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In The News
   
 
 

 

In The News

 

February 28 - Justice Conference: Social Action Essential Part of Gospel

Article: Social Gospel
 

Getting involved in solving social ills should be an essential part of the Christian community, not an optional extra. That was the resounding message heard by 4,000 people at the Justice Conference this past weekend.

The second annual Justice Conference, a two–day event to promote dialogue about issues such as human trafficking, slavery, poverty, HIV/AIDS and human rights was held at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Ore. Speakers including an all-star lineup of leaders fighting for social causes were joined by representatives of 100 organizations to challenge attendees to integrate action into their faith, event organizers said.

"It's a deepening of the foundations of social action especially from a solid evangelical and Christ-following perspective," he said. "There are many practical things [presented at the conference], but there was one idea that kept coming through and it was this whole idea of really bringing the Gospel to bear to the Church; that following Jesus necessitates putting things right, right relationships particularly among the most vulnerable, the forgotten, the voiceless.

Golden said World Relief's goal at the conference was to help evangelicals, especially those having thoughts that engagement in social issues "could be a slippery slope towards the social Gospel," see the biblical mandate for doing so.

"I see the conference not as an end to a means, but a means. I think it is a mechanism for God to stir the pot and catalyze a lot of things from His end that we might not have recognized going into the conference," Wytsma said.

"The conference is really trying to say something about a theology of justice. It's something that we are hemmed into and it is a theological necessity. Justice operates in all spheres of life and our relationships need to be in right order with God and our neighbor," he explained.

Wytsma said he was certain that putting a priority on building a foundation for social justice by asking for God's help produced a favorable climate for the event.

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