Think about relevant social issues

Social Issues Sunday is Aug. 5.

By Carolyn Tomlin
Correspondent, The Alabama Baptist

Social issues can be defined as problems that influence a large number of people within a group. They may be social or economic, and they don’t always refer to an ill to be solved — sometimes they refer to a topic that needs discussing.

Social Issues Sunday — Aug. 5 — is the day Southern Baptists have set aside to discuss those topics in a special way. Many Alabama churches share the same social issues, but some are unique to particular areas.

In his writings Thomas Paine addresses the individual’s duty to “allow the same rights to others as we allow to ourselves.” Luke 6:31 underscores this — “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

Sunday School teachers and those who work with children and youth have opportunities to teach by encouraging the younger generation to make wise choices.

One idea is to adapt teaching materials to current social problems.

With older students, address issues that might surface and help them think through how they would deal with them.

Examples of questions to ask and ponder:

• You see a group of kids bullying a student in your school who wears different clothing because of her religion. What would you do?

• You have an unmarried friend who is pregnant. She is considering an abortion. What would you do?

• A family from another ethnic group attends your church. No one sits with them or speaks to them after the service. What would you do?

• You see a friend using drugs. They try to encourage others in the group to participate. What would you do?