Posted by: Jeff Warren | October 22, 2009

Let Justice Roll

Our God is a God of justice. We often speak of His righteousness, but “righteousness” and “justice” are actually interchangeable words. Matthew 6:33 could be rendered, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His justice, and all these things shall be added to you as well.” Obviously, justice is a big deal to God. At it’s core, doing justice means doing the right thing. In so many ways we have missed the mark. Listen to the His words in Amos (an entire book on justice):

“I can’t stand your religious meetings. I’m fed up with your conferences and conventions. I want nothing to do with your religion projects, your pretentious slogans and goals. I’m sick of your fund-raising schemes, your public relations and image making. I’ve had all I can take of your noisy ego-music. When was the last time you sang to me? Do you know what I want? I want justice- oceans of it. I want fairness- rivers of it. That’s what I want. That’s all I want.” Amos 5:21-24 (The Message)

Are you just doing church or do you practice justice? Do you simply offer commentary on the plight of the poor, the oppressed, the under-resourced, or are you actually doing something about it? If so, then you are a kingdom person; if not, read those words above again- and again- until you’re moved to action. Let justice roll in your life.

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Responses

  1. Are you just doing church or do you practice justice? I have been struglling with the term “justice” as we present it at FBC, especially as it relates to a missional focus? How do we measure success practicing judgment if it’s important to God? If we buy “fair-trade” coffee— without teaching the farmer how to increase production– aren’t we artifically propping up the market– until we get tired of this fad and move to the next new “justice” issue? I think this passage says, church, quit doing these projects and get back to the fundamentals of reaching folks for Christ and training them up….. stick to the essentials of the faith… what am I missing? truly struggling…..

    • “How do we measure success practicing judgment if it’s important to God?”- indeed… THIS is question. I think Chris hit the nail on the head Sunday (practicing justice starts in our everyday lives- at work, in marriage, family, etc… doing the “right thing”).
      I agree with you- let’s make sure we’re investing much in the arena of personal evangelism. I agree too that fair trade scratches the surface of an issue that is so much larger (but it does scratch at it and raises awareness of the issue that would otherwise probably not be on our radar). I don’t know many people (ANY people in McKinney) who are ready to go teach the farmer how to increase production. we need to connect ourselves with those who are and support them. These are probably missionaries on the ground in those areas (through the IMB, Mission Direct, etc… worth looking into). I agree with you that God would have us focus on reaching the lost and I would hope all of our efforts (fair trade or otherwise) would always be in view of winning those with whom we partner to Christ. Standing up for justice, compassion, mercy, etc… simply give us a platform upon which to present the Gospel. If we’re not doing that then we are offering the WHOLE the Gospel for sure. Thanks… let’s keep struggling, wrestling… I’m with you!

  2. I love this conversation! And I would add that the problem for American Christians has to do with how we hide from the call of God regarding justice and equity behind the props of worship, evangelism and other worldly spirituality while people all around us are going under, living in hell right now. N. T. Wright wrote something that I find interesting. If Christians believe in the resurrection, they will turn to bring the other side, the reality of eternal life to people in the here and now, just as Jesus taught us to pray. Like the anciet Israelites, we too often hide in and bask in worship while Lazarus lies just outside the door needing our attention to his wounds and our concern to ask how in the world did he end up there.


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