Don’t Give Up On Justice

justice

Don’t give up on justice (even when it doesn’t come)!

But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!” Amos 5:4 (NIV)

We don’t need another Martin/Zimmerman commentary. Apparently we could use a primer on hoping for justice. In light of the recent verdict, and the resulting turbulence, I’ve heard so many people comment that they have simply given up on the idea of true justice in our world. This is a dangerous position to assume. If we lose hope of the possibility of justice, our morality will deteriorate, and quickly.

How to keep justice alive:

  • Understand that only God can be truly just and we can’t expect humankind to behave like Him.  We are the same people who crucified Jesus, how dare we think that we will treat one another any better? We must have a realistic expectation. It has been this way from the beginning – people have been mistreating one another since Cain murdered his brother Abel in Genesis 4.
  • We must be redemption oriented. We have to work to provide a way to heal what has been broken. We must work toward wholeness, though it is slow in coming.
  • Forgiveness must be offered even when justice is refused. Lack of forgiveness turns to bitterness which turns to destruction – both of the victim and the perpetrator.
  • Have a Kingdom of Heaven mentality. Until we get to glory, all of this will continue. Look beyond today to what will come. This is hope that lasts, in spite of prevailing injustice.
  • Practice it. Justice must be for all, including you and me. Treat other people with equity and respect and humility. This is the Spirit of Christ at work within us.

Don’t give up on justice; it’s attainable, even if only by a few. And God alone knows justice – we can count on Him to make all things right one day.  Fix your hope on God!

The Fight against Widow Burning

sati-mitul-vyasSati, an ancient Hindu custom practiced in parts of India until 1829, was the focus of William Carey, Christian missionary. In this practice, a recently widowed woman would immolate herself (burn herself alive) on her husband’s funeral pyre.  We are appalled at such a practice.

Carey, a preacher and social reformist battled the ancient custom, seeking respect and fair treatment of these marginalized women. They had no choice in the custom. It was Carey’s relentless 25 year war against Sati which finally led to the famous Edict in 1829 banning widow burning.

A few critics condemned Carey for entangling himself in cultural issues. He was denounced by some Christians for spending time doing anything other than preaching the Gospel. But Carey stood for justice and God’s Word in regard to the treatment of women. Thankfully, he had an impact.

There are issues in our American culture that, in my opinion, scream for our focus, as much as Sati did for Carey. There are societal matters that have become political – but at the root they are basic human justice issues. One such example is abortion.

While some believe that abortion is taboo for public discussion, I believe that a battle must ensue. In the spirit of William Carey, those who believe in justice for all people must begin to speak out and act out on behalf of these marginalized people. Too many babies have been killed and too many mothers have been destroyed. Taking the life of an innocent child may be acceptable in our society, but it is an atrocity that must be addressed – and stopped.

Hopefully, one day, people will hear of our custom of killing babies and be appalled. Hopefully, this atrocity will end.