From A. W. Pink’s Exposition of the Gospel of John:
From what has been said, it will be evident that when God told Moses to make a serpent of brass, fix it upon a pole, and bid the bitten Israelites look on it and they should live, that He was preaching to them the Gospel of His grace. We would now point out seven things which these Israelites were not bidden to do.
3. They were not told to fight the serpents. If some of our moderns had been present that day they would have urged Moses to organize a Society for the Extermination of Serpents! But of what use had that been to those who were already bitten and dying? Had each stricken one killed a thousand serpents they would still have died. And what does all this fighting sin amount to! True, it affords an outlet for the energy of the flesh; but all these crusades against intemperance, profanity and vice, have not improved society any, nor have they brought a single sinner one step nearer to Christ.
Wow — this quote alone, I think, is enough to earn Pink a nomination for Outhouse Sainthood. Of course, nowadays we don’t crusade much against intemperance or profanity, but it’s not hard to find the Christian Crusades of our day. The right have the gay marriage front, and the abortion wars — which (as Z notes) often become more about the vice of teen fornication than about homicide. And the left would have the church crusading against poverty, climate change, and oppressive American imperialism.
Now I think we are probably able to look back at the early 20th century and agree with Pink that all of their “crusades against intemperance, profanity and vice, have not improved society any.” And even though legislation against gay marriage is the right thing to do (Natural Law), I wouldn’t say that it would actually “improve society any”. However, I can’t resist affirming that, if Roe v. Wade were overturned, then many states would ban many categories of abortions, and thus many babies would be saved. And that I would call an improvement to society.
More importantly however, is Pink’s final point, that “all these crusades against intemperance, profanity and vice, have not … brought a single sinner one step nearer to Christ.” So here at the Outhouse, we are in agreement with Pink that the Gospel is not aimed at the problems of society, and any solution for society is worthless when it comes to the problem the Gospel is aimed at, namely sin.