A recent letter to the Mennonite World Review (July 18, 2016; print edition, not online) suggested…

God and Jesus did not get all that involved in social matters but did get involved in the salvation of souls.

– Paul D. Flaming

The Church faces the challenge of exegesis—the understanding, explanation, and interpretation of scripture. We have lots of disagreements about divisive issues, but I think many (most?) of them result from the different ways that we read scripture.

I would hope to convince the letter writer that I am also earnest and sincere when I read the Bible, and yet I come to almost the opposite conclusion. Nearly the whole of scripture reached its final form at the hand of writers and editors who were suffering under occupation and oppression. For them, the social and the spiritual go hand-in-hand; they are inseparable. It’s not a question of whether or not to be social or political, but whether how to be social or political. And remember, we (in the United States) are generally the ones in power, not the ones who are suffering because of it. I believe that this must shape our exegesis.