Someone asked me recently why justice-seeking figured so strongly in my approach to mission. I think they meant “as distinct from evangelism”. We were talking about asylum seekers.
I said something about the integration of the word (evangelism) and deed (loving our neighbour). I quoted Matthew 25, saying that for me one of the best ways to love God is to defend the voiceless. I left the conversation stunned that a Christian should wonder why I keep talking about justice. But then I realized that ever since the time of the prophets we’ve needed to spell out for each generation the call to justice.
So, here are my ten top overlapping reasons for being passionate about a gospel where justice is close to the centre. I reckon I could double the list without trying.
If we were to take to a Bible with scissors and cut out the thousands of verses about justice and the poor, we’d have a mangled mess of holes. In the Bible, our relationship to God is always tied to our relationships to each other.
We’re all equal before God
From Genesis 1 to Galations 3, the story is the same. Humans are made in God’s image and stand equally before God in our great variety. This Biblical truth is one of the pillars of the human rights movement. Staying with asylum seekers for the moment, to those who are “nobodies” because they are stateless and homeless, this is Good News.