We recently wrapped up a message series at Grace Hills about four of the big values we stand for, and justice was one of them. Rasool Berry wrote an excellent piece on the subject at Relevant’s blog. Here’s part of it…
To do justice today is to follow the widow and the abolitionists’ example and work to undo the ways that we, in our fallen humanity, deny access and opportunities (economic, political, social, etc.) to the vulnerable. Whether it is the right to freedom that is taken in human trafficking or the right to due process in the criminal justice system, doing justice means securing these rights and opportunities “with liberty and justice for all.”
If we want to truly follow Jesus, we must be committed to justice, because He is. When we look at the Bible holistically, we see the mandate is for every citizen in the kingdom of God to eradicate injustice The command is there, hidden in plain sight like a plot twist in a movie that our eyes missed because they were looking for something else.
The stakes couldn’t be higher. Inner cities throughout the nation are saturated with despair and broken systems that tragically limit the human potential within them. Unaffordable housing, substandard education, unjust laws, crime and fatherlessness are all at epidemic levels. Our cities are full of people with valuable gifts and immeasurable worth, but we’ve allowed oppression to mask their talents and contributions. True justice finds ways to empower the marginalized, enhance their lives and offer them a safe place to thrive.
A biblical standard of justice must be a core value that we understand is essential to the work of announcing the kingdom of God. We can no longer hold up models of making disciples that focus on personal righteousness yet ignore the social dimension of righteousness—justice.
Followers of Christ must challenge the divide that exists along socioeconomic, racial and gender lines. This is not a secondary issue; it is a Gospel issue and therefore, a discipleship issue. We “must go through Samaria” (John 4:4) and choose to engage those who are marginalized, just like Jesus did! Then we must make sure those we disciple go there too.