The well-known "Parable of Babies in the River" shows the difference between charitable activities and social justice advocacy.


One day a man from a village was standing by a river and he saw a baby floating in the water.   He let out a yell, dove into the water, swam out, grabbed the child, and swam back to shore.

 

The next day another villager also retrieved a baby from the river.  By the end of the week the villagers had pulled dozens of babies from out of the water.  It was hard work. It was exhausting work. And it never seemed to end.  More and more babies were being found in the river and it took more and more villagers to save them. With increasing frequency some babies drowned before they could be reached.

 

One day, the man who found that first baby started to run up a path — not to the river. The people yelled, "Where are you going?  We need everyone available to help out!”  He said, "I’m going upstream to see who keeps throwing these babies into the river and try to stop him!"

 

The Prophetic Faith study invites us to “go upstream.”


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