Justice in action
All of us hold to things that are precious to us, just like Gollum in J.R.R Tolkien’s monumental work The Lord of the Rings held the “one” ring as precious to his own heart. Precious, the ring, finally led Gollum to his death.
In our own lives we also have things or persons that are precious to us. Our children, family, property, education, the right to the exercise of religion, the right of our children to grow up in smut-free and moral environments and many more.
However, more and more so-called democratic governments all over the world are starting to infringe upon all these preciousnesses in our lives. Today, these governments are enacting laws that make immorality legal. Things like pornography and homosexuality, and these governments are even starting to think that speaking out against such immoralities should be seen as hate speech, punishable under the law! Now that is turning justice on its head!
Christian action, will assist Christians to ensure that we live in a world that is free from oppression, a world in which Christians can live out their Christian world view without the fear of being persecuted for that view.
Christian action is the involvement, and indeed commitment, of Christians in society engaging in the culture wars to right the wrongs of society such as abortion, pornography, homosexuality, euthanasia, sex education, gambling, evolution and many more. It is a case of Christians appropriating a Biblical world view and making that view count in the market of ideas.
Christianity changed the world
The thought of not having Christianity in the world and expecting the world to be in the same condition as it is now, is like thinking of a world without Jesus and expecting to still speak of B.C. and A.D. It is simply preposterous!
If it weren’t for Christianity, we would not have had a world with the freedoms and advances we now experience.
Christianity has been part of the solution to many diverse cultures. Christianity has brought the written language to many different cultures where there was none. Christianity brought a stop to cannibalism in many tribes. Many cultures saw the end of human sacrifice due to the influence of Christianity. Christian missionaries put a stop to infanticide in China where unwanted babies were simply left to die on communal heaps or to drown in “baby ponds.”
William Carey, the father of modern missions, had the practise of “suttee”—the burning of widows still alive on the funeral pyre of their deceased husbands—outlawed in India. Tens of thousands of children were saved by Christian women such as Anna Bowden, Mary Slessor and Amy Carmichael. It was also the persistent work of Christians who brought a stop to abortion in the Roman Empire and also later in Europe and America.
Slavery came to an end due to the incessant work of Christian men such as Lord Wilberforce. Slavery is still practised in Moslem countries! Other men involved in the eradication of salvery are David Livingstone and General Charles Gordon.
Hospitals as we know them are an innovation by Christianity. Even the nursing profession was founded out of love for Christ by Florence Nightingale. The Red Cross was also founded by Christians.
Many schools and universities like Harvard, Princeton and other Ivy League universities were started by Christians for the training of pastors.
Where would this world have been if Christians such as those mentioned above were not involved in society?
It is for the greater good of society that Christians get involved in society to ensure that Biblical justice is afforded to all, not just for one group of people!
The Bible on Christian Action (or Justice)
When a government or any other group within society starts treating others unfairly, then Christians must stand up as the voice of reason. It happens that in most countries, those with the money get “more” justice than those without money.
As Christians we need to stand up for the fair treatment of all people. Lev 19:15 tells us that
"You shall do no injustice in judgment; you
shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to
judge your neighbor fairly.”
We are also told in Deut 16:19 that
“You shall not distort justice; you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous.”
A good government will ensure that all its people are treated justly, just like “David administered justice and righteousness for all his people.” (2 Sam 8:15; 1 Chron 18:14)
It should be in the heart of every Christian to see justice done in society. We are instructed to pursue justice and justice alone (Dt 16:20). It is a blessing to those who keep justice and practise righteousness (Ps 106:3).
We should be crying for justice in our hearts and act it out in society, especially for those who cannot do it for themselves! In a nation where abortion, pornography and crime rule, we are the ones who should stand up and be counted for true justice (Ezek 18:5-9).
Justice for the weak
In any nation it is imperative that all people are cared for. However, the Bible mentions proper justice for three groups of people: foreigners, orphans and widows. It is also true that these are the three groups that are most often neglected. We are instructed to ensure proper justice for these people (Dt 25:17; 27:19).
