We’re all in this together.

Social justice - w490It’s more than just a great expression for a business or a church.  It also makes a more sobering reality than the plot twist of your favorite movie.  It’s the reality of the human race: we’re all in this together.

Last week, I started talking about the social dimensions of what sin has done to us.  It’s easy for many Christians to see the individual results of sin in general and the sins we commit in specific.    But it’s another thing entirely to possess a real awareness that we as individuals create societies.  These societies, then, are marked by the same sin nature affecting individuals.

Think of it this way: what are some results of sin in our lives?  Competitiveness, selfishness, greed, cruelty, prejudice, pride—these are but a few of the ailments in our sinful DNA.  We struggle against these things because we are sinners by nature.  But what happens when that faulty DNA creates systems and societies?

You’re probably starting to see it: those same sins creep into the society.  Even if we legislate the best we can around it, we still struggle against what we are.  We can make anti-trust laws for competitiveness but we don’t remove the drive to dominate at any cost.  We can make “Good Samaritan Laws” to compel people to help others, but we still don’t want to do it.

But the Lord tells His people in Isaiah 1:16-17:

Wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong.
Learn to do right; seek justice.
Defend the oppressed.
Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.

This is a call to take the faith in our hearts to the street!  This is a call to make a difference in society and not just inside of us.  Granted, God is talking to Israel at this point and they were a theocracy but the principle is still the same: God wants His people to seek justice of those who have no resource to get it for themselves.

Let’s get really real here of how this might work.

Picture two men who commit the same crime—let’s say they steal something.  These two men have the same criminal backgrounds.  These two men have the same educational background.  These two men have both been abusive to the women in their lives.  These two men grew up without a father in their lives.

Imagine these two men were arrested and stood before the average judge in the United States.  Statistically, one gets parole and one goes to prison.  What?!?!  Why the difference, they were identical!

The difference, my dear reader, is the one who got parole was white and the one who went to prison was black.

This isn’t a post necessarily about the American judicial system; it’s a post about us as those declaring to be God’s kids.  As the people of God, we need to seek justice for all.  We need to see things the way they really are: broken.

My Christian friends, we most definitely need to take it to the streets.  Not in protest and anger, but in love.  And using the resources we have at our disposal, seek justice and confront the “sin of the system”.

Until we do, we are neglecting the ripple effect of the Gospel when it strikes the water of our life.

Take the blinders off.

See the need.

Meet the need.

After all, we’re all in this together.