Tag Archives: justice

Social Justice with God’s Justice

Here is a dangerous post for this day and age.

Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more. -Proverbs 31:6-7, KJV

It certainly sounds as though Scripture is calling for helping the poor and needy to get drunk. So, when you see the panhandler and the homeless begging for money, just get them that drink you know they are just gonna buy, anyway!

Or …

We can remember that this passage is speaking of the wise ruler avoiding such things, to “Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded.” (Titus 2:6)

As co-heirs with Christ, we are to remain sober and help others to come to sober-mindedness in all things, but we must not be judgmental of those who feel the need to drown their sorrows.

Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction. Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy. . . . She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. -Proverbs 31:8-‬9‭, ‬20 KJV

Michael also spoke to this this week. It should be the job of the Christian man and woman to help those in need and “be a voice for the voiceless.” (And remember that the original meaning of dumb was “mute” or “voiceless”, not stupid.)

I am not one for going after “social justice” as it is called today. This modern movement has a tendency to forget the most important aspect in its desire to be all-inclusive, and a reason I like the King James translation of this passage: the Gospel.

The “social justice movement” has a tendency to meet physical needs yet ignore the underlying problems or blow those problems out of proportion. To “open thy mouth for the dumb . . . as are appointed for destruction” reminds us that we need to tell a fallen and messed up world that they are headed for Hell without faith in Christ.

Should we stand up for the poor? Absolutely.

The drunk and drug addicted? Without question.

The “minority” of non-whites (as well as mistreated whites) around the world? Undeniably.

Even the homosexual, transgender, and queer? Yes, yes, and yes.

But we do so while remembering that they are all poor in righteousness, hopelessly sinful in their natural state, and in need of a Savior.

We are to be peacemakers and show this world love and charity.

And we are to share the Gospel.

To do otherwise (on both counts) is to play God and condemn their souls to destruction. To have social justice without revealing God’s justice is unloving and cruel.

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It is time to speak up for those who have no voice. It is time to speak out for justice.

Jesus challenges me to speak up for others. There are those who have no voice. There are those who are down and out. God has a goal for me. It is not to be quiet. It is to speak up.

Jesus challenges me to speak out for justice. Justice cries out to be done. God is a God of love and God is a God of justice. Jesus will be the judge. Justice will be done.

Jesus challenges me to stand up for the poor and destitute. If I don’t stand up for the poor, who will? As much as I’ve helped the poor, I’ve helped Jesus. Jesus is clear on that. I am clear on it as well.

Jesus said “I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me. Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me— you did it to me.’” (Matthew 25)

“Speak up for the people who have no voice,
    for the rights of all the down-and-outers.
Speak out for justice!
    Stand up for the poor and destitute!” ~King Lemuel

Source: Proverbs 31:8-9

Justice is a term used for what is right or “as it should be.” Justice is one of God’s attributes and flows out of His holiness. Justice and righteousness are often used synonymously in the Bible. Since righteousness is the quality or character of being right or just, it is another attribute of God and incorporates both His justice and holiness.

Is God fair? Yes. God’s justice is with any partiality. I can trust God completely.

God calls on me to act justly. “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” (Matthew 23:23)

The moral righteousness of God is revealed in his laws and expressed in his judicial acts. God’s commands and judgments meet perfect standards of justice, and his apportioning of punishments and rewards is also perfectly just. God’s justice is impartial. God is God. God’s justice will be done.

A major aspect of justice is impartiality. A God who did not care about the difference between right and wrong and did not judge me for acting one way or the other would not be an admirable being worthy of my love or trust. The fact that God is just and will judge between right and wrong gives ultimate moral significance to my life and makes me accountable for my actions.

Special praise goes to Jesus for vindicating the penitent and the needy who have no human champions. Ultimately, all God’s ways will be seen as just and equitable.

  • 1 Peter 1:17  — 17 If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;
  • Deuteronomy 10:17  — 17 “For the Master your God is the God of gods and the Master of Masters, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe.
  • 2 Chronicles 19:7  — 7 “Now then let the fear of the Master be upon you; be very careful what you do, for the Master our God will have no part in unrighteousness or partiality or the taking of a bribe.”
  • Job 34:19  — 19 Who shows no partiality to princes Nor regards the rich above the poor, For they all are the work of His hands?
  • Daniel 5:27  — 27 “ ‘TEKĒL’—you have been weighed on the scales and found deficient.
  • Acts 10:34  — 34 Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality,
  • Romans 2:5  — 5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
  • Romans 2:11  — 11 For there is no partiality with God.
  • Galatians 2:6  — 6 But from those who were of high reputation (what they were makes no difference to me; God shows no partiality)—well, those who were of reputation contributed nothing to me.
  • Ephesians 6:9  — 9 And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.
  • Colossians 3:25  — 25 For he who does wrong will receive the consequences of the wrong which he has done, and that without partiality.

 


A True Prophetic Vision

Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law. -Proverbs 29:18, ESV

A prophet declares the word of the Lord. In that sense, pastors and evangelists are prophets!

But we tend to hear the word “prophetic” and think “telling the future.” There certainly is an element of this, but we must remember the the other part of prophecy: revealing what is hidden … not just the future, but in our lives.

