Thursday, 29 November 2007

Doing justice

Gary Haugen, the boss of International Justice Mission, comes with a big challenge to us on the issue of engaging with injstice in the world. This is taken from his book "Good News about Injustice".

“Many who lack faith will shrink away from the distant, dark world of injustice. Still others will water down the Word and imagine that they can love God without loving their brother or wanting to ‘justify’ themselves, they will invent elaborate quibbles with Jesus about who is and is not their neighbour.... To these the Lord says: “When you stretch out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen. ....Learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. (Isaiah 1:15-17)”. (p.35)

This is a great challenge to those of us in church leadership. To what extent do we see a concern about justice as a normal part of ministry? To what extent is it part and parcel of doing the whole gospel and church thing together?! We cannot choose whether to love people or not, we cannot choose whether or not to be just. As Christians, it just isn't something we can opt out of. As churches it can't be optional extra. How can we speak of the just Judge who calls all to account and not demonstrate that in our own living?