Letter to the Editor

The Bible is not a social gospel

Sunday, January 30, 2005

To the editor:

In my letter, "Values include moral judgments," I gave biblical righteousness priority over social-welfare issues.

We do have the responsibility as Christians to have biblical standards of morality and to make moral judgment about right and wrong.

We must stand up for what we believe is right and against what is wrong. If that turns out to result in making narrow and pointed judgments, so be it.

Sometimes people get upset when anyone takes a public position about moral judgments. We risk being branded judgmental, narrow and self-righteous.

Contrary to popular opinion, we have a rock-solid basis for making moral judgments: the Word of God, the Bible. That is God's truth, not mine or anyone else's.

Pontius Pilate asked Jesus a narrow question just before he had him scourged and crucified: What is truth? Apparently, Pilate thought there was no basis for making moral judgments either.

Jesus gives priority to the regenerating and transforming power of the Gospel over social-welfare issues. In Matthew 26:11, he said: "For you have the poor with you always, but I will not be with you always."

Social-welfare issues are very important, but they are secondary to the greater issues of biblical righteousness for which Christ died and arose again from the dead.

There is a distinct difference between biblical righteousness (biblical moral values, if you will) and social-welfare issues (the social gospel, if you will).

Sixty million people went to the polls Nov. 2 and showed they knew the difference.

RAY EPPS, Jackson