¶740 Christian Compassion and Justice Ministries
The God we worship has a heart for the lost and hurting. He is a God of justice and truth.
The Old Testament prophets insisted that God always demands righteousness and justice. They kept reminding people that the people of this God must, as a part of life, leave space and resources for the needy and the hurting and the broken. (See Deuteronomy 24:17-22.) Talk of worshipping, praising and fearing God are found along side references to compassion for the widow and orphan (See Deuteronomy 10:12-21.)
When Jesus, the Son of God appeared, He announced that His mission was:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour. (Luke 4:16ff.)
He also taught that on judgment day true followers will discover that when they have lived out their life in him serving and helping compassionately, they were in fact been ministering to him! (See Matthew 25:31-46.)
The early church had a concern for the poor and needy alongside a passion to spread the good news of Christ and to invite new people to come to new life in Him.
Many years later John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, called people to experience personal salvation through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, while also pursuing social change. He opened a free medical dispensary for the poor. He wrote against bribe taking and smuggling. He supported the rise of education, particularly the Sunday School movement. He fought against the slave trade in every way he could. He supported prison reforms and the improvement of working conditions, and he freely gave his money in support of these various reforms.
The Free Methodist Church seeks both to evangelize and to serve, to be light and salt, and urges individual Christians and local churches to seek a variety of means to do both. (See ¶440)
Abundant resources exist in books, magazines, journals and elsewhere for developing full-orbed theology and practice for compassion and justice ministries. Denominational leaders and others who demonstrate discernment and understanding regarding compassion and justice theology and practice can guide people to these resources.
The Free Methodist Church in Canada has also agreed to partner with the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada. Because of their good work on moral issues and social action (MISA) we highly recommend each church join the membership of EFC. We also recommend partnering with World Relief Canada in worldwide compassionate ministries.