Christianity as the Opiate of the Masses?

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I was singing the song “I serve a God, who is faithful and true…” when suddenly I thought how hypocritical Christians can be when we’re singing all these wonderful worship songs.

We can talk so much about how wonderful God is. We can sing about how wonderful God is. We can sing of worshipping God and serving Him. Yet, if we don’t go out and do what God wants us to do – which is to help the poor and oppressed – aren’t we mere hypocrites?

Sometimes when I think of how Christians neglect to help out in social, political and economic issues, I want to take a break from the Church. I see so many groups helping the poor and oppressed, fighting for their rights, sacrificing their lives to make a difference for the poor in the world. But these are mainly not Christian groups! That’s the funny and sad thing. Christians should be doing all this, but it is mainly groups that aren’t Christian that are doing these things. We Christians are so concerned about only spiritual-salvation issues, that we neglect to help the poor and oppressed in where they are.

It’s sad that I am finding myself more and more in solidarity and having an affinity with groups that aren’t Christians but who do things that my God would want Christians to do.

Whether it be the anti-war, anti-capitalists or anti-globalists, I see these people as helping the poor and oppressed.

Christians shy away from politics. They can’t be bothered about all that. That’s sad.

I believe in future I’ll be spending more time with non-Christians, than with my own Christian friends or own Church friends. But I think as long as I continue to do what I believe God would want me to do – i.e. helping the poor and oppressed – then I will confidently do my thing – even if it contradicts what the mainstream Christian view is.

Christianity without a social and political vision is the opiate of the masses. We need to hear the prophetic voice of Martin Luther King, Jr. once again :

A religion true to its nature must also be concerned about man’s social conditions. Religion deals with both earth and heaven, both time and eternity. Religion operates not only on the vertical plane but also on the horizontal. It seeks not only to integrate men with God but to integrate men with men and each man with himself. This means, at bottom, that the Christian gospel is a two-way road. On the one hand, it seeks to change the souls of men and thereby unite them with God; on the other hand, it seeks to change the environmental conditions of men so that the soul will have a chance after it is changed. Any religion that professes to be concerned with the souls of men and is not concerned with the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them, and the social conditions that cripple them is a dry-as-dust religion. Such a religion is the kind the Marxists like to see as an opiate of the people.

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