I Just Have To Get This Off My Chest


chest

 

Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless;
Plead the case of the widow.
[Isaiah 1:17]

Despite what some on the extreme right might think, Christianity, and indeed pretty much all religion for that matter, is a social justice movement.

Having just returned from a mission trip to Africa a friend of mine taught me a new word.

Ubuntu, it means, “I am because we are”.

The word “ubuntu” captures perfectly an irrefutable truth about humanity. We are all connected.  If there were no we, there could be no I.

And because we are all connected, we cannot stand idly by while those of us who are weak are mistreated, oppressed or simply ignored by the strong.

To call defending the oppressed Social Justice is a misnomer. All justice is social justice.

In a week were the news headlines have been dominated by racial violence in the U.S., religious war in Iraq and Syria and political ideological tensions between Russia and the European Union over Ukraine, we need to be remember this, now more than ever.

But how to we achieve justice?

I believe we need to go back to the very beginning and start looking at the world the way God originally intended. In the beginning God created mankind in his own image. That means everybody. It means that no matter what, or whom you are facing, every person on this earth is an infinitely valuable image bearer of the divine. Full stop, no if ands or buts about it.

If our starting point for negotiating on all matters concerning justice is that point, the entire argument changes. Negotiations about justice always start in the wrong place and end up leading down a path no one want to go. Negotiation is always about compromise and usually one party, sometimes both are left feeling cheated. But when you start negotiating from a point of fellow image bearers, it is no longer a question of balancing competing interests or compromise. It is a questions of how best to bring honor to our creator.

God is Love, not a socially acceptable compromise or negotiated settlement.  And He is certainly not about the killing of innocents or the oppression of minorities.

Sorry for the rant, I just had to get that off my chest.

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