A child goes hungry, not because there isn’t food in the village, but because his family has been ostracized for being Christians. They are not privy to the market place and so they have to fend for themselves by begging, trying to cultivate some foods from a meager garden and by digging through other people’s discarded trash.
Another young boy watches helplessly as his father is executed right in front of him, then is hauled off, brainwashed, strung out on drugs and given an AK-47 as a child soldier. This method is repeated over and over again by more than just the now infamous Joseph Kony. Other places in Africa as well as East Asia this is how warfare and power is perpetrated. Many times it goes unnoticed or unreported in our Western news sources…but it doesn’t make it go away for those who are suffering under this oppression and senseless bloodshed.
A young woman is kidnapped in the middle of the night from her bed and becomes a slave to the sex industry, where girls like her are property and a money making business. She is shipped in windowless crates, transported on trains, and moved from one place to the next to fulfill her slavers lust for power, greed and sex. When she is all used up, her body will be thrown out like garbage and the evil owners move on to other victims. Some say it doesn’t happen where I live…think again!
These stories are just the tip of the ice berg that is our fight against social injustice in our world today! It is something that all of us, who claim to be followers of Christ, should be engaged in to some form or another. Whether it’s helping in a food shelf, a soup kitchen from time to time, or supporting a governmental bill that will further help those in need. As Christians we are to be the very hands and feet of Christ, and I’m pretty sure He didn’t solely reside within the walls of the church to help those in need! A part of showing Christ’s love to those around us requires us to extend ourselves and help bring Christ to other’s body, soul and mind.
“A father acts on behalf of his children by working, providing, intervening, struggling, and suffering for them. In so doing, he really stands in their place. He is not an isolated individual, but incorporates the selves of several people in his own self. Every attempt to live as if he were alone is a denial of the fact that he is actually responsible. He cannot escape the responsibility, which is his because he is a father. This reality refutes the fictitious notion that the isolated individual is the agent of all ethical behavior. It is not the isolated individual but the responsible person who is the proper agent to be considered in ethical reflection.”
― Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Ethics
We, as Christians, have a responsibility to intervene in causes for those who cannot defend themselves or are powerless to act. As protectors of our world we not only seek to keep our environment healthy and clean, but we should also, in our power, seek to bring freedom and hope to those who have none. Social justice isn’t just for the bureaucrat, the foreign ambassador and the law maker on Capitol Hill…social justice is for all of us who have a voice and the will power to actually change the world for the better.
“Denouncing evil is a far cry from doing good.”
― Philip Gourevitch, We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families: Stories from Rwanda
The quote above is apropos…we can’t merely denounce something…watching a news story we just shake our head and say out loud, “What is our world coming to?” Yet we don’t do anything about it, we change the channel and move on in our own little worlds. This isn’t just an indictment on me this is an indictment on the entire Western world when we stand by and do nothing when whole cultures are being wiped out in semi-religious acts of genocide. When nothing is actively being done to stop the active violence in villages and the formation of child soldiers in third world countries. It is just plain wrong when nothing is being done to put a stop once and for all to the sex trafficking industry that enslaves men, women and children. I’m thankful for proactive political leaders and lobbyists who fight every day to change laws and make it an active war on these plights of our world! But it doesn’t just begin and end with these leaders and lobbyists…we too have a role to play as well! We too must roll up our sleeves and get involved! We too have a voice, and so we MUST use it!
“Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause”. –Isaiah 1:17
“Thus says the Lord: Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place.” –Jeremiah 22:3
“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.” -1John 3:17-18
To Stand with God and His justice, we as Christ followers, ought to be also stand for social justice and social reform so that everyone in our world might have opportunities for freedom. God, I believe asks us to stand for those who cannot make that stand themselves. To speak for those who have no voice, and to make a difference in our world through not only environmental activism but also social activism. We are called to BE THE CHANGE!