Unfortunately as Christianity becomes politicized with the religious right and the religious left, issues are lumped on to one side, discouraging the other side from supporting that cause. Just as many on the religious left have ignored the evils of abortion, too many on the right shy away from issues of social justice.
While I will disagree with most liberals on how best to apply the principles of social justice, I believe as Christians we cannot ignore the plight of the poor and the oppressed. We are mandated in so many places in the Bible to care for those people, but I think it goes beyond simple what the Bible tells us to do (although clearly that is important). It goes to who we, as followers of Jesus, want to be known as.
In Isaiah 58, God is speaking to the empty faith of the Jewish people at the point. They were fasting, but while they were fasting they were being abusive to their servants and refusing to help the poor and hungry. God told them that their religious observances meant nothing to Him, if they were not followed up with the religious actions of serving others.
But what really struck me in this passage and what I believe Christians should strive to be in the area of social justice is what God says in verse 12:
Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins;
You will raise up the age-old foundations;
And you will be called the repairer of the breach,
The restorer of the streets in which to dwell.
If I am practicing my faith correctly, I should be known as a "repairer of the breach" and a "restorer of the streets."
So that leads me (and us) to this question: how many breaches have I repaired lately, how many streets have I restored? How much have I been out in the culture working to redeem it through my service to Christ and others?
Sure, I may talk about my faith with all my Christian friends and family, but how often am I out in the community, around lost people, serving? If you’re like me – not enough.