By looking at the Scripture references alone there is no question that there is a cultural mandate to take care and rule over creation. In my opinion, Christians should be involved with as many social areas of justice as possible. The reason we should be involved being that each of these areas gives us a platform for the spread of the gospel.
John Piper says, “The fact that any of us is healthy after sinning is owing to Christ’s mercy.” In other words it is only by the mercy and grace of God that any one of us is not facing one of these social issues such as poverty or a disease such as aids, and in fact some of us as followers of Christ are facing these issues. Piper concludes that this requires an extraordinary mercy on the part of Christians.
It is important to remember that just as Christ offered us grace that we did not deserve, so we too should be willing to be gracious to the world around us. Whether that is the homeless person on the corner near our home or the person with aids in our city or the person in Africa. It is sometimes easy to forget that it is Christ and him alone who give us a hope to believe in and that we should be willing to offer that same hope to the world around us. One way of offering that hope is through taking social responsibility and participating in the solution for diseases such as aids.
This is one area where the church at large is behind the “world” at large. It seems like actors, athletes, and musicians have made acts of social justice and fighting against the aids epidemic a popular trend that people at least on the surface believe in. Although, this trend in general is a good thing and doing some good, it is missing the key aspect of the gospel. It is a good thing to help people around the world, but if that is all that we do then their relief will only be temporary as they will be eternally separated from God without the message of the gospel.
It is important to note that although I believe the church should be as involved with as many social areas as possible, if the end result is only the involvement then they are the same as those outside the church and in the end it is only accomplishing something that is temporary. My prayer and hope is that God will allow followers of him to be raised up as researchers, medical professionals, and thousands of caring individuals that reach out to their own communities and the nations by taking social responsibility to care for the poor, provide clean water for those without, find cures for diseases, and offer a better life not only here, but also an eternal hope for the future.