Eugene Cho

social justice matters because the gospel matters

Social justice.

Those two words – depending on the circles you  roll with – are either really bad news or really good news.

But for the latter, it’s not truly the good news.

But if you truly believe in the good news … as in the Gospel

If you truly believe in the Gospel, then you have to believe that it matters not just for your personal salvation and blessings but God’s pursuit of restoration, redemption, and reconciliation for the entire world.

I believe in this Gospel.

I live for this Gospel.

And while folks may disagree on the meaning, context, and agenda behind the vernacular or verbiage of such words as social justice…

Christians ought to agree in the Gospel that is revealed to us in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.

  • a Gospel that not only saves but also serves
  • a Gospel that not only saves but seeks to restore all things back unto the One that ushered forth all that is good and beautiful
  • a Gospel that not only saves but ushers in the Kingdom of God
  • a Gospel that not only saves but restores the dignity of human beauty – even in the midst of our brokenness and depravity.

This Gospel is not just for us. It is good news for all

- especially the least, the marginalized, the poor, the forgotten, the forsaken, the alone…

How can we not believe in this kind of Gospel…when this Gospel has been extended unto us?

Truly, the Gospel saves…but thankfully, it does more than save. The Gospel not only saves, but invites us to a life that God intended for us and in that pursuit, God desires for us to

love mercy, seek justice, and walk humbly.

One of the things that’s giving me great joy and vitality in this current season of my life  is our church’s commitment to bumbling and stumbling our way in living out the Gospel.

Mind you, it hasn’t been easy but it’s been a culture – rooted in the Scriptures and the Gospel of Christ – that we’ve sought to incubate and incarnate from the beginning of our church.

During the month of November, we challenged and invited the church to help us raise $50,000 over two Sundays to fund the vision of our church’s Justice & Compassion Care Center. The pastors and elders were so humbled and amazed by our church as we collectively gave $70,105.24.

Part of those funds was allocated to hire a Homeless Advocate & Case Manager to work with our Justice and Compassion Pastor and to identify an office space (outside of our small building space) and closer to the main streets of our larger neighborhood.

Something pretty crazy happened: A 2500 square feet office space was extended to us – for free – and to use for the purposes of living out our faith.

the gospel matters…

And so, we begin this week with the mini-renovation process of making the office spaces our own as we get ready to celebrate the open house of the Quest Justice & Compassion Center on the last Sunday of January.

If there are some encouragement I can extend to my readers, fellow pastors, and leaders:

  1. build the culture of biblical justice and compassion. and remember, it takes time
  2. cast the vision again and again – and again.
  3. don’t underestimate yourself, your leaders or your church – especially if you’re a small/medium sized church.
  4. loving your neighbors often means serving your neighborhood.
  5. don’t give up.

Regarding #5, the work of justice and compassion is well…in the long run…not very attractive or dare I say, “sexy.” For example, advocacy for the homeless or housing challenged community is a struggle and if we’re honest, it’s the blog post no one wants to read.

But…the gospel matters.

Update: Here’s an update of the Bridge Care Center (about 9 months post launching) and video:

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17 Responses

  1. Annie M says:

    This is so exciting!

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Eugene Cho, Ben S and others. Ben S said: "How can we not believe in this kind of Gospel…when this Gospel has been extended unto us?" @EugeneCho http://tinyurl.com/2wlrx58 [...]

  3. [...] because the gospel matters « eugene cho [...]

  4. [...] Like everyone else I saw the videos and news stories tracing Ted Williams’ meteoric rise to fame. I hadn’t planned on writing about it however, until I read a huffingtonpost.com post by Eugene Cho. I quote: “Stories of redemption & encountering God never grow old. They are the most beautiful stories. We are created in the image of God. We are loved by God. This — in essence — is the definition of human dignity. Indeed, the Gospel matters …“ [...]

  5. Jason says:

    Awesome….you guys are an inspiration….

  6. [...] Social justice. Those two words – depending on the circles you  roll with – are either really bad news or really good news. But for the latter, it's not truly the good news. But if you truly believe in the good news … as in the Gospel… If you truly believe in the Gospel, then you have to believe that it matters not just for your personal salvation and blessings but God's pursuit of restoration, redemption, and reconciliation for the entire wo … Read More [...]

  7. Indeed an inspiration to us all. Never would social justice be negative on the eyes of the people with a pure heart.

  8. [...] While it’s true that it’s often the blogpost no one wants to read, it has to matter if the Gospel truly matters. [...]

  9. [...] The Holy Spirit will convict and change. May our lives simply testify and point to the truth and gospel of Christ. [...]

  10. [...] Thank you for not only loving Jesus but for living in a way that demonstrates that the Gospel matters… [...]

  11. [...] The Holy Spirit will convict and change. May our lives simply testify and point to the truth and gospel of Christ. [...]

  12. [...] Wow. Amazing. Makes me wonder if we truly believe in the Gospel? [...]

  13. [...] Wow. Amazing. Makes me wonder if we truly believe in the Gospel? [...]

  14. [...] Cho also tackles this subject on his blog today with this intro, “Today is World Day of Social Justice. Those two words, “Social [...]

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stuff, connect, info

One Day’s Wages

My Instagram

17.5 Year Anniversary!
We still got it. We look gooooood!

Blessed to be back in Princeton, NJ for couple days recently. We had our wedding ceremony in Korea but got "legally" married in the US at Miller Chapel in Princeton Seminary. So, it was only fitting to go back and have my kids take our 17.5 Anniversary  pics. Someday when our kids become adults and they feel like their parents wronged them or neglected them, and they feel like they need to get counseling... I'm going to show them this picture and say, "I HAVE PROOF. WE TOOK YOU TO NYC AND BOUGHT TICKETS TO WICKED ON BROADWAY!" RIP Robin Williams. 
Folks: Please go and - call or hug your loved ones. Tell them you love them. Remind them how you much appreciate them.

We need to (re)learn how to be more human. Don't avoid eye contact. Don't hide behind gadgets. Smile often - both to neighbors and strangers alike. Ask about peoples' stories. And listen.

And most importantly, remind yourself that YOU are loved. Not just merely by your loved ones but also by the ONE who created all that is good and beautiful. Dang. The bright lights of NYC. 
Having been a youth pastor in Flushing between 1992-1994, I really miss this place.

Empire State of Mind. Smitten my NYC. There's no place like this city in the world. The Statue of Liberty. "Give me your tired, your poor..."

my tweets

  • I'm disgusted by ISIS but for now, I choose to remember James Foley's life and legacy. - goo.gl/KeI5LO http://t.co/ba4OkpNbu9 || 3 hours ago
  • I'm truly grateful for journalists who seek to ensure that truth is told...so that the world can never use the excuse, "We didn't know." || 4 hours ago
  • Whether it's Syria, Ferguson, or elsewhere, I'm truly grateful for journalists that put their lives on the line to ensure truth is told. || 8 hours ago
  • Utterly heartbroken for the family of James Foley. Remembering them in thought and prayers. RIP JamesFoley. http://t.co/nX5xNiskbw || 10 hours ago
  • We'll never truly move forward unless we go together. May the Church be the headlights & not taillights. Let's take reconciliation to heart. || 14 hours ago
  • I want justice - oceans of it. I want fairness - rivers of it. That’s what I want. That’s all I want. [Amos 5:24] || 1 day ago
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