From the “it’s always something” department…
Southern Baptist pastor Grady Arnold submitted a resolution to the SBC (Southern Baptist Commission) this past week calling upon the SBC to “decry and reject the terms and framework of social justice,” that they “avoid the terms ‘social justice’,” and several other things.
The second sentence in the resolution contains this:
Whereas social justice by definition is based on anti-biblical and destructive concepts of Marxist ideology
Let’s take a tour and see how “anti-biblical” this justice thing is. (All emphasis mine.)
In church circles, hand-raisers are those who often express their worship by raising their hands. There are a large variety of hand-raisers, and others have covered those varieties much better than I could; e.g. this Tim Hawkins video gives you a quick rundown. (Hawkins is a comedian who happens to be a Christian, which is an entirely different, and much funnier, thing than a Christian comedian. See also Micheal Jr.)
Moses had some hand-raising friends, too, but of a completely different kind.
In Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Tom Stoppard followed in the footsteps of W.S. Gilbert1 before him and wrote a play in which two minor characters from Hamlet are the lead actors. Like much of Stoppard’s work, it is absurdist in nature, but is still pretty funny if one is familiar with the source play.
Today we’re taking a page from Mr. Stoppard and looking a little closer at one our minor characters from last time. This disciple uttered the line we examined in the second half of that post, but we know him for something quite different.
The story of Lazarus (John 11) is justifiably famous — it’s not often a dead guy walks out of his tomb several days after moving in (so to speak).
The story of the early days of the church from Acts 2 is also famous — it’s not often you hear guys spouting things in languages they’ve never learned.
Today we’re going to do a mash-up — we’re going to look at community, but we’re going to do it using Lazarus' story as our backdrop.
In honor of 121’s first Maundy Thursday event in our new building, my portion of the Journey to the Cross we did eleven years ago tonight, in the first year of our old building.
From this morning’s reading.
For YHWH your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe, who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the sojourners, providing them food and clothing.
You shall also love the sojourner1, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.
You shall fear YHWH your God;
Him alone you shall worship;
to Him you shall hold fast,
and by His name you shall swear.
He is your praise;
He is your God,
who has done for you these great and awesome things that your own eyes have seen.