Joshua Lawson of the Federalist ponders churches’ responses to recent protests that have sparked riots and looting across the country.

As churches across America restart in-person services, Christians and their pastors are feeling the heat. The “heat,” however, is not from the lack of air conditioning in the sanctuary as things get hot and humid — it’s the pressure to “say something” in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Yet just as Christians shouldn’t feel obligated to issue “official church statements” every time sin is committed (there would be little time for anything else), they should oppose demands from Black Lives Matter activists to “take their Christianity further.” Why? The gospel is already sufficient.

Believers living out Christ’s commands to love God and love their neighbors as themselves led the West’s push to abolish slavery. Christians acting out a sincere application of the gospel were at the forefront of the civil rights movement, a movement steeped in the biblical message of neighborly love. We’re already in possession of the ultimate “user’s manual” to bring peace to our nation and defeat evil wherever it lurks — it’s called the Bible.

One of the most emblematic summations of the insidious “say something, the gospel isn’t enough” line of thinking was expressed by author and blogger Kristen Howerton. On Twitter, Howerton implored her fellow believers, “Do not treat the protests as a new mission field. Do not go to ‘love on people’ or to lead people in prayer. Do not go to ‘be a Christian voice in the crowd’ or to share God’s love or to witness to people. Go to fight systemic racism and racial violence. The end.”

This sort of belief is omnipresent right now among American Christians of all ages. … What we need to do is live out the teachings of Jesus Christ to the best of our flawed human ability every day.