SOCIAL JUSTICE (Part 1)
The whole topic of social justice from a Christian perspective has
always interested me. As a boy growing up in
A heartbreaking experience took place for me on the island nation
The simple question often asked is....why? Why is there inequity? Why do some have and others don’t? The answers are varied. Bad choices, greed and mismanagement to name a few. Often though, it's the innocent and the young who are born into poverty who suffer the most. That form of social injustice is truly hard to take. The bible is clear in how we should approach this. A verse found in Micah 6:8 says “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” There is no doubt whatsoever about the clear Biblical injunctions that impose a social responsibility upon the Christian, and especially a concern for the poor and underprivileged. In James 2:14-16 it says “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed" but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?” Also in 1 John 3:17 it says “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” These verses do not, however, require us to follow every person, organization, or body of opinion that claims to be promoting social justice. Not only has God clearly imposed social concern upon us in the Scriptures, but in them He has also given us guidelines to direct us.
What, then, is social justice in Biblical terms? "Justice" and "righteousness" are part of a way of life which God expects of us as His people (see Ps. 11:7; 1 John 3:7). This stems from the kind of character which we possess, and is in turn the reflection of what God Himself is and how He acts (1 John 3:7). Social justice is essentially the outworking of this way of life in our relationships with others. It is thus not an option that we may accept or avoid at our choice; it is a necessary part of our practical Christian living.
To be continued in Part 2
By: David Jones