World Hunger: The Danger of Advocacy

Russell E. Saltzman

Article Type: Face to Face

Publication Date: 4/1/1989

Paired Article (Face to Face): World Hunger: The Necessity of Advocacy

Issue: Ministry and Mental Health (Vol. 9, No 2, Spring, 1989)

Does the “corporate church” rightly respond to world hunger with advocacy as well as relief? The Christian’s role in public policy, indeed in all areas of life, is uniquely and individually imposed by virtue of one’s baptism. Christian involvement in public issues of hunger, homelessness, law enforcement, welfare reform, national security, and other questions comes as a vocational response to the fact of being a called, gathered, presumably enlightened Christian. It is a role the Christian herself engages because she is a shareholder in the priesthood all Christians exercise under the lordship of Jesus Christ. My reasoning rests upon the principle of Christian freedom, where each Christian is individually responsible to God and to conscience. When the various divisions, units, levels, and coalitions within a denomination begin to speak as “the Church” to issues of public policy, someone somewhere has, in effect been “de-Christianized” because they, in conscience and in a proper exercise of their Christian freedom, hold to a different partisanship.

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