Supporting More than What's 'Right'

In recent weeks, President Bush has given more attention to some of the top social issues concerning Christians today.

At the beginning of May, the president held discussions on immigration with clergy in Washington and days prior urged lawmakers to come together on the complex and emotional issue of immigration, calling it "a critical challenge" now before the nation.

At the end of May, Bush announced that the United States was enforcing sanctions that ban 31 Sudanese companies owned or controlled by Sudan's government from the U.S. banking system. The new set of U.S. economic sanctions is aimed at pressuring Sudan to halt the bloodshed in Darfur and was welcomed by leaders of faith-based, humanitarian, and human rights organizations that have advocated for an end to the genocide there and for the millions displaced by the fighting.

The president is also pushing for $30 billion to fight AIDS in Africa over five years as the original five-year program commitment of $15 billion nears expiration in September 2008.

And just before the Group of Eight summit in Germany last week, Bush announced his intent to propose international meetings among countries producing the most greenhouse gases to develop a long-term strategy to reduce emissions by the end of 2008.

The greater attention that the president has recently been giving to issues more often associated with the "Left" than the "Right" reflects the increasingly common shifts being observed within the evangelical community, whose younger leaders have been pressing for a broader policy agenda beyond abortion and traditional marriage by trying to include AIDS care, environmental protection and education.

And with the recent passing of the Rev. Jerry Falwell, who personified the religious right for many Americans, it's becoming even clearer that the tide is changing.

But is this shift "Satan's attempt to redirect the church's primary focus" away from spreading the Gospel, as Falwell warned worshippers in a February sermon when discussing environmental activism by evangelicals?

Are some evangelicals using social issues, such as the global warming controversy, "to shift the emphasis away from the great moral issues of our time," as some leading Christian conservatives alleged in a letter to the National Association of Evangelicals in protest of the Green advocacy of one of its top officials?

While it is important to stand against sin and counter the culture of death, sex and immorality, there are more battles that are equally, if not more, important to fight. And engaging the latter, doesn't mean the former is any less important.

God's agenda for those He has called is much broader than the few issues that politically active Christians have been known to focus on and that have often – and unfortunately – been used to stereotype believers.

Jesus Christ – for the example – was someone who warned against the wages of sin and preached about hell and God's judgment. At the same time, Jesus taught about God's love and engaged in works to heal, to forgive, and most notably to save.

As Christians, we are called to follow Christ in word and in action, and serve as the light of the world. With so much darkness, can we afford to light some areas and not others?

Can we afford to spend all our efforts saving the unborn in America while countless children around the world are dying each day because they lack the treatment they need?

Can we afford to spend all our efforts banning a company that supports the homosexual agenda while not lobbying for a ban on other companies that could help lead to the end of the bloodshed of many?

More than just doing the "Right" thing, believers need to think more about what the truly right thing to do is.