Most importantly, prophecy reveals God’s expectations.

Therefore, a good pastor and evangelist remind people that God has set His expectation for how we are to live (summed up in the Ten Commandments, which are summed up as “Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself”), and that we will one day be judged by how we have done. More specifically, we will be judged by whether or not we followed God’s Son, Jesus.

The prophetic vision we have is that God has a standard, as modeled in Jssus, and He will be coming back to the earth in judgment.

If we neglect to teach and remind this world of this, people will throw off restraint and wantonly sin, either because they see no need for a Savior (“We’re basically good!”), or because they see grace giving them license (“We can do whatever we want, because God forgives!”)

We are either going to be judged guilty by how we rejected Christ or how we defiled Christ.

Only by believing in and emulating Christ’s sacrificial work – allowing His cleansing blood to cover us with forgiveness and grace to live a life of forgiveness, grace, and love – will we be ready for His imminent return.


The Untouchable One

The king by judgment establisheth the land: but he that receiveth gifts overthroweth it. –Proverbs 29:4, KJV

Eliot Ness and his team of Untouchables were FBI agents during the American age of Prohibition, known as the Untouchables for being unwilling to accept bribes or cutbacks on the illegal sale of alcohol.

Looking back on history, how many leaders can truly be called untouchable, untarnished by the dealings of our corrupt world?

Kings took unethical steps to get or maintain power. Popes bribed their way into the position. Presidents, Prime Ministers, Governors, and other figureheads bought, bribed, and weaseled their way into power or to maintain their seat.

How great is it to know that our Lord, Jesus, was and is untouchable by the ways of this world?

He cannot be bought or bribed, nor will He cheat or turn away from us.

He paid the price that needed to be paid for our own corruption, but He is without corruption and will one day judge the world.

The Untouchable One touched us with His cleansing blood to establish His everlasting, perfect Kingdom.


Does justice make sense to the evil minded?

Justice is a tricky thing. For many it is befuddling and confusing. They are seeking justice here in our country. Justice is truly found in God’s country (aka Kingdom) where Jesus has been given all authority.

There is evil in this world. There is an evil one (Satan or the Devil) and some people are clearly evil minded. The daily news reveals it constantly. God gives us a choice whether to choose God (and good) or evil.

We know Jesus and we know justice. We know justice will be served. It may not occur until the day of judgement but justice will be served. God is God.

Jesus taught us to pray that God’s rule and will would be done on earth as it is in heaven. We know what justice looks like. We are ushering it in here in earths countries.

Justice makes no sense to the evilminded; those who seek God know it inside and out.” ~King Solomon

Source: Proverbs 28:5 (The Message Bible)

Image result for evil minded


Leaving a Murderer Alone

A man that doeth violence to the blood of any person shall flee to the pit; let no man stay him. -Proverbs 28:17, KJV

It may seem like this verse is saying “Leave a murderer alone,” but we must remember that proverbs tend to speak on truths, not necessarily declare truths.

Rather, what Solomon was saying is more akin to “Avoid the violent person who refuses to change.” It does not mean that person should not be imprisoned or otherwise punished, but do not try to change the person.

That may seem like a strange thing for a Christian to say. Hear me out.

We can not change a person. Only God can do that. We can pray for God to change them, but it is His to do.

In fact, that was a big reason Jesus came, and it points to the ultimate truth of this verse.

Jesus shed His blood and sent the Holy Spirit to change us. If a person refuses the Holy Spirit and denies Jesus’ sacrifice (the full definition of “blasphemy of the Holy Spirit”), they remain under the wrath of God and responsibility for Christ’s blood being spilled. They are still on their way to the pit, to eternal death.

There is nothing else we can do after telling them the truth of the gospel.

Share the truth, but do not force the truth on them.


Because We Mess(ed) Up

The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the Lord. -Proverbs 19:3 KJV

“How could a good God allow …”

This is how a popular accusation against the existence of God starts. Sometimes there are specifics (“… my son to die?”), but generally it is more general (“… evil to happen?”)

My question was “Why didn’t He stop me from making that stupid choice?”

In each of these, we are angry with God for something happening to us or to someone we love (or for evil in general).

The Thing We Fail To Understand

The root of all of this evil starts with our own human nature, with all of our boneheaded or uninformed decisions.

Boneheaded because we know better but want something now or in spite of reason.

Uninformed because of assumptions we make without all of the facts or plain ignorance.

However, it all goes back to our ultimate parents: Adam and Eve. Yes, we inherited this sinful (rebellious) nature.

But the failure to understand comes in how this applies to a good God.

The thing is, God created us with free will. It is tainted by sin, but we are still free moral agents.

This freedom to rebel against God is what allows us to freely love Him, but it also means that more often than not we choose rebellion.

And God lets the natural consequences play out.

(Still within His control, mind you.)

Why does God allow evil and sad things? Because He loves us enough to let us choose that which causes evil, but He is also just.

Death, pain, and natural disasters are a result of our ultimate parents’ sin, but we perpetuate and exacerbate the problem with our own sin.

He does intervene from time to time, but ask yourself this:

Would you want to help people who constantly complain and blame you for what others have done?

Why should we expect God to ever help us?

(The short answer: because of the grace poured out through Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross.)