Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Is social justice something that only some Christians should engage in?

Often pastors and leaders come to me and suggest that not everyone should engage in social justice. It is an important area of the church, they say. But they also think that people have different gifts and not everyone is interested in this area of ministry.

True and not true. It is true that everyone has different gifts and talents. But it is not true that individual Christians can opt out of defending the powerless. Despite our different gifts and talents, everyone of us should bear witness to Christ. Some of us use words. Some use actions. Some spend the majority of their time relating to Christians and little time on proclaiming the gospel, because their gift is not in proclaiming. But it doesn't mean that they don't pray for evangelistic activities. Similarly, not everyone is good at pastoral care. But everyone should in one way or another express their love for those in need.

In the same way, I believe that everyone should defend the cause of the poor and vulnerable. Some do it by engaging in advocacy work (e.g. writing a letter to or visiting an MP about social justice issues). Some do it through prayer and financial giving. Preachers can include justice issue in every sermon. Everyone can play a part by buying fair trade products.

The Micah mandate is not for a selected group of Christians. It's for every follower of Jesus.

"He has shown all you people what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8)

We use different gifts and talents for the cause. Some spend more time on social justice. Some spend less. But the call is for everyone.

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