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Rescue the Perishing, Care for the Dying: The justice we must pursue

Kate Fowler

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Written for an Evangelical audience but the biblical mandate applies equally to Orthodox Christians.

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
Edmund Burke

Coming from a university setting where choosing dairy over soymilk at the independent, locally-owned latte shop suggested an alarming lack of character, I am well-acquainted with at least one, limited, understanding of social justice. Yet defining justice in terms of "compost vs. recycling" or "bike lanes vs. HOV lanes" falls far short of our calling as Christians to pursue and uphold true and lasting justice among people around the world.

The Christian's call to pursue justice emphasizes the dignity of man--a concern for the other--rather than seeking our own individual rights and "entitlements." It is critical to understand this call, given the countless, atrocious human rights violations around the world. For example, North Korea is deemed by many to be the worst human rights situation on the globe today. Hundreds of thousands of North Koreans are imprisoned in forced labor camps; thousands more are desperately seeking asylum because of its famine and injustice. Their well being should matter to us because seeking and upholding justice is a fundamental principle of the Christian life.

In Isaiah 1:17, we are called to "seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow." In James 1:27 we read, "Religion that God our father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." Isaiah 61:1 says, "He sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release for the prisoners." Thus, we are bound by the eternal, universal law of our Creator to administer justice and uphold human dignity.

Read the entire article on the Breakpoint website.

Posted 3/22/04



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