Some Christians admire the activism of Christians like the late Martin Luther King II; but shy away from the social justice implications of the Gospel.
Social justice is a primary aspect of God’s mission. The bible emphasizes the need for social justice and leaves us in no doubt that God is legislation as well as love, is hygiene as well as holiness, in work as well as worship. In fact, the Bible has more to say about politics, wars and economics than about what most people would call ‘religion’.
The God of the Bible worked in and through political events. Biblical record clearly shows that in His mission God works for justice both in personal and social terms. Such concern figures large in the Old Testament prophets, it is clearly taken up by Jesus and integral to His message of God’s reign. Mission works for those things that reflect shalom, which affirm the reign or kingdom of God; thus it extends to the exposing and opposing of all destructive powers that deny the Lordship of Christ and keep people less than fully human. Such powers make for injustice, exploitation, poverty, hunger, homelessness, brutality, racism, militarism, colonialism, imperialism, totalitarianism and the like.
Jesus and his disciples were clearly seen as revolutionary by those who recognized the significance of His message and his action, and his life. The early Christians embraced an entirely different set of values from those held by other members of society. Those original values are still in conflict with the values of contemporary society; yet religion today has become as conservative a force as the force the original Christians were in conflict with.
thanks to the late Jim Punton
Previously published 15/6/14