In preparation for a discussion on immigration, I’m trying to get a feel for how the church has done when it comes to speaking with a prophetic voice on social issues. That is, how well we’ve done at speaking to issues from a Christian standpoint.
I’m thinking of a number of things that over time society has come to recognize as wrong. I’m wondering how well the church has done in speaking out on these issues before the general society did so. A good example today is abortion. The church, to a large degree, has identified this moral outrage as something that needs to be corrected. What about other issues?
Here are some issues that come to mind. Beyond the actions of specific individuals, do you think the church in this country was ahead of society or behind society in speaking out?
- The genocide of the native population
- The breaking of treaties with the native population
- Imperialistic wars/The taking of foreign lands by force (I’m thinking Mexican-American and Spanish-American Wars specifically; you might know of other such conflicts)
- Child labor
- The internment of Asian families during WWII
- Jim Crow laws/racism
Christians often speak of following the laws of the land unless they conflict with God’s laws. Yet few of us can point to an example of anyone who has actually fallen into “civil disobedience” because of religious convictions. Some of the above might have called for such reactions, so I’d love to hear of examples.
Can you think of examples of how the church took a stand against the above injustices?