Social Justice and the Church…
The post title, unless you are under major pain killers or decongestants, is a big clue…Pastor talked about social justice.
I initially cringed, probably even outwardly. Why? Because it’s one of those terms whose definition has been twisted beyond recognition, primarily by politicians, and from their, certain other groups. It’s a phrase I avoid, and in some cases, detest, because of the twisted meaning.
But Pastor salvaged that with Scripture after Scripture that pointed to the mission of the Church in social justice. No, not the politico’s version of social justice, but real social justice. Here are a few examples of the many given (mine are from ESV, some do the passages more justice):
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
Dt 10: 17-18
For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.
Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.
God’s heart is for the fatherless, the widows, the poor, the homeless, those in prison, the alien far from home. We are instructed to do justice and to care for them. In the parable of the sheep and goats, we are divided into those that did and those that didn’t–with both sides not realizing what they had done. That is, those who did do justice did so so automatically, as a part of who they were, that it was second nature.
The difference between this and the politicized social justice is really in who is doing it: as Christ followers, we are encouraged and instructed to be the ones offering the care. The ‘other’ social justice makes demands the the government should do it. The problem with that, of course, is that it effectively removed the human element. Us, as individuals and as a Church, have the opportunity to make a connection with those we help, and in that connection, we can offer love, caring, concern, warmth, and ultimately, the gospel.
But it’s a personal responsibility, not the government’s. If we wish to take the cause of social justice seriously, we must do it.
Yesterday, Maddie let me actually leave the nursery in time to the service. For which I was very thankful, not because I don’t like being in the nursery (I do like it), but because of the message. The post title, unless you are under major pain killers or decongestants, is a big clue…Pastor talked about social justice.…