Biblical justice: what is it? And why does it require a foundation of truth? These are the questions Love Thy Neighborhood alumni Catherine Fowler posed in a recent video series she created to encourage discussion surrounding a Christian view of social justice. She and her friend, Rafy Amador, break down how we can view present injustices through God’s eyes.
They describe biblical social justice as the process of bringing biblical principles into the social realities of today. Among these principles are identity and human dignity, gifted to everyone by God.
From the moment of the fall, Rafy says, humans began committing infractions that spiraled into a “depreciation of human life” and led to the issues of injustice still playing out in our societies.
Unfortunately, tension exists even within the church on how to react to and handle social injustice. Some Christians are unaware of how they benefit from systems that have traditionally oppressed minorities, while minority Christians have felt the impact of such systems. While both groups claim Christ, they live in tension with one another over how to approach injustice.
Christians must allow their view of social justice to be informed by the life of Jesus to learn how to move toward justice, together.
Christians must allow their view of social justice to be informed by the life of Jesus to learn how to move toward justice, together. In order to establish justice for us, Jesus lived perfectly, died for our sins, and defeated death through his resurrection so that each of us can live an abundant life and look forward to eternity free of pain and injustice. On this foundation of truth, Christians can approach social justice issues in a way that recognizes the God-given dignity of all people.
Catherine emphasizes how the coming kingdom that Jesus describes is diverse and multiethnic, with believers from every tribe and tongue. This is the kind of church that Jesus wants, because it is made up of all of God’s image-bearers.
If the kingdom we imagine is monoethnic, it’s not the kingdom of God. We can help usher in the true kingdom of God by pursuing social justice that rests on a foundation of biblical truth.
To listen to the full discussion, visit @catherine_fowler94 on Instagram. Under the highlight labeled “Justice,” select Episode 1: What is Biblical Justice?
American Exceptionalism and Civil Religion, by John D. Wilsey
Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times, by Soong-Chan Rah
Part 2 of this discussion will continue to explore God’s intended diversity for his Kingdom, and provide further resources.