I wanted to continue the discussion from a post I made a week or two ago. I promised to open up some questions I left unanswered….here are some of those questions:
Does the NT also address social justice/issues the same way the Old Testament does?
How does this relate to us today in modern world?
Why should you care?
What social justices should we be concerned for/ fighting for?
The OT addresses social justice. I think that is clear in the Deuteronomic law as well as in the prophets. For example, caring for the poor and needy widows and children. Does the NT continue to address these topics?
Yes, indeed it does! Who did Jesus minister too? He lived among the poor.
Look at James:
“Let the believer who is lowly boast in being raised up, and the rich in being brought low because the rich will disappear like a flower in the field” (1:9-10).
“But be doers of the word and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like” (1:22-24).
“My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, ‘Have a seat here, please,’ while to the one who is poor you say, ‘Stand there,’ or ‘Sit at my feet,’ have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?” (2:1-4).
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,’ and yet you do not supply these bodily needs, what is the good of that?” (2:14-16).
“Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you. Your riches have rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days. Listen! The wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous one who does not resist you” (5:1-6).
We should care about this because the Bible tells us to. Because we should follow Jesus’ example. And because there are real issues of social justice that need to be dealt with today.
Here in America, we have it all. And we are well off!
And we are well aware of the issues at hand around the world.
We know that we are wealthy and we know that not everyone else in the world has all the luxuries and toys the we have.
God is calling us to not be complacent and to share our wealth with those in need world wide.
Complacency has a way of creeping up on us all. Those of us in America live our lives in comfort, free–for the most part–of concern for the rest of the world.
Just as in Amos’ time, the scene in Israel during a time of prosperity (mid-8th century BC). On the surface, things probably looked great. Religious services were well attended. Unfortunately, God’s message wasn’t getting through. The heartfelt relationship to God had grown cold.
It is like that in America. This is why we should care and be concerned!
What issues can we deal with?
*disclaimer: I copied this list from http://www.uua.org/socialjustice/issues/index.php
And I do not agree with all their solutions listed in their hyperlinks….
The list is a great tool and for my use is to show you that Christians need to take a stand and put action to our words and God’s Words!
I leave you with lyrics to Tree63 song “The Revolution”:
Who will feed the hungry if we don’t?
There’s people losing their lives ‘cos we won’t
If we believe but we still do not follow
Then maybe we don’t believe
If we could only love this world like we’ve been loved
Then all the world would know what love is really made of
We live in plenty, there is more than enough
For what the world needs, but not for our greed
Another world is possible yeah
Another world is possible yeah
The revolution’s far from over – it’s not over, it’s not over
Once upon a time a small seed
Died in the soil and became a small tree
Now it’s a forest still growing silently
And waterless earth turns green
Full stomachs and both parents
and a church that acts like it
really believes that the Good News
is is good news for everybody everywhere…