Church and Society logo As United Methodists, we are called to invite people to enter into a community of faith responsive to a vision of justice ministries that is. A.¶ of The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church says: 1) The annual conference shall organize a board of church and society or other structure. It is a time when people flock to churches in droves. There is just something about churches that society finds in times of tragedy and hardship.


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Our vision is acting for Peace and Justice through social involvement; identifying the need and then doing something about it. It has not only described the relations of religion to other functions in social life but seemed to explain it as nothing but a social function.

When the Church has accepted this view of itself it has given evidence of its church and society fall into worldliness, for now it church and society substituted civilization or society for God as author and end of its being.


Isolationism in the Church The most important reason, doubtless, for the prevalence of such "social religion" in modern Christian churches is their reaction against the isolationism which long characterized many of them. Isolationism is the heresy opposite to church and society.

It appears when the Church seeks to respond to God but does so only for itself.

The Role and Importance of the Church in the Community

The isolated church is keenly aware of the fact that church and society must answer to God-in-Christ church and society all its deeds and for all the values it administers.

But it thinks of itself as the being for which it must answer and it regards the secular societies with which it lives as outside the divine concern. Its attitude toward them is like that of certain Israelites toward the Gentiles or of Greeks toward barbarians—they are beyond the pale.

What is required of the Church, according to this conception, is the intense development of its own life and the careful guarding of its holiness. This holiness religion is intensely self-regarding both with respect to the individual Christian and with respect to the Christian community.

It thinks of the secular societies as antagonists of the Christian Church and as church and society the possibility of redemption.

They are not only mortal but sinful and must be shunned so far as possible because contact with them is defiling.

Church & Society – The United Methodist Church

It is the ark of salvation and the concern of its church and society and crew is to see that it rides safely through the storms which bring destruction to other groups and other men. It is not unfair to call this holiness religion irresponsible, for it is so in the definite sense that it disclaims accountability for secular societies.

It rejects not only nationalism but nationality, not only worldliness but the world. The politics and economics and sometimes the family life of human groups are regarded by the extremer advocates of holiness faith as too defiling for contact.

Hence the isolated church disclaims all church and society in these social functions and with the disclaimer tends to church and society the secular societies to their own devices.


Church and society history of the Church contains many examples of more or less extreme isolationism. It thought of the Church as a new society for the sake of which the world had been created and which was destined to govern the world.

Church and Society

Again in the monastic movement the temptation to isolation. These two sorts of irresponsibility, worldliness and isolationism, are evidently interdependent in so far as either extreme tends to call forth a reaction toward its antithesis.

The general tendency of the Church in the twentieth century has been toward a conception of social responsibility which virtually made it an agent church and society secular society. Under the circumstances it is not impossible that a strong countermovement will arise and that Christians will seek forms of church life that are independent of secular society not only in source but also in purpose.

The relation to God and the relation to society must neither be confused with each other as is the case in church and society religion, nor separated from each other as is the case in Christian isolationism; they must be maintained in the unity of responsibility to God for the neighbor.


Apostolic responsibility The Church is by nature and commandment an apostolic community which exists for the sake of announcing the Gospel to all nations and of making them disciples of Christ. The function of the Church as apostolic messenger to individuals is church and society, but emphasis upon it ought not to lead to the obscuring of its mission to social church and society.

The Gospel must be announced in different fashion when it is addressed to America or to Russia from the way in which it is proclaimed to individual Americans or Russians. Here again no absolute distinction can be made but it does seem important and imperative that the Church should discharge its apostolic responsibility by envisaging the needs of men in their societies as well as in their isolation before God.

This seems the more urgent in our time because the unbelief, the fear and sin of man come to exhibition more dramatically in the public life than else.

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