Presentation on theme: "What the Lord Requires: Formation for Global Discipleship Doing Justice."— Presentation transcript:
What the Lord Requires: Formation for Global Discipleship Doing Justice
Glenn Beck, in March 2010: "I beg you, look for the words 'social justice' or 'economic justice' on your church Web site. If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes!...
Doing Justice “Communists are on the left, and the Nazis are on the right. That's what people say. But they both subscribe to one philosophy, and they flew one banner.... But on each banner, read the words, here in America: 'social justice.' They talked about economic justice, rights of the workers, redistribution of wealth, and surprisingly, democracy."
Doing Justice Proper focus for evangelicals: No reductionism—it isn’t all about justice Honor full scope of biblically-grounded concern for justice
Doing Justice Cases in Point: widow and orphan in a patriarchal (cultural power restricted to adult males) society Similarly: stranger in the land, beggar at the gate, prisoner Overall point: the Lord hears the cries of those who have no “voice”—the helpless before the structures of power
Doing Justice Psalm 146: 5-10 Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith for ever; who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin. The Lord will reign for ever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord!
Doing Justice God’s command to Israel (and to us) Deuteronomy 10: 19 You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. Deuteronomy 24: 17-18: You shall not deprive a resident alien or an orphan of justice; you shall not take a widow’s garment in pledge. 18 Remember that you were a slave in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you from there; therefore I command you to do this.
Systemic justice versus mere compassion: Evangelical inconsistencies here: race, poverty versus abortion, evolutionism
Doing Justice Political-economic aspects of sexual trafficking: Historical example: shift from 18 th to 19 th century in hymnody’s depiction of sinners: Alas! and did my Savior bleed, and did my Sovereign die? Would He devote that sacred head for such a worm as I? (Isaac Watts, 1707) Come home! come home! Ye who are weary, come home! Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, Calling, O sinner, come home! (Will L. Thompson, 1880)
Doing Justice Spiritual Formation for Justice 1. Grounded in devotion to Jesus His authority: ex., the Resurrection 2. Undergirded by biblical truth-claims 3. Nurtured by our experience of the love of a just God : Charles Spurgeon: “The doctrine of the atonement is to my mind one of the surest proofs of the divine inspiration of Holy Scripture. Who would or could have thought of the just Ruler dying for the unjust rebel? This is no teaching of human mythology, or dream of poetical imagination. This method of expiation is only known among men because it is a fact; fiction could not have devised it. God Himself ordained it; it is not a matter which could have been imagined.”
Doing Justice Spiritual Formation for Justice 4. Functioning as a clear focus of our worshiping life Mark Labberton, The Dangerous Act of Worship: Living God’s Call to Justice (InterVarsity, 2007), preaching about Psalm 27: 1: “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”