(Photo: The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)
While applauding young evangelicals who have taken up causes such as opposition to injustice regarding the poor, the orphaned, and the enslaved, and who have helped increased awareness of such issues as sex trafficking and world starvation, Pastor David Platt said he is concerned about the lack of enthusiasm among some Christians on other issues like abortion and same-sex marriage.
"I'm concerned for lack of zeal, not exclusively, but particularly among young evangelicals on social issues that are just as, if not in some ways much more important like abortion and sexual immorality, and so-called same-sex marriage," Platt, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., preached at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary on Thursday. "On some of these issues, younger evangelical Christians [and] prominent church leaders are often strangely quiet."
Platt observed, "We live in a day that we can be passionate in our stand against poverty and slavery, injustice that we need to stay passionately against, but issues that don't bring us into conflict with the culture around us."
He said that on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage that are much more contentious, Christians are less likely to be passionate and more likely to be passive. "In this way our selective social justice looks more like a selective social injustice," he asserted.
"I'm zealous to show that followers of Christ do not have the option of picking and choosing which social issues we are going to apply biblical truths to," Platt preached. "I'm zealous to show that the same Gospel that compels us to combat poverty compels us to defend marriage and the same Gospel that compels us to war against sex trafficking compels us to war against sexual immorality in all of its forms."
He stressed, "There are battles raging on the frontline of culture and we do not have the option of choosing which battles we are going to fight and which issues we are going to flout."
Platt believes that if the church is going to engage the current culture Christians must engage in the current social culture battles that are being fought. "For far too long we have flinched on a multiplicity of battle fronts," he said.
Christians should "fight abortion as an assault on God's creation and an affront to God's glory," Platt stated, after pointing out that 130,000 babies are aborted daily around the world. "I do not believe it is an overstatement to call abortion a modern holocaust; that is an understatement."
He wanted to make it clear that abortion is not a complex issue. "If that which is in the womb is a person formed by God, this issue is not complex at all," he said.
"Moral or political neutrality here is not an option for those who believe this Gospel," Platt continued. "There is a battle raging in our culture, and if you and I sit idly by while millions of children, individuals in the image of God, around us are dismembered, then we are denying basic biblical truth that forms the foundation for the Gospel we claim to believe."
The Gospel should compel "contrite, compassionate, courageous" cultural engagement, according to Platt as reported by the SBTS publication Southern News.
Other issues that Platt believes Christians should not be passive on include sexual immorality, defending traditional marriage by example, and leading unreached people to know the love of Jesus Christ.