprisonment and violence are not the only
consequences of working as a Christian for social justice. There is
the danger of short-circuiting your pursuit of social justice by
aligning yourself with a political party. ...
Of all the 'principalities and powers' that St.
Paul writes of in Ephesians 6:12, the government is one of those
entities against which we are to wrestle as we seek to see God's
will 'done on earth, as it is in heaven.' Not that this wrestling is
always clear, when do we fight, and when do we submit (Romans 15:5,
1 Peter 2:13ff)? Therefore we must always deal with these
principalities and powers and governments with fear and trembling,
for political decisions seldom lend themselves to simple answers.
When you struggle with government policies, you are likely to find
yourself in controversy, and taking stands marked more by moral
ambiguities than by start right and wrong sides.
Social action is no longer just an option for
thinking Christians. The only questions remaining for us are what
issues will we address, what will we say, and then what will we
Adventures in Missing the Point: How the
Culture-controlled Church Neutered the Gospel by Brian D.
McLaren & Tony Campolo, Zondervan, 2003, (p. 110-111)