Social Justice and Kingdom Thinking
Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The ultimate measure of man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Turning on the television, flipping through the articles on CNN.com, or even scrolling through Facebook news feeds, we find ourselves plagued with devastation. It looks as though we have found ourselves in a time of challenge and controversy. Earthquakes, wars, death, destruction. In Haiti, safe drinking water is scarce. Africa is saturated in wars, pillaging, and sexual oppression. South East Asian is plagued with prostitution and child trafficking. The lack of justice feels overwhelming. At a time in history where women not only have the right to speak out, but are holding high positions of power, running corporations, and changing the world, it is a wonder that there are over 20,000,000 of them in slavery; that is more than there have been in the history of the world. The statistics alone seem almost mind numbing as new stories, and numbers are thrown our way. It has become a fad in our culture to talk about such topics as sex trafficking, fair trade coffee’s and chocolates, ethically traded products and goods, living a socially conscious life. But what does that really mean? How can we as people living a seemingly peaceful and free life make a difference in this world?
Jesus calls us to live a life with greater purpose. Scattered throughout the Scriptures are a call to action. In Psalms 82:1-4 He says, “How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked? Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked!”
Micah 6:8 states, “He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”
Isaiah 61: 1-2 tells us, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the afflicted; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives and freedom to the prisoners; to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn.”
We see in these three passages alone, that these issues are age old. They are nothing new to this world, and nothing new to our God. When Jesus prayed “Thy kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven“ he called us to be his hands and feet here on this earth. We need to be indignant about what is happening globally. There are far too many children dying over malaria and the lack of clean water; issues that can be eradicated. It is time for me, as a believer of Jesus, to take a stand. Howard Snyder says, “Kingdom people seek first the Kingdom of God and its justice; church people often put church work above concerns of justice, mercy and truth. Church people think about how to get people into the church; Kingdom people think about how to get the church into the world. Church people worry that the world might change the church; Kingdom people work to see the church change the world.” The call feels lofty, but it is time to stand; to be kingdom thinking, global thinkers, and change the lives of people. But how? Where can I shop that will make a difference? Where can I put money to directly affect the lives of people? How can I connect with my local government to take a stand?
Thankfully, there are organizations throughout our nation who hear and see the same things that we do, and are moving to action. Join with them! Take some time to search within your own local community to see who you can partner with. Here are a few, to tickle your taste buds and get the juices flowing; organizations that are worth your time!
58: Global Impact Tour
Each month a different region, organization, and issue are featured. There is a call to fast something for a day, a week, a month, and put that money towards the issue.
Nightlight is an organization working out of Bangkok, Thailand. They offer women a job as an escape from sex trade and prostitution.
For those local to Colorado, partner with this great organization who is fighting, specifically, for women’s empowerment on a global scale. *See if there is an organization similar to Yobel in your local community. You could be surprised at who might be just around the corner!
International Justice Mission
IJM is a personal favorite of mine, because they often act as a liaison between the government and the everyday people, connecting you with your local senators and politicians. Sign a letter that is being sent to President Obama here. Help the message be loud and clear, that we as a nation can take a stand.
No matter what side of the political line you land on, or what religious views you might hold, humanity deserves to be fought for. The scale is large, but one day at a time, one step at a time, miles are gained, and the world is changed.