Systems vs Personal Responsibility

I’ve been seeing posts like “Racism isn’t a bad habit. It isn’t a mistake. It is sin. The answer is not sociology, it’s theology.”

This quote is true. The gospel is the only way that the evil in all of our hearts gets destroyed by the Spirit who is given to all those who receive Jesus as the Spirit-conceived, virgin-born, perfectly obedient, crucified, risen, ascended, and glorified Lord and Savior.

Both Democrats and Republicans take a systems-based approach to things:
-Environmental justice; regulating oil companies, gas tax
-Regulating abortion, defunding Planned Parenthood
-Taxpayer funded access to contraceptives
-Gun control/gun safety
-Border control/immigration/ICE
-Police use of excessive force/war on drugs
-Government lockdown/infectious disease/economy
-Same sex marriage/wedding and private businesses

People in the black community who say they are victims of racial disparities are right and others in the same community say they can overcome the victimhood mentality and rise above their circumstances are also right.

There will always be a place to call people to repent and believe in the gospel, to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins.

But there is also a place to fight bad laws. William Wilberforce fought against the slave trade in the UK. Activists fought against institutionalized slavery, against child labor, against poor business practices in the meat industry which led to the FDA, and against lack of seatbelts in cars.

If Christians always said to “live quietly and preach the gospel,” virtually none of these legislation would have been passed unless people, whether a professing Christian or not, fought for them.

We need to balance the fatalism that says people will always sin and abuse their power with the realization that there are tangible steps we can take to better take care of the material needs of our neighbors, even through legislation, always efforts towards abolition were meaningless.

We have to balance the soul with the body.

We also need to balance the optimism of pragmatism that says we can eliminate systemic violence with better laws with the fact that there is evil in our hearts that no law can reach, but only the Spirit when one repents and believes in the gospel of Christ.

We have to balance the body with the soul.

We are embodied souls, so let us take care of both.

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