We need to stand up for the weak: “Vindicate the weak and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and destitute.” (Ps 82:3)
God maintains justice
If God is interested that justice be done for the weak and destitute, then who are we not to get involved in actions where justice can be ensured for the weak and destitute? (Ps 140:12)
If God is our example, then we should also exercise “lovingkindness, justice and righteousness.” (Jer 9:24)
God expects us to practise justice
God loves justice (Ps 37:28) and indeed it is written that "righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne." (Ps 97:2) The book of proverbs was written to instruct in “righteousness, justice and equity” (Prov 1:3).
As important as it is to sacrifice unto the Lord our time, etc, He is more interested that we “do righteousness and justice” (Prov 21:3) and to “preserve justice and do righteousness” (Is 56:1).
We are to “practice justice between a man and his neighbor” (Jer 7:5-7). Jesus asked the question, “Who is your neighbour?” The proper answer to that question is that every other human being is my neighbour!
We as Christians are also to work for the deliverance of those who are under the power of an oppressor (Jer 22:3). Who are more oppressed than our children? Is it not true that our government murders almost 60,000 of our children every year through the vile act of abortion?
Our children are being oppressed by humanistic educational policies that blind them to the truth of the gospel. They are being force fed the lies of evolution. They are being exposed to pornography and homosexuality and all other kinds of vile acts in our media.
We, on the other hand, are to “observe kindness and justice” (Hos 12:6). We are to establish justice in the halls of government power (Am 5:15). The Lord requires of us to “do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with” Him (Mic 6:8).
To tithe and give to the church is not good enough. We are to get involved. The Pharisees thought that they could get away with doing the least possible, yet Jesus told them that they have neglected the weightier things like “justice, mercy and faithfulness” (Mt 23:23) and “the love of God” (Lk 11:42). We need to “rescue the weak and needy” and to “deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.” (Ps 82:4)
God has made it clear that we need to stand up for those who cannot do it for themselves (Is 1:17).
We need to understand Biblical justice. The Bible should inform our world view concerning justice and Christian action.
1 MY son, if you will receive my words And treasure my commandments within you, 2 Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding; 3 For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding; 4 If you seek her as silver And search for her as for hidden treasures; 5 Then you will discern the fear of the LORD And discover the knowledge of God. 6 For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, 8 Guarding the paths of justice, And He preserves the way of His godly ones. 9 Then you will discern righteousness and justice And equity and every good course. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; 11 Discretion will guard you, Understanding will watch over you, 12 To deliver you from the way of evil, From the man who speaks perverse things; 13 From those who leave the paths of uprightness To walk in the ways of darkness; (Prov 2:1-13)
Justice and evil
In the mindset of the wicked, there will always be some form of justification for their wickedness, and so as a result any form of Biblical justice will bring terror to their hearts (Prov 21:15). This can of course lead to some form of persecution to those who do works of righteousness.
“Evil men do not understand justice” (Prov 28:5) and it is because of this lack of understanding that they fear Biblical justice. It is this lack of understanding that drives our government. A good government will give “stability to the land by justice,” however, bribery and corruption will overthrow a country (Prov 29:4).
God even speaks out a woe against those who enact evil laws.
1 WOE to those who enact evil statutes And to those who constantly record unjust decisions, 2 So as to deprive the needy of justice And rob the poor of My people of their rights, So that widows may be their spoil And that they may plunder the orphans. (Is 10:1-2)
Justice relies on truth
A proper Biblical justice can only be practised if it is based on Biblical truth. When our world view is tainted by the jadedness of post-modern humanism, how can we expect to perform our Godly duty to our neighbour who is in trouble? We need to have a world view based squarely on the Bible in order to perform a righteous service to society.
Hebrew has a wonderful way of saying things in order to link the concepts involved. It is called Hebrew parallelism. When Hebrew wants to emphasise two phrases or words that must stand together as a concept, then this construct is used. We can see just such a parallelism in Ps 85:10,
10 Lovingkindness and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
In this verse “lovingkindness and truth” stand together with “righteousness and peace.” In order to have “righteousness and peace” we need to have “lovingkindness and truth.” “Righteousness and peace” in a country depends on the “lovingkindness and truth” exercised by that country.
We see the same kind of parallelism in Ps 89:14,
14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Lovingkindness and truth go before You.
Again, “righteousness and peace” work together with “lovingkindness and truth.”
We do not have justice or righteousness in this country since from government level, people have turned their backs on truth and walking uprightly. (Is 59:14)
Yet, when a nation, led by a righteous government walks in righteousness, that nation is exalted, but “sin is a disgrace to any people.” (Prov 14:34) South Africa does have a bad name because of its incessant crime.
