It's confusing yet strangely gratifying all at the same time. We live in a culture that is moving further and further from the exclusive claims of Christianity yet almost equally—and inconsistently—holds select passages in the Bible in high regard. They hold forth as though they cling tighter to the red letter words of Jesus than those who claim to be Christians. Of course, it’s true that many who call themselves believers fail to live in a way that reflects how we are suppose to live, but these failures are not indicative of a bankrupt theology but rather our need for a perfect Savior. Perhaps this is why Scripture, in various ways, implores us to guard our testimony as unbelievers struggle to separate the message from the messenger. In contrast, while the work of many social justice advocates may encompass a zealous neighbor-love approach, it often neglects a gospel-centered focus lacks any risk.
In the book of Matthew, we read the account of Jesus being asked by a lawyer which of the commandments was the greatest. Jesus’ response included not one, but two. The first, he said, was to love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind and the second was like the first, that we ought to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matt 22:37-40).