Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Social Justice in a hurting world. What is Social Justice?

Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "Social Justice in a hurting world. What is Social Justice?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Social Justice in a hurting world

2 What is Social Justice?

3 court

4 homeless




8 There are many definitions of social justice …

9 Social Justice Fair and proper administration of laws conforming to the natural law that all persons, irrespective of ethnic origin, gender, possessions, race, religion, etc., are to be treated equally and without prejudice. Business

10 It is not just the matter of eliminating hunger, nor even of reducing poverty…It is rather of building a world where every man (person), no matter his (their) race, religion or nationality, can live a fully human life… Pope Paul VI, On the Development of Peoples, Populorium Progressio, Encyclical letter of 26 March 1967, Article 47 Social Justice

11 Social Justice? Social Justice is what faces you in the morning. It is awakening in a house with an adequate water supply, cooking facilities and sanitation. It is the ability to nourish your children and send them to a school where their education not only equips them for employment but reinforces their knowledge and appreciation of their cultural inheritance. It is the prospect of genuine employment and good health; a life of choices and opportunity, free from discrimination. Michael Dodson, Annual Report of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner 1993, p. 10

12 Social Justice deals with many issues, including: The sick and disabled The elderly Homeless issues Poverty Asylum Seekers Refugees Criminal Justice: Police, courts and sentencing, prisons, youth and gang crime Economic Dependency and Unemployment Fair and accessible education Family Law Housing Children in care The most vulnerable in societies

13 Social Justice Issues Local – e.g. homelessness, youth crime National – e.g. Indigenous injustice, unemployment International – e.g. world poverty, slavery

14 Different Approaches to Social Justice Welfare Charity Justice Aid Development Empowerment Evangelism based Mixture of the above Very different Time Frame & Motive

15 Don’t confuse social justice with good works Social justice should not be confused with charity or good works. It is not that both charity and good works are wrong, but they are only part of the answer. Charity relieves symptoms. Social justice addresses and seeks solutions to issues such as poverty, homelessness, abuse and lack of housing.

16 Social justice involves both the giving of resources and one’s self. It involves both personal and community sacrifice for the benefits of others. Social justice is not about welfare programs; it is about the building of community, respect for human dignity and self worth, a fair share and distribution of resources and the search for wholeness.

17 Why are Christians so Involved in Social Justice Initiatives? What motivates Christians to help others? Are Christians called to help beyond their Christian neighbours?

18 Why are Christians So Involved in Social Justice? Because God first loved us and we respond to His love by showing love to others Because Jesus was Because the Bible tells us to be Because we see Jesus in our fellow brothers and sisters

19 It’s no coincidence … “It’s no coincidence that in the Scriptures poverty is mentioned more that 2100 times. It’s not an accident. That’s a lot of airtime, 2100 mentions. You know, the only time Christ is judgmental is on the subject of the poor. ‘As you have done for the least of my brothers and sisters, you have done it to me’ (Matthew 25:40). As I say, good news to the poor.” From On The Move by Bono, based on a talk to the National Prayer Breakfast, Washington DC. December 2006

20 In the Bible … There are 2,130 sections on poverty and justice in the Old Testament and 718 in the New Testament. The book with the most poverty and justice references in the Old Testament is Psalms, with 247 verses. The New Testament book with the most poverty and justice references if the Gospel of Matthew with 124 verses. Jesus spoke about poverty and justice many times. In Matthew alone there were 16 occasions when Jesus spoke of poverty and justice. Other instances are recorded in over 290 verses in the New Testament.

21 Justice and Equality The themes of justice and equality run throughout the biblical witness of God’s encounter with the creation. They tell of a deep compassion for justice in the creator’s agenda for communal life – a life enriched by the values of compassion, mercy, forgiveness and reconciliation. The ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus are the fulfilment of this promise. The cross of Christ is a sign of God’s justice and compassion, freely given for the purpose of reconciliation with God and between the whole of the created order.

