Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Guest Post -- Social Justice

My daughter is a Social Work student, presently doing hert final placement before graduation, She has adegree in Linguistics. These are some thoughts she wrote about social justice, man's vs God's. Enjoy ..

“But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never failing stream!” Amos 5:24.
Social justice on its own is a drug, which everyone around me wants and needs and thinks will fix everything wrong in the world. But social justice is insufficient to solve the problems of the world, a high ideal of universal tolerance and equality and peace. But – I don’t know how to say this – God’s social justice is enough. His mercy, His commands to feed the hungry and give to the poor, His ideal of an interdependent community – that is enough, because it is real. And bounded. Secular social justice has no lines, no absolutes, in a sense. If social justice can accept euthanasia, abortion, stem cell research and the like – all in the name of the progress of humanity – then there is no justice in it. For justice will not exploit the weakest and most vulnerable of all. Social justice is like a mighty flood that overpowers everything, levelling the rich and the poor alike. It ends in Marxism. But God’s social justice has boundaries, so it is a mighty river, flowing in the right paths so that it beings life, not destruction. ¬

God’s social justice is a strong thing. Righteousness is not weak, nor is grace shallow. Equality and dignity and compassion are right because we are all the fallen creations of the Holy God, not from a vague humanistic ideal. I read the Bible so clearly: worship God alone, and love one another. That was the heart-cry of the prophets. The two go hand in hand, but social workers don’t follow the first, and the church often fails to practice the second. God cares about the poor and the needy, and He hates the exploitation of the widow and the alien. His compassion burns as His holiness does; unquenched and unquenchable despite our words and systems and lack of action.

I am a social worker, just as I am a linguist. As a linguist, I probe deep, looking for the meaning beyond the label. And as a social worker, I reach broadly, accepting and helping all people as they are. And as a Christian, I am both. The cross intersects, and I reach both out and up. Grace received and grace given. Heart and mind working together for the glory of God. Integrity is wholeness. Wholeness of being and wholeness of purpose. Singlehearteness: the hallmark of the pilgrim.

“He has showed you, O man, 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.

1 comment:

Kevin Knox said...

Excellent stuff. The concept of boundaries is very strong, and that the world rejects the bounds is a great point. They turn their world into a flood plain, overflowing with every hard rain. I like it.

You don't address evil, and the enforcement side of justice. Any thoughts there?