Question #36: The Church and Social Justice

The following question stems from my trip to the downtown east-side of Vancouver (it is the poorest neighborhood in Canada) and an informal meeting with the leader of a secular social advocacy group. The guy was fascinating and, although he has some different ideas and means to social change, he made the statement that the churches were doing commendable deeds by handing out food and clothing. He even went so far to say that they were doing such a good job that people could always find something to eat in the Downtown Eastside. However, he also commented that the churches were doing nothing to solve the problem, they were just treating the symptoms of it.

His comments got me thinking…

What is the extent of the churches role in society with social justice? Do we only treat the symptoms or do we fight for beating the disease?

I am a strong proponent of separation of Church and State but I admit, he got me thinking. Do we as the Church just stop at addressing the symptoms of hunger and not deal with the disease of our cultural, social and government systems that have cause the problem the the first place? Where to we stop in our fight for justice?

I am not sure of the answers but I have definitely started to ask the questions.

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