Within the evangelical community, there is this tension between social justice and a claim to biblical theology, most recently highlighted in the debate about same-sex marriages. (This is typically exemplified between liberal and conservative polarities.) I can appreciate what the tension tries to resolve.

God’s heart is to remind humanity that they are all worthy of his grace. Not worthy because of what we’ve done but because of his great love for all of us. He brings dignity even to those who are on the fringe. Many Christians seek to continue that by affirming all people whether because of gender, race or sexual orientation.

God also has a high standard of what life is meant to be. The very definition of “sin” is deciding how to live life our own way instead of God’s way (the premise being if God did create everything, then he should know how it all works best together). So many Christians hold tight in calling sin what it is and warning others against moving it.

A lot of times, Christians sway towards one polarity or the other, claiming their dominant premise of who God is (or how he is reacting).

Yet I try to hold on to both of these polarities in its tension because I believe Scripture demonstrates that God holds both a desire to uphold the dignity of all individuals and to hold humanity to a high standard of living according to what it was meant to be (i.e. God’s intended original plan). And it will continue to be a tension because I may never get the “right” balance between the two. It doesn’t mean I should give up on it, because Jesus did exemplify this balance so well in bringing dignity to those on the fringe while also challenging all to the high standard God set before humanity.

To be like Christ, I must continue to wrestle with this tension in my current finite understanding, trusting that God (being God) already knows how the two go hand in hand.

How do you deal with this tension?

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