"Nowhere are we commissioned to reform the externals."

By Will Chen on 16 May 2007 comments

Can you guess who is responsible for the following quote?

"As far as the relationship of the church to the world, it can be expressed as simply as the three words which Paul gave to Timothy—'Preach the Word.'

We have a message of redeeming grace through a crucified and risen Lord. This message is designed to go right to the heart of man and there meet his deep spiritual need.

Nowhere are we commissioned to reform the externals.

We are not told to wage wars against bootleggers, liquor stores, gamblers, murderers, prostitutes, racketeers, prejudiced persons or institutions, or any other existing evil as such. Our ministry is not reformation but transformation."  Source: Reason Magazine & NPR.

Those words were delivered by Jerry Falwell in a 1965 sermon.

Quite shocking to think that one of the key figures of the evangelical political movement once preached against political activism.

There are a lot of websites out there calling Falwell "the devil," "bigot" and other words not suitable for a family blog.  While I disagree with many of his ideas, it is interesting to see that at least at one point in time, we completely agreed about the role of faith in public life. 

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