I weep when I hear my fellow professing Christians decry Social Justice as a fearful thing that Christians should run from. I think Jesus wept when he looked over Jerusalem and the social injustice of society and, even, the religious leaders of the day.
The Rabbis and Pharisees (religious preachers, teachers, and lawyers) were sticklers for literal translation and enforcement of Old Testament laws. Jesus on several occasions, according to New Testament writers, rebuked those leaders and showed compassion and understanding and assured people of God’s Grace. He demonstrated social justice through meeting people’s needs without exacting penalties and judgment. He condemned injustice and favoritism. He indicated that man had an obligation to meet the needs of others, even if it didn’t seem that those others were accepting full responsibility for their own short comings or failures. He met those needs on the basis of the individual’s needs, not on the basis of the individual deserving help because of their adherence to a set of religious laws and doctrines.
Jesus acknowledged and praised the good works of men, even those that were considered pagans and enemies of God’s ‘Chosen People’. Read, or remember, the story of the Good Samaritan who put to shame the pious religious fellows who couldn’t bother with helping a man who had been beaten and robbed. Jesus indicated the man being helped was even a member of the religious group who considered the Samaritan as no better than a pig (swine). The Samaritan helped him anyway! Wow! Think about that when you hear someone trashing the Arabs, Muslims, homos, welfare bums, etc. Remember? Jesus said, “Love your enemies as yourself”. Not easy to do, but do it anyway.
Today, we have Christians who can’t even acknowledge the good works of other Christians who don’t adhere to certain strict codes and priorities. Most of those leaders and spokesmen that Angelo named in his last post are trashed by some prominent conservative religious leaders. They can’t even tolerate those who profess the same Christian faith as themselves. How surprising is it, then, when they can’t accept any ideas or programs coming from other religious faiths or non religious organizations?
Jesus socialized with and met the needs of both the saints and the sinners. The ‘saints’ crucified Him. Those ‘saints’ qualified themselves as saints. Do we have a contingent of folks today who qualify themselves as God’s ‘saints’? Does that give them a mandate from God to determine what God approves of or requires of all mankind? Does that give them the right to determine the social status and economic position of everyone else? Does that give them the authority to bestow or withhold God's Blessing on others?
I profess to be a follower of Christ (Christian) and whether you hold the same interpretation of what that means or profess faith in another kind of religion or no religion, we must work together to improve the lot of all of God’s creatures here on earth. And, whether you consider creation as belonging to God or not, that includes you too. We are in this old world together and we dang sure need to learn how to get along! Calling one another derogatory names and fighting over power and prestige isn’t going to cut it. We can survive together or we can go down together. The choice is ours. Ours at least until, as most of us Christians believe, God decides to destroy this world as we know it. And, if you don’t believe in God or believe that He will do it, we will do it ourselves if we continue like we seem to be going today.