It is amazing that even in the Bible it is understood that when oppression and denial of justice reigns in a country, it is because a bunch of evil people in government are covering each other’s backs.
8 If you see oppression of the poor and denial of justice and righteousness in the province, do not be shocked at the sight; for one official watches over another official, and there are higher officials over them. (Eccl 5:8)
As Christians we are to stand against evil to overcome it. It is by the good that we do that we can overcome evil (Rom 12:21). We should not let the world speak bad of the good we do (Rom 14:16), but rather, we should stand up for what is right and true in God’s eyes.
We should seek that which is good for all people, not just for ourselves (1 Thess 5:15) and so we need to turn our backs against the evil of this world, whether it is perpetrated by the government or ordinary people and instead expose the evil (Eph 5:11).
Peter Hammond of Frontline Fellowship writes,
“That our fallen world needs changing is beyond
question. When our newspapers and films glamourise immorality,
undermine traditional family values and encourage selfishness, greed
and lust; when criminals escape justice by legal technicalities; when
half of the world suffers under totalitarian dictatorships and
persecution; when pornography, perversion, abortions, terrorism and the
occult are increasing - then we know that this world needs to be
“Many Christians have surrendered to the forces of darkness, entered into negotiations and co-operation with idolaters, demythologized the Bible, removed “offensive” Bible passages from our preaching and lowered standards to allow the unconverted easy access to the church. In the past the church went out to conquer the world for Christ. Today, in too many churches, Christ is being sold for 30 pieces of silver, or less. Instead of the church changing the world, the world is changing the church.”2
Of course, there are many that say that we only need to preach the gospel—of which I am one.
“Government schools are promoting humanism, sex education programmes, the interfaith movement and even occultism. Yet the response of all too many is to ‘just preach the Gospel’ - which seems like a convenient excuse for disobedience and inactivity. Do we really believe that Jesus would have us stand passively by while God-hating pagans exploit women made in the image of God, degrade that which God has made to be holy, make public what God has meant to be private, make common what God has meant to be special, corrupting young minds and morals and ruining marriages? ‘Just preach the Gospel’ is often an excuse to justify laziness or cowardice. Would God have us stand idly by while a murderer rips the arms and legs off a baby and crushes its head?”3
Is it wrong to confront and expose the pornographic, child-sacrificing prophets of our current humanistic government? This is exactly what Elijah did! (1 Kings 18) Is it wrong to publicly expose the immorality of those at the head of our nation? John the Baptist did that to expose king Herod! (Matt 14:3-4) Was Jesus wrong when He overturned the tables of the greedy money changers driven by corruption? (Mark 11:15)
How do we shape up as good Samaritans (Lk 10:26-37)? Are we assisting the downtrodden?
(31) "But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. (32) "All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; (33) and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. (34) "Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. (35) 'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; (36) naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.' (37) "Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? (38) 'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? (39) 'When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?' (40) "The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' (41) "Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; (42) for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; (43) I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.' (44) "Then they themselves also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?' (45) "Then He will answer them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' (46) "These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." (Mat 25:31-46)
We as Christians should get involved in Christian action because we care and because the person next to me is my neighbour.
Who is my neighbour?
Are you willing to leave this country just as it is, so that your children can pick up the pieces when they are adults? Are you willing to leave this country just as it is, so that perhaps your children may never get to grow up to be adults themselves?
Rom 1:18-28 is a very accurate picture for South Africa at this moment. This is how this passage depicts unbelievers’ minds and we can see that so clearly in this country:
“[A]n early evangelical leader in culture war
activity, Francis Schaeffer, warned that most Christians were more
concerned with personal peace and affluence than about having an impact
in their society. He was concerned that as the Christian- dominated
consensus weakened, these two values would grow in their place. The
picture of society we are left with is one in which people's lives are
consumed by things, buying two SUV's and a nice big house in the
suburbs, with a nice tall fence, color TV (a big color TV), and remote.
These people do not want to know about the suffering in our urban
ghettos or about the plight of Christians in other countries. They want
their lives to be unimpeded by the turmoil experienced by less affluent
Who will rise up for me against the evil-doers?
Who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?
 Hammond Peter, Being Relevant and Compassionate in a Broken World