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Question and Answer

Confronting the Political and Social Elements of Our Ungodly Culture


As a representative body of Christ on this earth and before the world, why doesn't the OPC actively engage, confront, and reproach the political and social elements in our society as they promote ungodly behavior as acceptable? I believe that many of the churches have been too silent too long and that the result is the vulgarization of our culture and the acceptance of sexual deviancy in many quarters. Few opposing voices have been heard from the church, with a few exceptions noted.

Thank you. God bless.


You are perhaps aware that there are debates in Reformed circles about what is called the "spirituality" of the church, i.e., "How much does the visible church get involved in the world, speaking to the world and society, and how much does the church focus on advancing the kingdom through the ministry of the Word, the sacraments, and church discipline as they transform the lives of God's people causing them to be salt and light?" There have been different answers given by Reformed theologians over the years, but the Westminster Confession of Faith in Chapter 25 definitely focuses the visible church's effort on "gathering and perfecting the saints, in this life" (WCF 25.3).

But, of course, since the Word of God speaks to all of life, including the moral and social evils of every age, a faithful church will, through the preaching of the Word confront those evils. Martin Luther once wrote that "At the preaching of the gospel gates of Satan's prison fly open, and the walls of his kingdom are shaken; he finds himself in danger of losing his principality." Those who once had been committed to the support of abortion, for instance, have been transformed by the gospel, repented of that sin, and now work through crisis pregnancy centers to turn women from abortions. Christians also write letters, participate in the annual March for Life in Washington, DC, and around the nation, provide clothes for newborns, adopt babies, take in single moms, and so on.

The Orthodox Presbyterian Church understands very well the moral and culture climate in which we live. Pastors throughout the OPC address these things Sunday by Sunday as they preach the Word of God. On rare occasions the General Assembly of the OPC has issued statements addressing moral evils (you can find some of them on the OP website), but the denomination believes that the best way to address the evils you mention is to preach the Word of God faithfully and to call upon God's people to live as citizens of a heavenly kingdom. The ethical portions of the Bible (and they are many) are aimed at instructing God's people how to live holy lives in an unholy world. This is how we are salt and light here, by remembering that we are aliens and strangers whose citizenship is in heaven (Matthew 5:13-16, Philippians 3:20, I Peter 2:11-12).

About Q&A

"Questions and Answers" is a weekly feature of the OPC website. The answers come from individual ministers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church expressing their own convictions and do not necessarily represent an "official" position of the Church, especially in areas where the Standards of the Church (the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms) are silent.

The questions come from individuals like yourself. If you have questions about biblical and theological matters, you are invited to send them by e-mail by using the "Pose a Question" link on the OPC home page or by clicking here.

At least one new question is posted each week, so there should always be something new here for you to read. (For those people who would like to look at previous questions and answers, they will continue to be available as well.)

The purpose of the OPC website's "Questions and Answers" is to respond to biblical and theological questions. Matters of church discipline, disputes, or debates go beyond the scope of our work. We recommend that you present your concerns in these areas to the appropriate judicatory. In most cases this will be to a local pastor, elder, or session. We do not want the website to replace personal involvement in, or commitment to, the local, visible church.

While we will respond to every serious questioner, we are not bound to give a substantive answer to every question, should we deem the question to be beyond the scope of our purpose or our own ability to answer.

You will receive an answer by e-mail. Please be patient as many of our respondents are busy pastors. The response to your question may take up to two (2) weeks. Some of the questions submitted will be chosen to be posted here, along with the corresponding answers.

Note that the "Questions and Answers" posted on the site have been edited—all personal references are removed, Scripture references or from some source may be added, and sometimes portions are expanded—to make the questions and answers more useful to a larger audience.

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