22 “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” The principles of these encounters, this seeking after justice are to be seen in the Parable of the Good Samaritan, and are incarnated in the words, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself”. The parables of Jesus give the reader an insight to the being of God as just and compassionate, which confronts our own expectations and prejudice.

23 Mission Declaration Jesus himself, as he announced at the beginning of his public ministry, his mission declaration, clearly understood the place and importance of justice in God’s plan when he says: The spirit of the Lord is upon me to bring Good news to the poor He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives, The recovery of sight to the blind To set free the oppressed And announce that the time has come When the Lord will save his people. Luke 4:18-19 (see Isaiah 61:1-2)

24 Jesus practised what he preached He sought out the rejected, engaged ordinary people, healed the sick and reminded the leaders of the day not only of their responsibilities but obligations to the community. He dined with prostitutes and tax evaders, never compromising himself, but always extending God’s mercy and forgiveness.

25 Jesus embodies inspiration and hope for Christians The story of Jesus provides a framework for the mission of the church and its justice and welfare obligation. It does not follow on from belief, it is the essence of belief, “to love God and to love one’s neighbour”. Love and service in the name of God are the core of our justice agenda. An agenda which is of God and not of us.

26 Jesus demonstrated a commitment to Social Justice We can look at the Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6), likewise in Matthew’s Gospel the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5). We can examine the Parables which always challenge our perceptions of what God is like, always challenging our understandings of justice, or the story of the sheep and goats and the day of judgement (John 10), or the great commission (Matt 28:16-20, Mark 16:14-18, Luke 24:36-49, John 20:19-23).

27 The disciples demonstrated a commitment to Social Justice The commitment to social justice has not been easy for the church, yet as recorded in Acts, the struggle to realise this goal was central to the church’s early mission: Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common. There was not a needy person among them, for as many who owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold. They laid it at the apostle’s feet and it was distributed to each as had need. (Acts 4, 32, 34-5)

28 Christian Justice In essence, the Christian understanding of justice is the task of restoring the covenant relationship between God and his people, fulfilled in the events of the cross and resurrection. The biblical texts confirm that justice is an integral and essential part of the identity and integrity of God confirmed in both the divinity and humanity of Jesus. A God, who throughout history, deals justly with his people, always remaining faithful in an environment of sin and human unfaithfulness.

29 Summing up Justice and charity ministries are grounded in Scripture. They are not an optional extra. Scripture is the account of the pursuit of God’s justice. Justice and charity actions can be seen in the ministry of Jesus. God’s creation is to be a just creation. There is an obligation, if not expectation that followers of Jesus will act and do as he did. Justice and charity ministry is a part of the mission of every faith community and not to be regarded as an optional extra, or add on. Hope is what we have to offer – we are called to share with God the great act of reconciliation. Engagement in a ministry of charity and justice will be risky, challenging and at times demoralising.

30 Why are Christians So Involved in Social Justice? Because God first loved us and we respond to His love by showing love to others Because Jesus was Because the Bible tells us to be Because we see Jesus in our fellow brothers and sisters

31 Why are Christians So Involved in Social Justice? BUT … Whatever we do, it is done in response to the love of Jesus, who brings good news – especially to the poor and the oppressed. He equips us to be God’s hands and heart in this mission of love and grace. Reverend John Henderson (former General Secretary NCCA)




35 Your Challenge Listen to God’s call on your life to be involved in social justice initiatives – there are so many possibilities. Work with: The sick and disabled The elderly The Homeless People living in Poverty Asylum Seekers Refugees People in prison or caught up in youth and gang crime The Unemployed People who need support to gain fair and accessible education Family Law support agencies Children in care or become a foster carer The most vulnerable in societies

36 Your Church’s Challenge Justice and charity ministries are grounded in Scripture. They are not an optional extra and should be part of every faith community…. – What is your church doing in the area of social justice? – Is your church family ‘on the same page’ understanding the importance of social justice? – Can your church improve what it is doing?

37 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Matthew 25:35-36

Download ppt "Social Justice in a hurting world. What is Social Justice?"

Similar presentations

Ads by Google